Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fickle minded men

I recently planned a trip with a friend to Hong Kong. Now, you would think that men are creatures who once make up their mind, would do little to change it. Let alone a man who is in position. How terribly wrong can i be. This friend of mine, changed his mind once so often that i guess unless i was bug in his mental process, i would be unable to keep up. Now why did this irritate me? Well, the thing is, i guess its in my character to plan for things. I am not so anal about stuff that i need things to the minute detail, like we must have breakfast at 7.53am so that we can catch the 8.22am bus to go to a certain place. Now, details like this has seldom bothered me. Basically, i just need to know that you are meeting me for dinner and i'll keep my evening free. Or if you are going to meet me for lunch, then i know that i'll not plan to meet anyone for lunch.
Now, the thing about this friend of mine is that like every other man in the world, he is so prone to changing his mind coz he decides to change his schedule every other minute.
First, my friend said that he would want to fly in on the 28. Spend 29 in disneyland and then fly back to singapore on the 30. Of course he said he was unable to confirm, being as commitmentphobic as he was, i let it rest. Then, somewhere at the start of the month, he said he might not be able to go to HKG. Now, any sensible woman at this point of time would go make her own plans. Right? If you are a woman, surely you would not let the intricacies of the men mind stop you from going away. And so i planned to go to Phuket. After all, being jobless and poor, it seemed like a more affordable location to go for a holiday. And so, i checked out the prices, thought, cool. Now i can finally go away on a holiday when lo and behold, my friend meets me and says, hey, why not lets go to HKG. Faint. Wasn't that the initial plan? Except then it was to go to disneyland and now, it seems like we aren't heading there anymore.
Nevermind i thought. It would be nice to go away with a friend since i've been travelling lots on my own over the past few years. And i guess sometimes, its nice to have company around. A friend to chat with at night or even to party with. And when silly men try to pick me up, he can always be my shield. And so, i told this friend, how about you go confirm your ticket first, and i'll book mine. So he said, alright. I'll let you know by the end of the week. And so i played this waiting game with him. Finally, the week came to a close and i sms him. I mean, i needed to know when he was going to go away so that i could plan my silly vacation around his. After all, since i'm the one who is jobless, i didn't really have to worry much about applying for leave and such. His reply to me was 28oct -2 nov. And so happily, i went online to search for an airticket to take me away to the beautiful country. And alas, as it was already the 21 oct, there were no more tickets for a 28th flight. And so i thought to myself, lets see if there is a ticket on the 27. And my my, what good fortune. There were in fact many flights for the 27. And so i booked the ticket and planned to return on the 2nd.
This is an incredibly long trip to HKG. And i guess every time i return to HKG, it seems like i'm plagued with men problems. Maybe i should stop going back for a while. Anyway, after the flight has been booked, my friend messages me and says he's gg on the 29th and coming back on the first. Frankly, i would like to know which airline company he's flying with. If they let all their customers change their mind as often as this friend, i would be wondering why they even allow people to reserve seats in the first place. Why not just everyone turn up at the airport at a time and date that suited them and fly off. Now i was pissed with my airline company. Flying Cathay. Apparently unlike the airline that my friend is flying off in, i cannot change the date of my flight. Or maybe i can, its just that i'm not loaded enough to change my dates as and when i like. After all, i did dump my money into hotel booking and air ticket over to HKG. Now if you think that was bad, i haven't even ended my story yet. Bear with me. I am basically just irritated and i need an outlet for frustration.
Now, frankly, that didn't sound so bad. I mean from the 29 to the 1st, thats like 3 and 1/2 days maybe. And i guess maybe i was happy and excited. Now my trip didn't seem and feel really long. After all, if you've been to HKG as many times as me. It ain't that interesting anymore. Especially since i am currently broke and therefore cannot afford to shop like crazy. Doesn't help that i don't have a credit card no more and everything i have i have basically spent it on hotel and air ticket. But i guess 3 1/2 days of company sounded really good. Then my friend says he is only spending 2 days there as he has decided to fly off to some other country after that. Amazing how tolerant his airline company is. Wish i had booked my flight with that same airline company then maybe it isn't too late to fly off to beijing to join my dad. And so after repeated questionings and confirmations, i asked if it was alright to book the hotel on the 29th, 30th and 31st. And of course, being a nice friend, he says, just book two nights. That way, we don't waste money. Interesting how i forgot to mention this friend of mine is thoughtful as well.
So after searching for a hotel of his choice, location of his choice and getting rejected coz they were fully booked, we were finally offered another hotel, similar location and price. And so, once again, i messaged him and asked if he was alright with it and whether he was sure that we were going to stay 2 nights. And once again, being the ever so eager friend, he said, yes. We're staying for two nights.
Fast forward the weekend away, finally monday morning. Saw him on MSN, and i asked if he received my message. And of course because we have a terrific telecommunication system here in Singapore, he did receive my message. As with all stories, it wouldn't have mattered if it ended here. But no, my interesting friend had another surprise for me. He messaged me this morning to say that he was flying in on the 29th and flying off on the 30th. Now at this point of time, i swear i am so damn curious about which airline he is flying by that i would have rolled my head off to find out. Then again, maybe his father owns the airlines or maybe he has a private jet. If that is the case, maybe i should get him to pay for hotel. Maybe he might own some chain of hotel in HKG. Anyway, this was when i lost it. Being nice and thoughtful, he said this, we'll go to ocean park on the 29th and the go party at night. Then i fly off on the 30th afternoon. Interesting. Did i forget to mention that ocean park closes at 6.30pm and by the time we check in to the hotel, it will probably be 3pm. Not to mention he has an errand to run before meeting me after he comes into town at ard lunch time. Of then again, i guess maybe since he is a privileged customer with the airlines, he could probably own ocean park or know of someone who owns ocean park and therefore keep the doors open. Either that or ocean park is so small that he figures 2 hours is the maximum time i need there. Opps. I'm sorry, maybe i forgot to enlighten this friend of mine that in all the times i've been to HKG, i have not stepped into ocean park before and would like to take all the rides there are there. And my idea of going to a place is not like stepping in and coming out and declaring to the world.. Oh my, guess where i went on my trip. I went to ocean park. And the place was beautiful and big and it had many rides. Pictures of that place? How about you log on to www.oceanpark.com. Now wouldn't that be interesting?
You know i seldom lose my cool with people. I'm generally rather forgiving especially to friends. But tell me, how would you react in my shoes. And frankly, is being a little pissed off acceptable. Of course, being a philosophical friend, he said, well, i'm doing my best to spend time with you. And its not the length of the time but rather the quality of it. Frankly speaking, i don't have to fly off to HKG to experience my friend and enjoy his company as a friend. I can do just fine in Singapore. And with friends like that, who needs enemies. Right? Anyway, i told him to put himself in my shoes and he said he did. And that was why he did his best to make arrangements. With the way things are working out before the trip, i should have stuck to my initial plan to go phuket with a friend. I guess thats what they mean when they say choices have consequences. And this is my choice of a friend and this is my choice of thinking it would be nice to have a friend to holiday with.
Now i know why over the past few years, i always choose to travel alone. It seems like i seldom learn my lesson. Either that or i always like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I always think that this time round, this particular friend would be different. I've been places with so many people before. Almost as often as being around on my own. There was the friend that despite both of us being poor, had to stay in a 5 start hotel. There was the friend that wouldn't leave the hotel room. There was the friend that whined about everything and anything over the whole trip. There was the friend that could not walk coz walking was crazy and everywhere we went, we had to take a cab. There was te friend that flew off together with me and back with me and basically, that was it. There was the friend that told me to take a hike from the hotel room so he could bed some prostitute. And the list goes on. This trip fills me up with dread. And the best part was that with most of these friends, it didn't even happen till we got to the country.
Most of the time, they seemed cool before we leave and then when we get there, Mr Hyde appears. I've seen the Mr Hyde in this friend. Should i still go? I can just imagine the amount of money i will bring to loyal chinese newspaper readers. Girl murdered by Mr Hyde. Ha... my imagination precedes me.
Anyway, i've basically given up on this friend. I told him to do whatever he wants. Told him that the room is under my name and when he reaches and is wants to check in, the key would be with the concierge. And that i would not wait for him to appear because my general experience of him is that he is not very reliable. As with all men. God, i wish you can somehow introduce a man into my life to change my flawed perspective of men. Anyway, he said just not to disappoint me, he will do just so. Ha. So typical. Men are not only fickle, they are childish and vindictive. And thus i rest my case as to why i think i should generally just go and date some woman. Would i be really surprised if he calls me on the morning of the 29th and told me he wasn't even going to turn up or maybe he has changed his airticket for zimbaawee, i guess not. Right now, i guess his air ticket is to never never land. And frankly, it really doesn't matter any more.
Some girlfriend told me this. If it is the price to pay to see the dark side of a person, it is money well spent. Damn, i should have gone phuket and krabi diving with my friend. At least a few hundred metre underwater, i really can't be bothered if you decide that you wanted to turn off your oxygen coz you weren't happy with how the oxygen tasted. Or at least while you were in the boat heading out at sea, you couldn't possibly say i don't want to go out to sea diving. The driver will ask you to swim back to shore. And frankly, i would probably only muster up these two words of sympathy. Good luck.
Alright. Enough of frustration venting for the night. I've made up my mind to make my trip enjoyable. Notice i said my trip. I guess at the end of the day, its my choice how i choose to be. Happy or disturbed by an inconsequential friend? Ain't too hard a choice.....

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