I left Malaysia today and headed just across the southern border by bus into Singapore. I arrived at the ‘Golden Mile’ which didn’t live up to its rather illustrious name. Oddly enough my bus had arrived a little ahead of schedule and my friend who lives in Singapore wasn’t yet off work, so I decided to go in search of a haircut.
While looking for a hairdressers, barbers, or something that looked remotely like a place where such a task might be performed, I found a couple of storefront offices the like of which I have never come across before; Marriage Consultants.
I saw a couple of them, one called ‘Miss Saigon’ in which I could see an old Asian man behind a desk with maps on the wall and faded pictures of couples smiling and embracing. A slim young Asian girl with flowing black hair sat at a table next to some plastic flowers while she watched a television precariously balanced on a wooden shelf unit across the room.
The other was called ‘BestMatch Marriage Consultants.’ I couldn’t see into that particular office that hid behind thick net curtains and a large collection of pictures showing the “latest beauties.” The young girls in the pictures were clearly doing their best to look demur and un self-conscious as they posed smiling and hoping, perhaps, to find romance with a handsome man in a far off place.
The lit sign above the door sounded far from romantic to me. It read, “A Vietnam wife is keen to do household chores and willing to take care of parents whole heartedly.”
Romance may not be dead, but I suspect it caught the bus and fled this sad little mall a long long time ago.