Reed in Asia
A place we could call 'home'
We sat down at a table and ordered some breakfast, fruit juice and a pot of tea and then I went to reception to hand in the room key and sign out from the hotel. We still had a lot of time after we had finished breakfast, because we had both woken up very early that morning, we were like children on Xmas day. I really wanted to talk about my ideas of how we could make the house look lovely and the things that we could buy to make it look 'classy' and still in keeping with the colonial look, style and feel of the place, but I had to bite my tongue, I didn't want to spoil the surprise. We just sat there after breakfast drinking tea and making general plans for our house, Myra was very excited and let it show, I was excited too for different reasons and had to hide it. Singh arrived a short while later and it was still only a little after 08:00, so I asked him to sit down and join us for some tea. He was just starting to talk about the house, when I managed to catch his attention and shook my head slightly, Singh was quite quick on the uptake and switched the topic of conversation, so I smiled at him and nodded my head a little.
About thirty minutes later, Singh stood up and started carrying our bags to his taxi, so I stood and started to help him, when we were both at the taxi, I explained to Singh that I had not told Myra about the house yet and asked him if he would play along with me, at this he giggled, put his arm around my shoulder and patted my back. Singh was not young, he was in his early fifties, but he had a very good character that I could relate to easily, we were like good friends already. I then went to get Myra and brought her to the taxi, we both got in the back seat and Singh started to drive, I knew the way now and looking at my watch, I thought that we would be there far too early, Singh obviously had the same thought and he started to drive down streets and sideroads, just killing time. We eventually arrived at the top of Preston road at 08:50, Singh stopped the taxi and we all got out, Myra looked around everywhere and then said, "Why have we stopped here? Are we near the house yet?" She was staring at the house, but obviously dismissed it as being too up-market to be considered, so I winked at Singh and then I said "It isn't far from here we can walk the rest of the way easily" , Singh burst out laughing then and walked away trying to hide his face. Myra then grabbed a bag and started heading towards the footpath up the hill, so I just said "You are going the wrong way, follow me" I then walked up the steps to the house, opened the door and put one bag in the hall, at this, Myra went mad, she dropped the bag, ran up the steps and started slapping me around the shoulders, she looked quickly around and then started laughing and held me in her arms.
Singh and I then carried all of the bags to the house, whilst Myra was just wandering around the house and garden taking everything in. About ten minutes later, an RAF mini van pulled up outside, a WRAF officer got out and came into the house, she introduced herself as the housing officer and she asked me to follow her around whilst she did an inspection of the accommodation. She checked everything and if there was even the slightest mark or damage to any wall, floor, door, furniture or fitting, she made a note and marked it on a schematic plan of the house she had with her, we even did the same with the outhouses too, when she had completed the inspection, she asked me to sign her notes and plans, which I did and then she gave me another set of house keys and said "Welcome to Singapore, I am sure you will enjoy yourself living here", she then shook our hands and left. Myra didn't sit down for a long time, she just spent time wandering from room to room both upstairs and downstairs, when she eventually did sit down, she couldn't stop talking about the house and how wonderful it was, so then I could start telling her about my ideas to make it even better and how we could make it look good and feel homely too. All of this time, Singh was just sitting on one of the chairs listening to us and smiling to himself, so I apologised for ignoring him and he just waved it off and said that he enjoyed just sitting there watching us. I asked him what he was going to do now and he just said that he would do whatever I wanted him to do. I then said to him that he must be finished with us now, we didn't live in the hotel anymore and the RAF must provide transport for me now, at this he laughed, pointed his finger to his chest and said "I am your RAF transport, I have been allocated to you as your driver for as long as you are in Singapore". I couldn't believe it, I thought that I would just be picked up each day by an RAF landrover or other RAF vehicle, but I now had my own personal vehicle and driver for the next three years.
Neither Myra or I had ever had a place of our own before, Myra lived with her parents before and I lived in single RAF accommodation or stayed with my parents whenever I went back to St Helens on leave or time-off work. Now we both had a wonderful new home, a vehicle and driver and we were living in the Far East/ Orient at the start of our lives together
'A place we could call home'
I shall be adding to this site over time, so if anyone is interested then please have a little patience and call back here from time to time. One of my very few pleasures in life these days is beer so I shall be occasionally referring to beer, I just wish that beer was the only reason that I am legless all the time
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