Running back to the hotel after I got off the public bus, I ran with whatever strength my legs could carry me, with numerous plastic bags in tow. Yes, shopping bags to delight my beloved Wifey.
As I ran towards the hotel, I saw the limousine driver by the porch.
Ok, I was late by about 10 minutes.
I got up the limousine, and requested the driver, a white gentlement in suit, if he could put the luggage in the back seats, where I was at. I was going to do some last minute packing so that all the new loots could fit into the suitcase.
He did just that, and subsequently asked what I will like to drink. I told him that "Bottled water will do fine", and promptly received an ice cool
Never one who likes to stay quiet in a taxi, I started a conversation with him. We talked about differences between Singapore and the US.
He told me about the growing rich-poor divide that exist in Colorado. In a separate conversation with my US colleagues, I learnt that the rich apparently live in areas like Longmont and Boulder, while the poor and homeless stay in Denver.
And we spoke on the US election. During my stay, I manage to catch some of the anti-Obama and anti-McCain advertisements on US. It makes me wonder what Singapore will be like if Chee Soon Juan ("troublemaker" of the Opposition party) put up an anti-Lee Kuan Yew (father of Singapore, and Mentor minister of ruling party) advertisement on national TV. The driver told me that Colorado was tending towards the Democrats.
After 2/3 of the journey, the driver started turning quiet. And I thought I'll do so too, to admire the beautiful Colorado scenery one last time.
I alighted the taxi, and we bade farewell to each other.
After I reached Singapore, my colleague who was there with me at US (but left US later than me as she had to go to Mexico) asked if I would like to launch a complaint about the limousine driver.
I was bewildered - what was she talking about? She explained that the hotel staff was telling her how the limousine driver was making racist remarks about me (before he met me) because I was late. He even slammed his itinery onto the hotel counter table to emphasize how unhappy he was for making him wait.
I felt strange after that, because he never dropped a hint of racism or displeasure when talking to me. Did he feel "better" after talking to a happy man? Or should he be nominated a best actor award?
A case of Dr Hyde and Mr Jekyll?