I was sitting on my couch feeling sorry for myself in a worn t-shirt that Sean lovingly calls "that one with all the f-ing bears on it" when Sandy called at 11:30 p.m. We're going out, she said.
When I climbed into her car an hour later, an aspiring actor who she used to manage was sitting in the front seat. He was about 10 years younger than us, wore his hair like the Beatles and was extremely shy to speak. His nick name in English means Little Dollar.
Sandy told him that I'm from Winnipeg, you know, where Winnie The Pooh is from.
Roxy 99 occupies a square, underground room and looks like a smoky, grimy university pub. Being near Shida university, it was packed with foreigners, dancing around small, round, pub tables. The deejay played songs that were popular when I was in university (made me feel as if I was at Scandals in Winnipeg again): Lou Bega's Mambo No. 5, Nelly's Ride Wit Me, Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up.
"My name is Winnie!" A girl yelled to me over the music. "Like Winnie the Pooh. And I'm chubby like him!"
"Hey, I'm from Winnipeg where Winnie the Pooh is from!"
I struck up a friendly conversation with another Canadian. He said: "My dad sent me here because he's an asshole. He sent me to the best schools in Canada, like Harvard. You're looking at the cure for cancer right here. You know, the human genome..."
He told me that his grandfather, was David Suzuki. (On second reference, David Suzuki was also his great-grandfather.) I kept turning my face away so that he could talk into my ear but he kept craning his neck so that he could talk into my mouth like it was a microphone. Finally, he snapped: "You don't want to listen!"
I stared at him, my mouth agape. (It was like that time when I was waiting for a bus in Toronto and a guy came up to me and asked for the time. When I told him, he growled: "Why do you think I care what f-ing time it is?")
Little Dollar eventually warmed to me. He taught me how to say some dirty phrases in Japanese and I corrected his grammar when he spoke these phrases in English. I taught him some others, which at first, was hilarious for both of us.
But then, for the rest of the night, he practiced them. He would suddenly turn to me and say the phrase, slowly and seriously.
"No, preposition then object."
If it was right, I would respond: "Duei!"
At 4 a.m., we left the bar and the sloppy drunkards inside. Little D said he knew a restaurant that was open at this hour. When we rounded a corner, near Guting MRT, he announced proudly: "McDonald's!"
We ordered McMuffins and Sandy ordered a corn soup. Upstairs, more than a dozen people were sleeping at the tables, a casually dressed middle-aged woman, vagrants, university students, drunk clubbers, their heads buried into their arms like it was nap time in kindergarten.
As we finished our breakfast, Little D asked me an English question.
"It's 'go down on,'" I corrected.