At the bus stop

He was sitting at the bus stop wearing a pink raincoat and holding a bunch of daffodils. He had agreed to meet her there at 6.30pm. He said he’d wear his pink raincoat so she’d be able to identify him easily.

He’d been there a while and she hadn’t shown up yet. Nervous, fidgety, he started to tell his story to the guy who was studying the bus timetable next to him. He didn’t notice that the guy’s responses soon turned into detached mms.

She was from Thailand. He’d met her via one of those email things. She said she was in her 30s, but he reckoned this probably meant she was about 40, but he wasn’t going to rule out that she was actually 30. It was hard to tell from the one photo he’d seen of her.

Maybe she was waiting for him at one of the other bus stops down the street. He quickly checked, but she wasn’t there.

She wanted to marry him and move with him to China to be with her son and other family. He asked the guy, still looking at the timetable, how big China was. About 1.2 billion, he replied. Right, enough said. A lot bigger than New Zealand, then!

Maybe she got confused and thought he was wearing a white coat instead of a pink one. He’d seen a fella in a white coat walk past. What if this fella had walked off with his lady?

She had a strange surname. He wasn’t sure how to pronounce it. He asked the timetable guy how a name spelt H-U-S would be pronounced. The guy suggested Huss or Hoos. The man asked if he know what country it was from. The guy suggested Europe. The man looked at his cellphone and realised it was actually Hsu. The guy knew that was pronounced Su and that it was probably a Chinese name.

Maybe she was setting him up. Maybe this was all a scam. But she wasn’t really all that late – only half an hour.

A woman came along to the bus stop. The man insisted she take a seat, noting that he didn’t bite. She laughed and sat down. They engaged in pleasentries – how they each were, how their days had been (Hers was not too bad; his could have been better, could have been much better). But soon he started talking at her and she shut down into mm-mming, just like the guy had.

He wasn’t really sure whereabouts Thailand was. He knew it was in Asia somewhere, but he honestly couldn’t even tell you what time it was there. He had seen a photo of her and knew she had slanty eyes, like Chinese or Japanese girls, so she probably was just a normal Oriental.

They were supposed to go to Hamilton together that night to meet her son and the people she was living with in New Zealand.

Then something showed up a little bit late. It was the #274 bus. Within seconds his audience had transplanted themselves onto the bus, leaving him sitting all alone at the bus stop with his daffodils and pink raincoat and without his slanty-eyed Thai lady.

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