Monday, 2 March 2009

Happy Harry and friends

In our last condo, we had Happy Harry the car cleaner man. I have no idea what his real name was, but he was a little, very dark Indonesian who had the widest smile and the whitest teeth I've ever seen. He also had a convenient command of English. That is, he understood "S$50 a month to clean your car sir", but he didn't understand "but my wife says you didn't clean it once during my 2 months' business trip away so I'm only paying for October..." He'd just give that enormous innocent smile until DH coughed up the dosh. He also had this amazing ability to beam and wave cheerfully at us as we drove into the underground car park under lobby A, and somehow manage to be waiting for us as we parked up under lobby J without being out of breath at all. On payment days. Of course. Maybe he had a colluding twin brother.

Often as we wove our way through the car park pillars, we spotted Shirt On Pipe Man. He was a Chinese Singaporean who would park up after a day at the office, unbutton his shirt, then take a coat hanger out of the car boot and hang his shirt up on one of the water pipes that hung from the ceiling. Sometimes I would come back down to the car park to deposit my bottles and newspapers in the communal recycling bin, and the shirt would still be hanging there. We never saw whether he walked to his apartment half-clothed, or whether he had a t-shirt in the boot.

Another person we never actually saw was Scary Merc Parker. We only had the evidence: the silver Mercedes abandoned across a selection of parking spaces, so that it effectively took up at least two if not three spaces. This was a head-shaking, eye-rolling, forehead-smacking habit that had the most impact when the car park was full. As it would.

Give me time, and I shall acquaint you with some of the characters from our new condo.

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