A Rush Across History & Fault-lines of the North & South

Tan Wee Cheng, Singapore/London

Nicosia/Lefkosia: A vulgar scuffle with a Cypriot Gangster


“Chino, get back to work!” A bald stocky Cypriot patted my thigh as he waddled into the hotel lobby with a blonde, skinny lass in loud pink tights.  What a rude bum he was, but I had no intention of getting distracted from my book while waiting for my lazy friends to get ready for Day 2 of my Cypriot adventure.

 The duo stood at the empty reception looking impatient, while the girl grumbled in her Russian accented English, “…I had to go from one hotel to another… little hours… it’s too much for me… I cannot go on like this too long…” Caressing her hair gently, her companion comforted her, “don’t worry… we will sort that out…we will get this fucking hotel to…” his words lost in thin air, betrayed a faint East London accent.

 Obviously impatient with the wait, the idiotic bum turned around and shouted at me, “Hey Chino, where are your fxxking bosses ?  Get them here immediately!”

 What insolence!  I retorted, “I don’t work here.  I’m a tourist.  Have no idea where the hotel people are.”

 The Natasha (what Russian prostitutes are known as) pulled his shirt, and the pimp turned around and gave her a polar bear kiss.  And she started her grumbling again…

 A quick glance at my watch.  Alas, 25 minutes have lapsed and my travel companions were hardly in sight.  Blame it on the seductive Cypriot wine we had last night ?   

Cease fire line in Lefkosa/Nicosia, with Greek flags and symbols Gigantic statue of Archbishop Makarios III outside the Archbishop's Palace

  The couple had enough of it, and marched out of the hotel lobby.  Scarcely a few steps from me, the Cypriot scumhead turned around and shouted at me, “Chino, tell your fxxking bosses here that they should go screw themselves.  Fuck them, and fuck you too!”

 Oh mine, what have I done to deserve this ?  A peacenik like me have done nothing more than reading my Lonely Planet while waiting for friends.  First he calls me Chino, and then shouted at me as though I was his servant, and now he uses the infamous F-word.  That’s way too much!  I decided to press the nuclear button, and returned fire with the weapon that me, the quintessential model Confucianist gentleman have hardly ever used in my life.  To put it simply, I used the F-word.  “Hey, fxxk you too!  I’m not working here and I’m not your fxxking servant!”

The balding pig turned into a monster.  He grabbed my shirt collar, pulled me close to his face – yes, I could smell his fuming heat and his menacing eyes resembled the proverbial gates of Hell.  “What did you say ?  You scold me fxxk ?”  He clenched his fist and gestured threateningly.  “Fuck you!  Say that again and I’ll punch you.  I’ll kill you, fxxking Chino!”

 My mind raced across the Mediterranean and then the plains of Eurasia.  I saw the empty hill slopes of Bamiyan, Afghanistan, where the Taleban had recently destroyed the ancient Buddhas.  And then above the Ganges Plains I saw Lumbini, birthplace of Lord Buddha.  Oh, how much bad karma have I accumulated with those uttering of the four letter words, and with my impatience with a less enlightened soul.  And then I saw the tiny red dot that is Singapore, and the silhouette of my family… Trust me, it’s all a split second and my decision has been made.  I kept quiet and smiled.

 The Man loosened his grip, turned around, and walked out of the hotel.  

What a fresh start to Day 2 of the trip!


Western Cyprus: Aphrodisiac in the Land of Aphrodite

Caveat :

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