There he was, an affable chap running a Chinese restaurant in an adopted land. One moment he was going on about how we should visit the beach on Sunday, next he was lying in a pool of blood, gasping for his life... ...
We had went to his restaurant for dim sum lunch. He immediately recognized us as Singaporeans. He took to us almost in an instant, talking to us like old friends. I had never visited his eatery, and was busy ordering food for the rest of us. He took pains to go through what we ordered, advising us not to order too much in case we can't finish it. He even sat down to have a glass of wine with my colleagues.
He was raving about a beach that we should visit on a Sunday, giving us directions and all. You can see that this guy was very hospitable, just because we came from the same land as he does true that the grass is greener on the other side, but when you look back, you'd miss the food, the lingo, the people. We just know instinctively that we come from the same place where hawker fare is abundant, and people are just so liberal with their 'lahs' & 'lehs'.
The lunch went on very well, the food was delicious, and yes I had ordered too much food. We were getting ready to leave when there was a commotion. I saw a gun waved around, pushed my friends onto the floor, and stayed down.
It was over as fast as it had happened. The owner was now lying on a chair, with a pool of blood on the floor. I didn't hear any shots, so I'd think he was stabbed. Badly. Honestly I was at a loss. I just started shouting, "get him lying on the floor!" and shoved the tables around. I was panicking. You'd think you only read about these incidents in the papers, or see the news in TV. It happened right in front of me. All I could see was that pool of blood. I helped him onto the floor, he was foaming at the mouth already. The waiter, who's his son by the way, was asking us to have a look at him. What he didn't realized was that himself was stabbed, albeit not that badly. I took care of the son, holding onto his wound to stop it from further bleeding. Thankfully two other diners came forward to assist, placing the towkay in a recovery position. Others called in the ambulance and police.
I did all I could to calm the son down, who was swearing about revenge while at the same time asking about his father. I stayed with him as long as I could until the paramedic arrived. I left the restaurant, my left hand still covered in the owner's blood, and made my way back to the hotel.
All this time my female colleagues were just innocent bystanders, witnessing a terrible act of aggression. I worry that some of them will not take it too well, and ask that they bunk into each others rooms for the night.
I still wonder if it was right to just leave the scene of a crime. More of a concern was whether the owner made it or not. I don't know him at all, yet I wish to find out how he is. I won't be sleeping too well tonight...