Plain Sunset on a Monday night


‘Bingo!’, said the custom police woman at Singapore airport while looking my passport. She then looked at me and said, ‘So you are happy birthday boy’. ‘Yes, I am’. The place was quite empty. The few border police looked bored and were probably thinking about the end of the night shift. She called three other colleagues to look at my passport: born on 10.8.1967 and I pass entering Singapore on 10.08.2009. 42 years later. They four of then then sang the first few words of the Happy Birthday tune. Nice surprise. I thank them and smiling walked to the airport hotel.

While walking to the hotel I though about the odd day of my birthday: 10 of August. The middle of summer. The middle of the holiday time in Europe. When I was in high school I used to be in my hometown, Cremona, for the birthday. Not because I liked it. The town was empty. Everybody off on holiday. Hot and humid. But every year I had to re-sit math in September before being accepted to the next year. One year I had both math and latin. That meant staying at home in August and study things I was going to understand anyway.

Later when I could start traveling it I could really never guess where I would have been on the 10th of August. Like this year. In Singapore on my way to Nha Trang in Vietnam. A Happy Birthday song at Chiangi airport. Walking at Marina Bay, watching Singapore skyline, the dotted lights of the windows of the high risings looking at the sea. And the Plain Sunset playing on a seaside stage.