He liked bland food. He spoke English and couldn’t roll his Rs. He liked comfort and understood Western culture.
Singapore was to be a transition country. It was recommended by a friend, so he booked the ticket two weeks prior to takeoff. The ticket would be cheap (relative) and the culture would be easy (relative). The country was impeccably clean and efficient. His mind was littered with nerves and chaotic energy.
His stomach proved one manifestation of his emotions. Starbucks plain bagels with cream cheese, apple juice, and 7/11 yogurts became his diet. He was thankful that in this country that was supposed to be easy, there was something easy to eat.
He couldn’t sleep. 16 hours is a hell of a time change, and he was not prepared for it. Restless nights added layers of stress, which helped nothing.
And because he was not chewing gum* or smuggling drugs, he could not be given the death penalty, even though the death penalty would give him relief from the worries in his mind and this discomfort in his body.
Luckily, his support system of friends and family reminded him, ‘It will get better.’ And it did.
Public lounge chairs hosted his tired body.
A Spoon built into the lid of his yogurt.
*Chewing gum will not give one the death penalty. However, it is illegal to process or chew gum and can result in a fine and/or jail time.