Life’s Biggest Mysteries – Deborah Tan

After a hard day’s work that involved a lengthy (but fun) photoshoot, some insane planning, and a mad rush to meet an unexpected deadline, all I wanted was to go home, enjoy a good TV show and spend a quiet evening reading a magazine or two.

Unless it’s an alien, there’s no reason why so much noise should be coming from the apartment upstairs

But, this was all destroyed by a series of strange – and EXTREMELY LOUD – rumbling noises coming from the apartment unit above mine. It sounded like someone was dragging a very badly made wooden wagon across his living room floor. At first, I thought, “Okay. Maybe they are moving something heavy. It’ll stop.” I heard it roll from one end of the room to the other. And then I heard it roll back again. This went on for like a good half an hour. Seriously, I’m really surprise my ceiling didn’t shed bits from the incessant trauma!

It got me thinking about an old neighbour I used to have when I lived with my parents. He was this guy – roughly my dad’s age – and he lived alone. Every night – without fail – the sounds coming from his flat were, in this order: a heavy chain being dragged on the floor, a metal-something knocking against the floor with a rhythmic regularity, and something that sounded like a metal tool banging against another metal object. Every night. For close to 10 years, I slept with a HEAVY pillow pressed against my ear. Friends wonder why I sleep the way I do even to this day, well, that’s why.

My sister and I used to tell each other horror stories about what that noise really was. “You know how everyone said his wife left him? What if, she didn’t?” my story went, “what if she wanted to and he chained her up and kept her imprisoned in the room? And every night, after he goes to bed, she would try to break the metal chain?”

Why do noisy people always live in the apartment above yours? This has to be one of Life’s biggest mysteries.

Other mysteries?

Laksa and white shirt … not such a great match

Why do you always crave foods like laksa, chilli crab, mee siam and lor mee when you are wearing white? 
It’s true, right? When you should be eating something dainty like a cucumber sandwich, you end up at places where not ordering a “colourful” dish is NOT cool. You’re wearing your freshly dry-cleaned white shirt and your colleagues take you to No Signboard for a seafood dinner. It’s like, seriously, somebody up there is not cooperating with your wardrobe that day.

Why the most dangerous and inconsiderate drivers are always behind the wheels of a super-expensive luxury car
Do horrible drivers drive expensive cars? Or, do expensive cars make people horrible drivers? They don’t indicate when they change lanes. They honk like crazy if your “affordable” 1.2 litre is “blocking” them. But when they are in front of you, they would suddenly stop along a narrow road like East Coast Road, turn on their hazard lights, and expect everyone to go around them. Like why? Expensive cars got special rights, is it?

In the cinema, the Critic is always behind you, the Handphone Addict is in front of you, and the Latecomer is always the one with a seat in the middle of the aisle 

And he whispers to his enchanted date, “Thoooorrrrrrr …”

The Critic whispers his “intelligent” remarks to his date who seems to be clinging on to his every word. His remarks include stuff like: “Thor …” (just as Chris Hemsworth makes his appearance); “Ow …” (just as Natalie Portman discovers she had actually stabbed herself in Black Swan); “Hurhur … don’t wear the 3D glasses, everything blur … hurhur” (when he decides to just take off those darn glasses for whatever reason). Like your Conscience, his voice is always a whisper behind you. The Handphone Addict feels the social need to illuminate all around her every 10 minutes. She’s so popular that she has to let her friends know where she is and what she’s doing ever so often. She’s in front of you because she NEEDS you to be able to see that blue light coming from her iPhone. And of course, the Latecomer who is also often incontinent. Everyone’s seated comfortably and suddenly this shadow appears at the end of the aisle. He stands expectantly while everyone shifts their legs to clear the way for him to get to his middle-of-the-row seat. The worst Latecomers are also incontinent because at the MOST exciting part of the film, they would need to get out to go to the toilet.

These are just a handful of some of Life’s biggest mysteries to me. What are yours?


One Response to “Life’s Biggest Mysteries – Deborah Tan”
  1. Janice Tan says:

    Another Mystery that I encounter most of the time is that.. you were obviously in the lift with your neighbors going up to your apartment..and the neighbor would ask you really funny questions like:” Going home?” Or when you meet the neighbors again at the market, they will again ask funny questions like:” Buying vegetables?” sometimes asking the obvious kinda irritates.

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