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from the August 2018 issue

A Gambling World

大世界娛樂場

A couple bets on success in the casino industry in Koh Choon Eiow and Mok Sio Chong’s play.

 

 

Read by Ma Wal-in and Koh Choon Eiow in Mandarin and Cantonese.

CHORUS     His name is Ken. He’s from Muar, Johor State, Malaysia, Southeast Asia. He came to work in Macau a year ago.

                     He came to Macau a year ago, to work as a casino fixer.

                     Ferry tickets, hired cars, hotel reservations, route planning, keeping clients company.

                     On call twenty-four hours a day.

                     Always by your side, keeping you happy...

 

CHORUS      Ken’s girlfriend is Sara, Macau born and bred.

                      She’s studying hotel management.

                      Became a casino promoter in her first year of college.

                      One of those girls you see at customs and the ferry terminal, with the good-fortune cars.

                      Bet, call, hit, double, split.

                      Time for a commercial break. Here is Ken and Sara’s Macau love story.

 

Ken and Sara at their separate jobs, speaking to each other across the stage.

 

SARA            Hey, Ken, Malaysia has casinos, too. Why aren’t you working at Genting?

KEN              Genting is boring, and if I were there, I wouldn’t have met you.

SARA            Silly.

 

SARA          Hey, Ken, Singapore has casinos, too. Didn’t you say everyone from southern Malaysia ends up working in Singapore?

KEN            Singapore is boring, and if I were there, I wouldn’t have met you.

SARA          Silly.

 

CHORUS     Their words are full of joy-nuggets.

                     Joy-nuggets?

                     Small, concrete pieces of happiness. Murakami said:

                    “A person with no dreams is no different from a piece of salted fish.”

                    No, that was Stephen Chow.

                    Oh.

                    Without these joy-nuggets, life would be a barren desert.

 

KEN             Look.

SARA           Wow, a Rolex! Gorgeous!

KEN             I’ve just paid off my student loans, so I bought this to celebrate. Am I swell?

SARA          So swell you’re fit to burst! What about me?

KEN            Next, I’m saving for a round-the-world trip.

SARA         That’s my dream too. I don’t want to be stuck in Macau, I want to go everywhere.

KEN            Good. We’ll go together, when I’ve earned enough.

SARA          We’ll ride a hot-air balloon round the world!

KEN             Yes! When we have money, we’ll ride anything we want!

SARA          Then I want a horse-drawn carriage!

KEN             All right, I’ll get you one of those Cinderella coaches!

SARA          So cool! I’ll die of happiness.

KEN            This world is our pleasure palace.

 

CHORUS     Ken and Sara are in an oasis.

                     In order to find the joy-nuggets of life, we need a certain amount of something like self-restraint.

                     Self-restraint?

                     Murakami again.

                     Like if I hand you a glass of water, it’s nothing special. But if you’ve been jogging and you’re dying of thirst, then I hand you one—

                     Wow, this is amazing!

                     I understand. You have to give up in order to gain. It’s only valuable if there’s a price.

                     I understand. You have to put up with suffering today for happiness tomorrow.

                     I understand, self-restraint, or in a word—

                     Endurance.

 

Customers try to get Ken’s attention.

 

CHORUS    Ken! Kenny! Hey, Ken boy . . .

KEN            OK, OK. A coffee, beef noodles? I’ll get that for you, Miss!

                    OK, OK, LV, Gucci? All yours. 

                    OK, OK, I’ll deal with it, you keep playing. I hope you win!

                    OK, OK, the hotel’s booked, everything’s arranged. Don’t worry, it won’t be a northern girl, I’ll get you a Korean. Gwiyomi!

                    OK, OK, it’s that time of month? No problem, no problem, I’ll go get you one. Back in a minute.

 

SARA          Why aren’t you answering my calls?

KEN             I’m busy. 

SARA          You don’t care. 

KEN             Not true.

SARA           I saw on the news that a woman . . . she jumped . . . from the old Hotel Grande.

KEN             Oh.

SARA           The building’s been closed a long time. How did she get in?

KEN             She had two legs, she walked.

SARA           You don’t find it strange?

KEN             You think they hauled her up there, then she jumped?

SARA           The building’s boarded up. How did she get to the roof?

KEN             What’s your point?

SARA           I heard that people used to jump from there all the time.

KEN             You think it’s haunted?

SARA          Aren’t you frightened?

KEN             People die every day. They jump off buildings, drown themselves, hang themselves, take pills, slit their wrists. One more death or one less makes no difference to the world. Earlier today, a customer lost everything, howled and wailed and wanted to die. Luckily the security guards got him outside quickly. Just a little fuss, then it was like nothing had happened. Everyone went on gambling. (pause) I tell you, people at these casinos only think of winning. It’s only when they wake up that they realize they can’t afford to lose. You need money to be here. When the money’s gone, you get thrown out like trash. Garbage. Lucky I don’t gamble. (pause) Was she from Macau?

SARA           No.

KEN             Malaysian, like me?

SARA          Taiwanese. Didn’t leave a note.

KEN            Oh.

 

Silence.

 

SARA            Ken, Macau’s so small, and though we’re together, this feels like a long-distance relationship. Don’t you think?

KEN               It’s like that for everyone.

SARA             I want to go to your place tonight.

KEN               No way, the landlady doesn’t like me bringing people home. Didn’t you have another promoting job?

SARA             Yes, I shouldn’t have signed with two companies, it’s too much! Holding up all those signs, smiling constantly. My classmate works at the racecourse. Only works three nights a week, and there’s air conditioning. So much better.

KEN                But sweetheart, she earns much less than you.

SARA              That’s true.

 

Silence.

 

SARA            Macau is so fucking boring.

KEN              I know, I know. Didn’t we say, just a few more years, till we’ve saved enough. Macau has so much money. We should earn while we’re young. Anyway you haven’t even graduated yet.

SARA            When I finish school, I’ll go full-time, and then I’ll never leave.

KEN              So quit your job.

SARA            I can’t, everyone wants this job, there’s a long line of people waiting for me to go.

KEN              Then let’s have some fun before you go full-time.

SARA.           Where?

KEN               If we have money, we can go anywhere.

SARA            I don’t want to go to Malaysia.

KEN              Malaysia’s fucking boring too.

SARA            I want to go to Europe.

KEN              Great, Europe is bankrupt now, they have even less money than we do. We’ll go live there when we’ve earned enough.

SARA            I want to go to Poland, the city of music.

KEN              Darling, the city of music is Venice.

SARA            When we have money, Poland will be the city of music if I say it is.

KEN              OK, we’ll live in Poland.

SARA            Amazing. I’ll study music . . .

KEN               I’ll learn to paint . . .

SARA             We’ll get married …

KEN               We’ll live together . . .

SARA             We’ll have a little baby . . .

KEN               It will be just the two of us . . .

SARA            We’ll be so happy . . .

KEN              We’ll be so happy . . .

 

© Koh Choon Eiow and Mok Sio. By arrangement with the authors. Translation © 2018 by Jeremy Tiang. All rights reserved.

大世界娛樂場

歌隊:他叫阿Ken。他來自東南亞,馬來西亞,柔佛州,麻坡。他一年前來到澳門工作……

-佢一年前來到澳門做野,疊馬仔,攞船飛,揸車接送,攞房,陪客玩,24小時on call……

-全日貼身,令人放心。

歌隊:Ken的女友叫Sara,澳門人,土生土長

-讀緊酒店管理。大一開始就加入賭場禮賓大使嘅行列。

-promoter.

-即係企喺關閘同碼頭既發財車女仔。

-bet, call, hit, double, split.

-廣告時間,Ken同Sara既澳門愛情故事。

 

5.澳門愛情故事1

 

兩人一邊進行工作,一邊遠距離對話。

 

Sara:Ken啊,其實馬來西亞也有賭場啊,你怎麼不去雲頂做?

Ken:雲頂很悶的,我去雲頂做,我就遇不到你啦。

Sara:嗯,好衰架。

 

Sara:Ken啊,新加坡現在也開賭場啦,你不是告訴我你們住南部的都會跑去新加坡工作嗎?

Ken:新加坡很悶的,我去新加坡做,我就遇不到你啦。

Sara:嗯,好衰架。

 

歌隊:他們的對話洋溢著一份小確幸。

-小確幸?

-一份微小但確卻的幸福,村上春樹說:

-做人如果冇夢想,同條鹹魚有咩分別。

-那是周星馳說的。

-喔。

-如果沒有這種小確幸,人生只不過像乾巴巴的沙漠而已。

 

Ken:你看看。

Sara:嘩,Lo喎,好型呀!

Ken:我剛剛還清學貸,就買了隻Lo來爽一下。我叻唔叻仔?

Sara:叻到爆啦,咁我呢--

Ken:我跟你說,下一步,我就存錢環遊世界。

Sara:嘩,那也是我的夢想,我不想留在澳門,我要到處去走走。

Ken:好。等我們賺夠了,我們一起走。

Sara:我們要坐熱氣球環遊世界!

Ken:好啊!有錢的話,坐甚麼都可以!

Sara:那我要坐馬車!

Ken:好啊!弄個南瓜車給你爽不爽。

Sara:冧到爆,幸福到死。

Ken:這個世界是我們的娛樂場。

 

-Ken和Sara兩個人正在綠洲。

-為了找出個人生活中的小確幸,還是需要或多或少有類似自我節制的東西

-自我節制?

-也是村上春樹講嘅。

-明左。比如話畀杯水你,你唔覺得有幾巴閉,但係到你跑到索曬氣就來死,再畀杯水你呢

-嘩,好幸福啊。

-明白,為了得到,必須付出。有代價,才會珍惜。

-明白,為了明天的幸福,你得承受今天的痛苦。

-明白,自我節制,一個字……

-忍。

 

數名客戶叫Ken過來。

 

歌隊:Ken仔,阿Ken,Ken哥哥……

Ken:我知我知,口渴,奶茶、咖啡、礦泉水?我幫您叫,姐姐!

-我知我知,您肚子餓,中式西式?三明治?乾炒牛河?我幫您叫,姐姐!

-我知我知,我幫您處理好,您專心玩,贏多點啊。

-我知我知,酒店已經訂好,一切安排好,放心,不會是北妹,韓國妹,Gwiyomi。

-我知我知,啊,大姨媽到……沒問題沒問題,我幫您買,馬上去馬上回。

 

Sara:怎麼一直不聽我電話?

Ken:忙啊。

Sara:喔。你不開心。

Ken:沒有呀。

Sara:我剛剛看到一個新聞,有個女人……跳樓……在舊國際酒店……

Ken:喔。

Sara:明明關了很久,她怎麼上去的?

Ken:兩條腿走上去啊。

Sara:不是啊,你不覺得很怪嗎?

Ken:所以她是被吊上去然後再跳下來?

Sara:不是啊,這間酒店已經圍了板,她怎麼有可能上到天台?

Ken:所以你的重點是?

Sara:聽說這間酒店以前也常常有人跳樓……

Ken:你想說鬧鬼是吧。

Sara:你不覺得很恐怖嗎?

Ken:每天都有人死,跳樓死,跳海死,要不然上吊死,吞藥死,割脈死,死多一個死少一個這世界也沒什麼差別,剛才這裡有個客人輸光了,就哭著要去死,還好,幾個「實Q」把他拉了出去,大家只是亂一下,就像甚麼事也沒有發生,繼續賭。(頓)我跟你講,來賭場的人只想要贏,醒過來的時候,才發現他們輸不起。這裡要的是錢,沒錢的就跟垃圾一樣請出去。臭雞掰,還好,我不賭。(頓)她是澳門人?

Sara:不是。

Ken:我同鄉?

Sara:不是。台灣人,現場沒有遺書。

Ken:喔。

 

沉默。

 

Sara:Ken,你不覺得澳門這麼小,我們明明在一起,卻好像在遠距離戀愛一樣。

Ken:大家都是這樣,不是嗎?

Sara:今晚我想去你那。

Ken:不要啦,房東不喜歡我帶人回家。你不是還要去另一家做promoter?

Sara:嗯,早知道不要同時接兩家,企咁耐好攰架麻!又要拿牌子又要笑,我同學啊都去馬場做投注員,一個禮拜做三晚,又有冷氣嘆,不知幾爽。

Ken:親愛的,可是她賺的沒有你多。

Sara:咁又係。

 

沉默。

 

Sara:澳門好Q悶啊。

Ken:我知我知,我們不是說過嗎,多做幾年,存多點錢,澳門這麼好賺,我們當然要乘年輕加碼,賺多點,而且你也還沒畢業。

Sara:我畢業後就做全職,就跑不了啦。

Ken:那就不要做這份工作。

Sara:不行啊,這份工作人工高,很多人排隊搶著做。

Ken:那做正職前我們去玩。

Sara:去哪玩?

Ken:有錢的話,去哪都可以。

Sara:我不想去馬來西亞。

Ken:馬來西亞好Q悶啊。

Sara:我想去歐洲。

Ken:好啊,歐洲現在破產,他們比我們還窮,我們賺夠了去那邊住。

Sara:好啊,我想去音樂之都,我想住波蘭很久了。

Ken:親愛的,音樂之都是威尼斯。

Sara:咄,我們有錢,我們想叫波蘭是音樂之都,波蘭就是音樂之都。

Ken:好啊,我們就去波蘭住。

Sara:好啊,冧死,我要學音樂……

Ken:我要學畫畫……

Sara:我們會結婚……

Ken:我們會同居……

Sara:我們會生幾個小bb……

Ken:我們會過快樂的二人世界……

Sara:我們會很幸福……

Ken:我們會很幸福……

 

歌隊:

- Sara相信生活中的小確幸是很重要。

- Sara知道Ken賺夠錢後就會走,佢地會分手,然後唔會再聯絡。

- Sara明白,有啲野唔使講得咁白。

-廣告時間,發達秘笈。

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