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Friday, December 16, 2016

Can I take a photo of you?

This morning, in the tram on my way to catch the bus to driving school, I was just stand-sitting against the butt perch (those high cushions around butt-height that let you stand up but sit your butt down at the same time), looking around at the different people around me. There were some interesting people, like this one old lady in a shiny leapord print jacket, orange hair and a red scarf made out of what looked like cat balls.

There was also this young man with a very nice wool jacket that had a colourful pine tree motif against a navy blue background. And there were three babies in prams in the tram too. There were handsome and pretty looking teenagers and there were the other teenagers, each equally interesting and boring in their own uniquely similar way.

There must have been interesting sights right in front of me, because I didn't look to my left until I was just one stop away from my stop. Then I saw this one girl, probably in her 20s, wearing what looked like a graduation robe. A purple graduation robe! With silver trimming. It was flowy, and it looked so beautiful in the way it complemented her orange-brown hair which didn't seem partiularly coiffed, but reminded me of a slender Hermione Granger. She had a short skirt on, and black stockings, and some polite black shoes. She had a white shirt, and an exquisite necktie with a floral pattern decorated with some vine-like motif in gold and silver thread. If she had a graduation cap on, I'd be sure that's what she was going to.

But then I thought "who graduates in December?" And that's when it all clicked in my head. Of course, she must be a wizard! The orange hair, Hermione Granger, black stockings, the fancy necktie, graduating in December. It would also explain why she wasn't wearing a graduation cap. She was going to put on her wizard hat once she got to Wizard School, obviously.

She was looking out the window, one elbow rested against the glass, her hand to her chin. Her other arm was wrapped around this huge hardcover book with a scholarly looking cover on it. It was upside-down, so I didn't make the effort to read the title. But it looked pretty and intelligent at the same time. And that's when I thought "Oh, maybe she's a judge! And that's her book of law." Now that I think about it again, she did seem a bit young to be a judge, but it doesn't matter now. I'd made up my mind that that must be what she is. It's more plausible than wizard anyway.

Immediately I saw a perfect Instagram photo op. I'd take her photo and caption it "Hakim". Because that's the Malay word for judge you see, and also my name. How clever! I'd get at least 7 likes for a photo with a clever caption like that! So I got off my butt and approached her, all while getting my phone out, ready to snap a photo.

But as I got closer, I hesitated. "I'd have to ask her. I mean, there's no way I can just discretely get one without her noticing. Meh, she's got her earphones in, she wouldn't want to be disturbed. Plus, I'm nearly at my stop." And so I just stood there, phone in hand, not getting a photo of this wizard judge lady.

And then my stop was announced, and the tram stopped. The door opened, but I didn't get down right away. I looked at the door, then at her, then back at the door, and I thought "She's holding that book. It's not even the right side up. And she's got earphones in, and she looks like a Wizard. And a judge. She looks so intelligent with that huge book, but she's holding it upside down. That would be a photo with so many interpretations. Nobody would know what they were looking at. It would be worth more than a thousand words! If I don't at least try to get this photo, I'll regret it." So I went up to her, and I said "Could I take a picture of you?"

She didn't hear me. She took off her earphones and said "Pardon?" And so, just as my brain was going "Oh shit. French now", I said "Je peux vous prendre en photo s'il vous plaƮt ?"

She said "non." So I said "Oh, non ? Ok.", as I thought "Well, at least I asked", followed up very quickly with "Oh crap. Now I'm going to miss the bus, and all for nothing". So I turned around as quick as lighting, and noticing the doors just closing, exclaimed "Whoa!" and made a dash for the door and quickly pressed the button to open them up again.

Doors opened, I quickly turned around to smile and wave goodbye at the young judge who wouldn't be photographed. As soon as she waved back, I turned around and ran. Ran to catch the bus. Which I missed in the end, but hey, at least I gave it a try.

I really wish I got that photo though. It would have been beautiful. But it's okay. I tried. But now I can't help but wonder what the experience was like from her point of view. I mean, this strange guy just walks up to her, asks to take her photo, doesn't get it and proceeeds to run from the tram as fast as he can.

I hope she took it well. Or that she at least found it funny. I hope I meet her again, if only to explain why I wanted to photograph her. Maybe even to get the photograph. But even just to tell her this story would be great. I mean, I didn't even so much as say hello to her. Or goodbye. All I did was let her watch as I ran away.

Here's a sketch I did of her.

It doesn't do reality justice though. I didn't capture all the details in my drawing. It's really the details that would have made the picture great. The embroidery and the silver trimmings of the gown, the beautiful purple colour of it, and most striking of all, that amazing necktie. I want that necktie. I've never been jealous of a girl's necktie before.

Oh well, if anyone can recognize her from my sketch, please do help me find this wizard judge lady so I can put her on Instagram.

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