There were once two girlfriends, child free and deliciously irresponsible, sitting on a train that was going nowhere. Oh, they bought tickets to somewhere, but efficient, no gum on the pavements, tie your laces, mind your manners Singapore somehow managed to have a train that was not running on schedule. Their train sat obstinately idle between two stations, rebelling from its clipped timetabled surroundings. Or waiting for another train to pass or a change of signal. Or perhaps it was waiting for the will to continue down the track.
The girls were not bothered. The destination was never the point anyway. They just liked the movement. And they had both seen the zoo before.
So there they sat, drinking in scenes outside the graffiti free windows, shoving each other playfully and saying things like, "Wouldn't it be great if you could get a seat like this on the trains in Hong Kong?"
They both worked there, slaving away behind bars... actually, that's not true. They both worked there loving most minutes of teaching at an international school. But carrying on a love/hate type affair with the city of people, people and more people. The city that never found cause to sleep, or even bow its head in rest, unless of course you counted the napping Chinese lucky enough to be sitting down on some form of public transport.
"If I were queen we would both always get seats on the train," said the first girl.
"If you were queen?" The second girl laughed.
"Okay then, you can be queen too. What would you do if the world was yours?"
"I am queen and the whole world is mine?"
"Yep, the whole world." She stretched her arms wide.
"Do I have to keep Hong Kong on the planet?"
They both laughed at that one, because without their city of taxis and dripping air conditioning systems they would never have found each other.
"Seriously. What would you do if the world was yours?" the first girl asked again.
The train started moving some time after. It must have. But neither of the girls noticed the clean streets going by. The world was been re-planned. Whole systems of politics and organizations with steel teeth and large appetites were being destroyed. The starving were fed and the the homeless housed. Because naturally the Hurting and Hopeless were top priority.
The two young queens dreamed in animated conversation. Lengthy dreams that would turn presidents grey with the weight of expectation.
Simple dreams where grass grew right down the middle of tree lined streets and every man held the door open for every lady. Where roses in vases where mandatory and queuing in lines completely banned.
And lastly, before they stepped off that Singapore train, they turned to each other and said, "we would always get a seat on the trains in Hong Kong."
They were queens after all.
What about you? Do you remember a time when you dreamed that the whole world was yours? Do you need to dream again?
BTW- True story. Ode to my girlfriend Michelle and all her fantastical questions :) Remember when we dreamed the world was ours?