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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A Random Encounter

  1. FADE IN


  2. Act 1


  3. EXT. PETROL-FILLING STATION - 19:15


  4. Stopping his silver coupe near an air dispenser, PETER sees "29 psi" on its screen.


  5. PETER (V.O.): Fits my coupe's tires too.


  6. Getting out, Peter grabs the dispenser hose, unscrew the cap from the tire valve on one tire.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I haven't added air to the tires for many months.


  8. Peter then attaches the hose to the valve and presses down. Then, we hear and see the tire inflating.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Good, it needs it.


  10. Having repeated the process with the other three tires, Peter looks around.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There's nothing to see here. I'd watch out the approaching cars.


  12. Act 2


  13. FLASHBACK


  14. EXT. EXPRESSWAY 28 - ROAD, AWAJI ISLAND, JAPAN - 15:30 (30 March 2023)


  15. Driving a silver sedan, Peter talks to his WIFE.


  16. PETER: Just then, we had a great time in Ritsurin Garden.


  17. WIFE: Yes, and we had Kagawa udon in the scenic Garden.


  18. PETER: Your plan to visit it before leaving Shikoku was good design.


  19. Peter checks the time on car monitor and the fuel gauge.


  20. PETER (Cont'd): I've driven for nearly two hours. Time to let you drive and to refill the car tank.


  21. Seeing a service area road sign, Peter is excited.


  22. PETER (Cont'd): In two Kms.


  23. WIFE: Yes, let's go there.


  24. After exiting, they arrive at a fork in the road.

  25. PETER: The one on the left leads to the petrol-filling station. Let's do that first.


  26. EXT. SOLATO PETROL-FILLING STATION - CONTINUOUS


  27. Having parked the car by a petrol pump, Peter opens the fuel cap.


  28. PETER (V.O.): My wife is anxious to assist.

  29. Having chosen the Regular fuel, Peter's wife grabs the handle, puts the nozzle in the hole and squeezes the handle.


  30. WIFE: Has the fuel started coming out?


  31. We hear some intermittent low noises.


  32. PETER: No...


  33. Then, a STAFF approaches and speaks Japanese to Peter and his wife.


  34. PETER (to Staff): Nihongo ga Wakarimasen.


  35. STAFF: Kado? Cash?


  36. WIFE: Cash! Full.


  37. The Staff then taps "Cash" on the pump screen.


  38. WIFE (Cont'd): Oh, I've missed this step!


  39. As Peter's wife squeezes the handle again, we hear some nggggggggg noises from the pump.


  40. PETER: It's working.


  41. Having filled up the tank, the Staff gestures to Peter's wife to insert notes into the insertion slot.


  42. WIFE: But how to get the change?


  43. Soon, a receipt with a QR code comes out from another slot. The staff then gestures to Peter's wife to have the QR code scanned by a machine nearby. We see and hear change coming out in a slot.


  44. PETER & WIFE: That's how it's done!


  45. Recalling.


  46. PETER: When we refilled the tank for the first time in a family-run petrol-filling station in a village, the couple spoiled us with full personal service!


  47. WIFE: Now's the time for us to use the toilet here.


  48. PETER: An option is for me to make a U-turn and drive to the general service area...


  49. As his wife is using the only toilet, Peter watches the Sakura blossoms nearby.


  50. PETER (V.O.): Sakura blossoms are everywhere in Japan.


  51. Later, Peter's wife observes the road signs before taking the driver seat.


  52. WIFE: The road is one-way only. You dare to drive in the opposite direction?


  53. RETURN TO PRESENT


  54. Act 3


  55. INT. PETROL-FILLING STATION - CONTINUOUS


  56. PETER (V.O.): Sometimes, one can enjoy Sakura blossoms even near a petrol-filling station in Japan.


  57. Pausing.


  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Apparently, it's a random encounter. But we know now is the Sakura blossom season here.


  59. Thinking.


  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Human's intellect has the capacity to narrate with cause-and-effect logic on whatever it encounters.


  61. FADE OUT


  62. THE END



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