Thursday, 15 October 2009

Ninth month, shambolicus vs. phenomenal

This month, the experiences have been at opposite ends of the life spectrum. You want the good news or the bad news first?


- Living on the edge in Asia's most unique city: T.O.K.Y.O.

- Going gold shopping at the infamous Poh Heng in the morning, lunching on scrumptious dumplings at the acclaimed Wah Lok (Carlton Hotel) and checking in to a two-level suite at the Fullerton Hotel in the afternoon: delectable canapes and cocktails, a delicious seafood buffet, and a champagne breakfast, served in exquisitely plush surroundings by people who take real pride in their jobs. An outstanding experience for a once in a lifetime thirtieth birthday treat.

- Thoroughly enjoying "Spot The Difference" at my colleague's wedding. Aside from the well-known dress changes and endless "yam seng's" common at a Chinese wedding, this one also came complete with a fifteen minute photo montage showing the happy couple's path to togetherness right from baby photos all the way to the pre-wedding shots taken at prime locations around Singapore. The best part, however, was the cutting of the fake cake and the ceremonious pouring of champagne down a tower of glasses. Yes, you guessed it - no cake nor a drop of champagne was served. Apparently, the couple cut into a plasticine section of an otherwise plastic cake and the champers - well, that's just for show. My fellow table mates were asking me how Chinese weddings differ from English weddings. I honestly did not know where to begin. Fundamentally, Chinese weddings are all about: family, ceremony and food (an eight course meal eaten at great speed). English weddings are about: the speeches, drinking and dancing like there's no one watching. The fact that the best man couldn't even be heard over the cacophony of chattering voices was something that would never ever happen at an English wedding. Seeing your drunk uncle parading around with his tie wrapped around his head like Rambo is something that would never ever happen at a Chinese wedding. I am hoping our wedding falls somewhere in between...

- Attending the most unique and "edgy" party since arriving in Sin City. Blackmarket selects threads from hip independent fashion labels from around the world for the in-the-know kids in Singapore. Located near the uber-trendy Haji Lane, the founders invited DJs TWOFACE to play in a space without walls right on the street. Revellers enjoyed the free vodka cocktails and coveted sunglasses from the Mystic Vintage collection that was launched that evening. Inside, we learned that each of the Orangina bottles hanging precariously from the ceiling had been consumed by the founders. Dedication to the cause. Respect.



- Lamenting the shockingly poor service that Singapore Inc. has a strong tendency to offer to its bar, restaurant and taxi clientele. Not only is it 'normal' for there to be only one trained (and trusted) cashier behind a ten barman strong bar, but the high proportion of migrant workers staffing the restaurants also means that there are often communication issues when ordering. On top of that is the frequently unreal cluelessness of taxi drivers. I already lamented this topic in month seven, and have sadly continued to experience irritating journeys during which I am not left to enjoy the ride but to act as back seat driver and teach the driver where to go. Having said that, out of bad often comes good: A Singapore Taxi Driver's Diary is a joy to read and covers the story from the perspective of an over-educated driver. Eloquently written short stories uncover the harsh economics of the job as well as the good, the bad and the evil citizens who happen to catch a ride with Mingjie Cai. I have since taken to tipping those drivers who deposit me at my destination without driving like a lost vehicle at the fairground dodgems.

As you can see, thankfully, the good is still outweighing the bad. I am managing to keep my Angry Ang Mo at bay. Coming up is a long weekend in Lombok, a roasted pig party hosted by Yours Truly, and the horrors of Halloween...

No comments: