Monday, 15 February 2010

Thirteenth month, sail away

Now that the year anniversary has passed and all of the associated excitement has died down, this month, we have mostly been:

- Applying for PR. After waiting for no less than two months for an appointment to submit my passport, originals of my birth certificate and university transcripts; evidence of salary for the last six months; and a completed Form 4, I finally applied for permanent residence in Singapore. Sadly, the much-anticipated 'interview' (and endless goadings from my colleagues that I would be asked to sing the National Anthem or interpret some Singlish phrases, like "Mee Mare Mew" = "Big Mac Meal"), turned out to be a damp squib; the appointment was over in less than ten minutes. I handed over my documents to the robotron who duly ticked off my items from the checklist and informed me that it would take three months to process. No handshake, no free cup of Milo, not even a sticker. I exited the building feeling distinctly anticlimactic.

Still perfecting the words to this one.

The Godfather (of Techno).

- Seeing Sven Väth at Zouk. Revered by many as 'The Godfather of Techno', Mr Väth kept us on our techno toes for a couple of hours before the enormous quantities of alcohol consumed started to soak into our lower limbs, making them heavy and not fit for the purpose of throwing shapes. I have begun to wonder, though, whether I really enjoy going out clubbing in Singapore full stop. Zouk tends to pull in a veritably young crowd; there are distinctly more older clubbers in London. In addition, there is a certain 'je ne sais quoi' lacking in the atmosphere. With so many of the 'see and be seen' crowd out in full force, one has to wonder what percentage of people are really there for the music. When there are twice as many girls in the toilets applying make-up and re-touching their locks than there relieving themselves, something tells me these ladies are not getting down and dirty to the twitchy clicks and thumping bass. Ravers these ain't.

- Being amazed at Thaipusam. Now, I am no sadist, especially not during the weekdays. However, the last Saturday of January was the perfect time to enjoy watching a seemingly endless procession of skewered Hindus parade before our eyes on Serangoon Road. Aside from the multi-coloured cages carried by the older members of the procession, my favourite adornments were the milk bottles and large limes. I find it's always good to have a metal skewer through the tongue too, and even better if it's connected by chains to one's ears. Awesomely gruesome.

Well and truly skewered.

Anyone got any limes?

- Becoming catamoronic. There is nothing I like better than to do things in Singapore that we would never do in London. Grab eighteen of your booze guzzling friends and spend the afternoon on a luxury catamaran - docking on a quiet part of St. John's Island, lining your stomachs with a BBQ cooked on board, whacking up the volume on the iPod and messing about on the water. Ultimate bliss, followed by utter carnage, via the port of sunburn. Supreme.

- Joining The Line. By far and away the winner when it comes to the art of the buffet. The Line has an abundant spread covering every corner of the world. Notable items for me included: oysters shucked before your eyes; sashimi sliced on the spot; the satay station; the dim sum tower; the ice cream teppanyaki and of course, the Veuve Clicquot. Yes, it's expensive; No, I wouldn't go there every weekend. But, if you're after delectable world cuisine on tap, you would be foolhardy to miss this spread. Proponents of putting an end to world hunger need not apply.

- Feeling 'cultured' for once. Exhibition gatherings are something I particularly miss about living in London. Gone are the days when a Thursday evening means swinging by a local East End gallery, grabbing a free beer, taking a look at some art and perhaps meeting a handful of like-minded people. Thankfully, Give Art Gallery came to our rescue with the launch party for Florence Notté's book, Urban Reflects. The book comprises of forty pages of photographs taken from Florence's condominium window of the reflections in the opposite tower's windows, somewhat inspired by David Hockey's famous swimming pool paintings from the 1960's. A little break from the norm. More of this, please, Singapore!

- Celebrating Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year in The Philippines!

Next up is yet another boat party, more house parties, pot luck dinners and hanging in our 'hood. Tiong Bahru life has been progressively getting better and better. Now that we have a central space to chill out, look at sculptures, read books, and enjoy stimulating conversations, we are feeling very 'at home' indeed.

No comments: