Singapore. Chris and Lisa’s house – November 21, 2004

Arrived in Singapore from Taipei around noon local time. The plane decided to go on an extended tour of the Changi Airport gates. Normally not an issue, but after 24 hours plus in airports and planes, I was almost about to snap off my seatbelt and somehow crawl through the porthole. Just as I was contemplating how to pry open the window, we docked. Probably a good thing. I also hadn’t figured out how to explain my lapse of sanity.

I love Singapore Airport. The immigration officials give you sweets and it has a modern duty free (take that LAX) with Laphroig. Chris will be happy. And, oh my lord, my luggage is here. I can honestly say this is the first international trip with Air Canada involved that I have not been plotting their demise at the end. Could this finally be the end of my curse?

So out of the airport, now how to find Chris and Lisa? Quick call and a plan is set — I got to find a taxi.

Twice today taxis scared me in S’pore. Twice, I, the most directionally challenged compared to a) the driver and b) the person living in the city, was forced to direct a taxi. The first involved numerous calls to Chris and the use of a map with which I used to guide the driver. Hmmm.

Arriving at Chris’, Mike is already here safe and sound from Montreal. Chris and Lisa had been partying the night before with their Dragon boat team. They were feeling “poorlyî.

Despite video evidence to the contrary, which I maintain was doctored by Herr Mannion, Minister of Propaganda, the two forced me to down a fortune cookie and make me swallow my fortune. The bastards.

I wonder what my fortune said. Several suggestions included:

“This fortune is poisonedî or “You will win a million dollars. Void if swallowedî.

Personally, I was more distraught at the thought of passing my fortune in the morning in the toilet. What exactly that means in karmic and cosmic terms I am unsure.

After a shower and a shave which left me feeling human again, I made plans to meet my Uncle and Aunt at their place for supper. Mike, Chris, Lisa and I went in search of vittles and drinks.

Singapore is definitely an expensive city though public transport is very cheap. Mike put it best — “probably a great city to live in, not so fantastic for a touristî.

Despite Chris’ best efforts, he was unable to procure a large pink balloon by trying to tell the balloonmeister that it was my birthday. Chris is trying his damndest to embarrass me. The bastard.

After margaritas at Cafe Iguana (the house of a hundred Tequilas ñ mmmmm) we went to see the closing dragon boat races. Chris and I limbo under a “Low Bridgeî. Mike and Lisa are beginning to be embarrassed by Chris and I. I blame Chris. The Bastard.

Cool to see dragon boating in asia, especially now that I’ve been involved in it. Chris and I were almost like golf commentators:

“Oh my what a lovely stroke.î
“Yes Chris, aren’t they paddling all together beatifully?î
“Very well times indeed.î
“Oh that fifth person is kind of off…î
“Will they pull it off?î
“Unsure, oh here they go…î

After watching a couple of exquisite races, I was off and running to the MRT (S’pore underground) for my journey to my Uncle’s place. I naturally embarrassed myself some more as I tried to find the hole in the turnstile to input the MRT card I had just purchased. I finally realized that it’s security card ñ you simply touch the turnstile. Sigh.

Uncle and Auntie haven’t changed at all. 10-year-old Malin is now 17 and taller than me. Hard to even recognize, and he’ll be in Uni next year. Yikes, I’m getting old. A fantastic meal ensued and then finally back to Chris’.

Nine hours after arriving in S’pore, the jetlag finally hits in the MRT. It was all I could do from passing out. In fact later sitting on the floor playing with the cat I did pass out only to be woken to giggling and Chris and Lisa tickling my feet. Bastards. Actually not Lisa. Chris is a bastard.

Finally Sleep!


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