Saturday, August 27, 2005

Etc. Etc.

So, I've delayed posting about the rest of the trip. Partly due to a bank account- liver- and soul-crushing trip to Vegas, and partly because the Monkey exploits are over; the rest of the trip will likely prove boring by comparison. That's the end of the hooker stories. Or, at least of the stories where one of them actually ends up in my hotel room. Nevertheless, I made a promise to complete the saga of my trip. So, onward.

July 11, 2005

Having gotten back from Bangkok lateish, and still recovering from all that I had seen and heard while there, I slept in on Monday morning, while Monkey (eventually) went to work. I knew that the day of reckoning had come as far as going back to confront the ripoff artist who had conned me into buying the 2 suits. OK, so nobody conned me into anything, and it was my own sheer stupidity that got me screwed, but it kinda makes me feel better to turn it into a conspiracy. I was dreading going back, as I could still envision Master Dino and Bobby the motorbike-riding Korean tailor laughing at the Stupid American Infidel (me) over a pot of some sort of fancy tea. So, after watching the A-Team (maybe I COULD live abroad), I headed back for Chinatown. Furthering the procrastination, I grabbed lunch at what looked to be a decent "locals" Chinese place. It was pretty good, but already having a bad taste in my mouth from the ass-fucking I knew I was in for from the suit guy (metaphorical only, I hoped), the black pepper chicken probably wasn't the best choice.

Paid the check, and headed back to the shop. Once they realized I wasn't a moron coming in off the street to whom they could sell a bunch of burlap sacks for $2000, but rather a moron who had already paid $2000 for said sacks, I got the royal treatment. My finery was presented to me as though on a silver platter. Master Dino had me try on both suits and one shirt. And then he had me pose for pictures to be placed on his wall of fame. I explained that I was nobody of note, and saying "LiAps bought suits here" wouldn't get him much in the way of admiration. He mumbled something about my "body type" being spectacular. I fully expect to see my face on some Egyptian porn sites any day now.

I'm no expert on fabric, but I got a little nervous feeling the suits and the shirts. Everything actually fit pretty well, but I was still convinced it was made like shit and would fall apart after one dry cleaning - there were lots of loose threads hanging off the shirts (which Master Dino said would "come out in the wash"), etc. Now, part of the deal was that I would be able to choose 3 ties from Dino's extensive selection of cellophane wrapped neckwear. You know the kind of rack that's featured at every shitty corner souvenir store in NY - "Silk Ties $3; 4 for $10!" I made a showing of trying to match up ties with the shirts I had made. And Dino made a show of trying to help, expert that he was. And then, in flipping through the ties on the rack, I came across the item that truly summed up this whole suit-making fiasco. The tie featuring the Computer City logo print. Any shred of respectability and legitimacy that Master Dino had left to cling to in my eyes was gone. To the point where I actually said to him, "You know, if you want to be taken seriously, you should probably take this one off your rack." He smiled and nodded and pretended not to understand, or just ignored the comment very well. In the end, he threw in an extra tie, so really it all worked out.

Suits in hand, I grabbed a cab back to Monkey's place. I was still tired, and honestly felt like there wasn't that much left to see in Singapore. So I chilled out in the AC, and caught up on email and blogging (caught up being a relative term, I guess, since I'm first writing about that day a month and a half later). Met Monkey for dinner. We went to one of Singapore's (in)famous [that's like MORE than famous] outdoor food courts. Other than the fact that I spent a good portion of the meal dodging roaches, it was all good. When we got back to Monkey's he and I embarked on our planned "MP3 exchange," whereby we would each add songs from the other's music library to our respective computers. We stayed up until 3 am doing this (despite the fact that I was to leave for Kuala Lumpur on the 8:30 am train), and in the end, he took a ton of songs from me, I took none from him, and he managed to fuck up my computer in ways that I'm still trying to fix - every time he copied a song, it resulted in 2 and sometimes 3 extra copies of the song somehow ending up in my itunes library. Have I mentioned that Monkey works in IT??

Kuala Lumpur details to follow (the picture above being a mere teaser).