Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Say Goodbye to Singapore

Have you all noticed a pattern? Sloth complains about my lack of recent posting, and Poof! a new post appears. I do what the pretty girls ask, always. So, if I recall correctly (and I might not, as I’m now really really old), we left off with my return to Singapore after 20-something hours in KL:

July 13, 2005

From the train station, I cabbed it back to Monkey’s place, ready for a day of just chilling out and relaxing, as I didn’t get a lot of sleep on the overnight train, and I had a 6:45 a.m. flight to Shanghai (through Hong Kong) coming up the next morning. Got back to Monkey’s place just in time to catch the beginning of The A-Team. Which rocks. I called Monkey to let him know I had arrived safely. Because I’m sure he was concerned. Concerned that I might inadvertently free the 14-year-old Filipino girl he had chained in the closet before he had a chance to make her a PB&J sandwich. Monkey informed me that his cleaning lady would be coming by to clean. I asked what time she showed up, thinking that I could just clear out of the apartment for a while and go sit by the pool, or go wander or something. Monkey told me a) he had no idea what time she showed up -- could be 5 minutes from now, or could be 4 in the afternoon; and b) I shouldn’t worry about being there when she arrived, because “I always have random people in the apartment. She’s used to it.” Of course. Of course.

I NEEDED to take a shower, so rushed in to try to make sure to at least be clothed when the cleaning lady showed up. Took a rushed dump, a rushed shower, I think I might even have rush shaved (which, in retrospect, probably wasn’t the greatest idea, as it would most certainly have freaked out the cleaning lady to find me on the bathroom floor in a pool of my own blood. Oh, wait. At Monkey’s place, that’s probably par for the course as well). Of course, then I sat and waited. And waited.

When the cleaning lady did show up, she was, as promised, not at all startled by my presence. Not because Monkey had warned her I’d be there, but just because I imagine seeing a polite, smiling white dude when you open the door to Monkey’s place is a huge relief as compared to some of the alternatives. The cleaning lady, Rose, happened to be quite pleasant. We chatted for quite a while (when she wasn’t changing her clothes in the kitchen closet) and spent some time watching Couples Fear Factor, which, coincidentally, featured a girl that Monkey and I went to High School with.

In the late afternoon, I took off and met Monkey near his office. We had made plans to meet up with Spacecake for a few drinks later in the evening. This was to be my first “blogger meeting,” which I now understand is a big deal. I was fairly sure she wasn’t any kind of serial killer, but hey, you never know. Monkey and I grabbed a quick food court dinner, and headed for New Asia Bar, where we had arranged to meet Spacecake. I had told her she’d be able to find us because we’d be “the two white guys” at the bar. But apparently this place was trendy and chichi enough that the description didn’t suffice, so Monkey described what the two of us would be wearing. There were a couple of confused phone calls, but eventually we found each other.

Spacecake was pretty much as I expected her to be. Very sweet and cute and a pleasure to spend time with. And she automatically gets bonus points for being a damned good photographer. Plus, she took Monkey in stride and somehow managed to not be offended by anything he said. Of course, she wasn’t one of the two Thai girls who he spent an hour harassing, only to have them inexplicably “disappear” when he went to the bathroom. (“I knew I shouldn’t have left. That shit happens all the time.” Swear – he said that.) I had way more beers than I had told myself I was going to. Remember, I had a 6:45 am flight the next morning. But around 10:30, I managed to convince Monkey that it was time to go. I still had to pack, and knew that staying out longer would mean more drinking, and it just would not be good. I was being a responsible adult. And I was very proud of myself.

The three of us headed back downstairs, and realized that there were very few cabs and a really long queue. Yeah, I said queue. Suck it. But they have this system in Singapore where, for an extra fee, you can call and reserve a cab, and the one they send you isn’t allowed to pick anyone else up. You can imagine how well that would work in NY – it would be like the Dr. Galakiewicz commercials: “Uh, yeah. I’m Monkey. I called for this cab.” But for the most part, it seemed to work over there. So while Spacecake and Monkey arranged for cabs, I went back upstairs to pee again. We parted ways with Spacecake (who, incredibly cutely, called a few minutes later to apologize for being on her cell phone when Monkey and I got into the cab and not engaging in what she considered to be a proper goodbye), and headed for home.

Except no we didn’t. I knew enough about Singapore from my time there to know that the destination Monkey gave the cab driver was not his place. He said that I couldn’t leave Singapore without experiencing the nightlife on Mohammed Sultan Road. He insisted that we make “1 more stop.” When in the jungle . . . . So, we hit the strip of bars which is, I gather, one of the happening areas. We hadn’t even entered a bar before Monkey was trying to get the phone number of one of the girls who was standing outside pitching a particular bar. In his version of playing hard to get, Monkey said we weren’t gonna go into her bar right away, but maybe later. So we headed across the street. To a bar called “CU.” Which, according to Monkey (and more reputable sources), used to be called “Coyote Ugly” until they got the cease and desist letter from fucking Disney or whoever owns the rights to that nightmare. The place was more like the NY original than the one at New York New York in Vegas is. Except for all the girls being Asian that is.

I had told Monkey going in that I was having one beer and going home. That’s not a threat to Monkey; we all know that he has no problem staying out by himself. So I ordered my beer. And sat down. And watched some of the girls dancing on the bar. And ordered another beer. And next thing I knew, I found myself being dragged up on top of the bar and dancing with one of the girls. And leaning backwards over the bar having tequila poured down my throat. Not necessarily in that order. Guess who that’s very not! Right, me!! At least I have something to fall back on if this whole . . . anything else doesn’t work out.

After my turn on the main stage (I perform under the name “Raven”), I decided I reall needed to go home and pack. So I left Monkey right there and hopped in a cab. I got home sometime between 12:30 and 1. Knew I had to call a cab for the trip to the airport in the morning. I set the pickup for 4:45. 4:45 in the morning. Which meant I had to be awake at 4, at the absolute latest. So I stole Monkey’s alarm clock, figuring there was a 50/50 shot he still wouldn’t be home by the time I had to leave. But he showed up around 3:15. Alone. It’s a good thing, too, because he was out of eggs.