On Thursday we took a trip to Singapore to perform at Books Actually a gig which had been organised for us by Shu.
So its a six our bus trip on the Super Nice Bus……..yeah the bus is super nice, it sure beats the hell out of the 212 Derry/Belfast Express. The seats are proper plush seats, Business Class style with seat belts and a little TV and footrests and plenty of room for lazing back, gazing out the window at the stunning scenery. But the terrible thing was they had no toilet on the bus and they lied about it….twice. We asked about it on both legs of the journey and in the case of the return leg we were told “Yes, but only after customs and only for urines” which made us laugh – I certainly wasn’t laughing 3 hours later after sleeping through one of the toilet stops (they didn’t believe in making announcements) when I would have sold my soul for a toilet.
Arriving into Singapore, I was struck by the beauty of it. The buildings are stunning, no litter, beautiful plants along the side of the highways. It was like a film set, calm serene and perfect. After the hustle and bustle of KL, this was an oasis of peace. After staggering off the bus, heading for the toilet, a meal and the nearest juice bar to restock, we met Shu who would take us to our Hostel. We first met Shu two years ago in Perth, and he recently visited Belfast to read at the launch party of Di-Verse. He is a very fine Singaporian poet who won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2006 and we were delighted that he put us on at one of his Subtext events. The event was held at Books Actually, a dinky little bookshop in downtown. We arrived and were on straight away. It went down really well, the crowd were lovely, stayed around afterwards, bought books and we really enjoyed chatting to them.
On the way back to our Mount Emily Hostel Bob and I decided to have a drink at Clark Quay. Well one drink turned into loads more not surprisingly. I can’t remember the name of the bar but I can recommend their Frosted Jade Cocktails. Yummy. Bob even tried one despite him looking like a fruit. 😉
Next night we had been invited by one of the audience from the night before to go to a 4th of July party, thrown by a group of ex-pats. It was interesting to say the least. We were taking bets in the car about how stereotypically American it would be and I won, as when we walked in there was Top Gun playing on the wide screen TV…my predication! We left after a few hours and then the party really started as Bob and I decided Chelley and Ellen really should met our new friends Frosted Jade and Rusty Nail from the night before. After several drinks of course things deteriorated and I discovered I CANNOT tie a cherry stalk in a knot with my tongue. Bob can and Chelley can but I can’t. I am weirdly upset about it. Of course the more we drank the harder and more ridiculous it became. It is now on my list of things to do!
The next day hungover and bleary we travelled back to KL and made it just in time for the Saturday night cook-out and night out. We sat downstairs, ate BBQ and drank Mojitos out of buckets and then went out on the rip. We ended up in a club called Maison on Asian Heritage Road. It was weird, I didn’t expect to come all the way to KL and end up in Sugar on Saturday night! In saying that the craic was good, the two free bottles of Smirnoff we got on entry helped and it was interesting to see the inside of a club in KL.
The next day was check out day. We left our luggage and wandered round town, going down to Petronus Towers and missing the last of the days tickets by a few minutes which was a bummer. Before we knew it, it was time to begin the long monorail/train trip to the Airport to catch our flight to New Zealand.
More to follow.