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Published: March 12th 2011
She jumps urgently to the side as a horny hand reaches out from the masses of a Little India Sunday gathering and grabs her ass. Her eyes begin to steam over like a pressure cooker and I am half expecting lightning to come out of them and find and strike the offender. Then a white blob drops onto her shoulder. I look up but there doesn't appear to be anybody wanking in the windows above. I make use of the anger that has momentarily paralyzed her, to more closely examine the liquid. It appears to be bird shit but I'm not going to deal with it - I'm too busy laughing and snapping photographs. R., the Scandinavian gentleman that he is, finds a tissue and wipes it off.
For anyone travelling overland in this part of Asia, Singapore is literally the end of the road. You'll have emptied your buckets of cheap liquor on Thai beaches, taken a picture in front of the former tallest building in the world in Malaysia and then you reach the Merlion
state. Yes, that's the place that used to be a malarial swamp and a pirate hangout before they cleaned up their act, became
all righteous and decided to cater to families and banks, though not necessarily in that order. But let's not get ahead of the story.
Rewind the clock a few days and R. and I are about to bid Kuala Lumpur goodbye with what could easily go down as an episode from the Twilight Zone.
A night at the infamous Beach Club was a lesson in human social behaviour 101. The Middle East and India provided the XY chromosomes, South-East Asia and Africa the XX chromosomes. Alcohol, despite the high price, was moving faster than iPhones. The men were getting more attention than Justin Bieber. And then a drunken patron decided to climb onto the bar and sing - it could only go down from there.
Soon I was in a little skirmish with a rather wasted patron from the Subcontinent who had spilled our drinks and refused to buy us new ones, after which our Scandinavian gentleman made the mistake of offering a rather confused Filipina health care professional a lift home. This led us on a two hour night time tour of suburban KL until we just dumped her on a corner where she belonged. It was well
No, No, You Have it All Wrong
You need to be this tall to ride the rollercoaster on Sentosa
and truly time to cross the Straits of Johor.
Bidding Malaysia farewell, the immigration officer didn't like something in my passport. They told me not to smile in the photograph 😞
I said, but it wasn't that. I had been given wrong information. My date of arrival counted as a day of stay and I was now over by twelve hours. Luckily, two superiors, a visit to the back office and half an hour of my life fixed that.
The grass was really greener on the other side. Hell, the grass was even cut, watered, weeded and litter free. Welcome to paradise. There may be oil tankers as far as the eye can see on the horizon but just close your eyes, don't breath and pretend that wasn't (Malaysian) rubbish (brought in by the currents) that just brushed against your leg. As you swim off the East Coast Park or Sentosa's Disney-like wonderland, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the Maldives.
Good old Julius Caeser knew a thing or two about people. You can do anything you like to the masses as long as you give them food and games. He seems to have
found disciples in the Lee clan and their People's Action Party (PAP). A communist type name with totalitarian governance and a capitalist twist. An Asian Tiger proving there is no one best system for achieving wealth and prosperity as a nation.
Compared to Malaysia, the food was more of the same, meaning brilliant. The prices had doubled but the chance of food poisoning had halved. With two experts showing us the way, R. and I piled on the kilograms as we devoured pile upon pile of Indian, Chinese and Malay delights. No lamb curry was safe from us, no chicken biryani remained untouched and the murtabaks vanished down our throats faster than Nick Leeson
could place a short straddle in the Singapore and Tokyo stock exchanges.
That's when the news struck. The main reason I was back in Singapore after a two month hiatus was to see the Killers. No, not some sadistic misfits, the band. Now, two days before the start of the Asian leg of their tour, they unofficially had a fall-out. Great, just my luck. With the show cancelled, tickets refunded and a number of days to kill (no pun intended), it gave me an opportunity
to take in an attraction that had eluded me on several previous visits to Singers - the Night Safari. With expectations high and ticket prices even higher, the catering-to-children demonstration and animal display came as a major let-down. That was until we came upon the giraffes. Having seen them over a dozen times before, I didn't expect to notice any new behaviour. But, wait a minute, what's that? While mummy is busy eating some fresh leaves, daddy tries to mount her. She won't have any of it and gives him the side step. Queue baby giraffe. As mummy pretends not to notice, daddy has a go at her. Given the myriad of laws in this city state, I'm surprised they weren't fined on the spot and deported.
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