RESPITE

Guest DJ Tom Geiss was revving up for his gig at New Asia two Saturdays ago and a good friend was quelling the heebie-jeebies. Meanwhile, all my stuff were strategically placed around my rucksack, waiting to be fitted in methodically. Despite my misgivings about Singapore – chalk it up to a very broken heart – I was looking forward to a much needed breather from Bekasi’s traffic snarls that could have you finish that book in your bag; intermittent heavy rains and a leaky roof; mini floods aside my flat and my bon mots that go fly out of the window. I was stoked to breathe in the organized air of The Garden City; enjoy smooth rides through the city and Changi Airport; wallow in the well-stocked bookshelves of Kinokuniya in Takashimaya unlike in Plaza Senayan; walk the streets of Singapore after midnight without looking over my shoulder for a possible mugger; lounge in cafés on Orchard Road; and, finally, indulge in verbal jousting with the one reason I still book flights to Singapore.

Changi Airport is every traveller's dream airport

 

My trip to Singapore dovetailed perfectly with the wedding of a very good friend. I thought weddings, would be a nice break from my jaded viewpoint of love. Wouldn’t it be nice to witness the celebration of love amidst my landscape of battered heart and broken promises? Even though I alighted at the wrong entrance of Botanical Gardens, the walk up to Halia – the wedding venue – was a light-hearted stroll in my wedges as I gazed at people enjoying that lazy early Saturday evening. It had been a while since I walked alone where I let my thoughts jump, dive and somersault through the air without crash landing into the valley of depression.

Y was a radiant bride in her off-the shoulder dress, her hair brushing against her shoulders. K was dapper in his suit, a boutonnière completing the look. True to form of being unconventional, the traditional walk down the aisle was replaced by an upbeat sashay to where the priest was. Videos flashed on screen; gifts presented; speeches made; and the food and wine flowed. One point for Cupid.

Singapore in the wee hours of the morning is bliss

Ketut Iyer’s words suddenly tap danced in my mind as I toasted to the happy couple. Balance is all about risking getting hurt again as we plod through the murky waters of love. Well, they were not exactly his words but the gist is the same.

“I hear ya Ketut! Now, please tell that to the universe and Cupid so that their aims are far from skewed,” I mumbled under my breath.

Over at the other side of Singapore, another celebration was under way at New Asia at Swissotel The Stamford. C’s friend was turning 21. I was keyed up because going to a proper bar was divine after that horrendous experience at Orange Lounge and Karaoke. [See The Game of Seduction blog entry under Funny]  Embarrassingly, I felt like an FOB. Getting my bearings took a while so that had C asking if everything was all right every so often. My mien was far from an aura of fun, I guess. Au contraire, I was all right. Call it a generation gap – after all, these were people in their 20s guzzling liquor and engaging in flirtatious chinwags, and I was way beyond that stage. I decided to be an observer instead. Sipping his glass of whiskey and coke (I’d finished mine), I marvelled at the green top of this lady parallel to me – sexy – but that bubble of pulchritude was burst when C mentioned, later on, that the top was incongruous to the flawed complexion. Meanwhile, green-top lady’s friend could have been pulled to the side by the fashion police: her tight white top sprouted little fuzzy tumours but her skinny jeans were perfect.

A walk down Orchard Road with my favorite verbal jousting partner

Scanning the crowd, I noted the far-from-bonhomous attitude of most of the party-goers – with the exception of RV, the gracious German host – who were caught up in their own circle of gaiety.  C’s friend RW, with his gorgeous moustache and tattoo peeking out the top of his shirt collar, seemed nice to talk with but he was caught up with his lady friend who had a penchant for asking people with brown skin if they were Malay. I managed to talk briefly with RV and learnt that he is miffed at not being able to get an international driver’s license because he’s not a resident of Germany although he’s a citizen. There’s a rule that says that you need to be a citizen and resident of Germany if you want to apply for a license, he related. And home isn’t Germany anymore. His parents are based in Vietnam running a business while he divides his time between Singapore finishing a degree in Mandarin – a prerequisite in taking over the family business one day – and Vietnam. Then he was gone to be the sociable host. It was only a hello and a handshake with G who was off, well, to chase anything that resembled my gender if he didn’t engage C in idle chatter. C’est la vie!

The atmosphere altered drastically when a fag became increasingly important. I have to hand it to Singapore in their subtle way of deterring smoking. The smoking room was small and several flights down from the bar-lounge. Never doubt a smoker, I learnt, as a throng milled around the standing ashtray.

DJ Geiss had the dance floor come to life as the night crawled into early morning. Most of the party guests had lost their inhibitions as they danced provocatively and downed the remains of the bottles on the table among other things. That was my cue.

A little dialogue in my mind whirled as the cab sped to my hotel: I took a breather from Singapore to heal. Time out from Bekasi was great. Why do I still want a respite?

 

Photography by Shine Merioles

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by thejellyfarm on November 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

    A respite from a respite perhaps? 🙂

    Reply

  2. Awesome blog articles. You surely know what you are talking about here. Im so happy I was able to find this blog. I look to see more great writing from you. Keep up the awesome work

    Reply

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