Singapore is not my favourite. Or so I thought…
It is hot, it is humid, it is stifling. We arrived at midnight, and there was much faffing around before we arrived at the hotel. Tired, hungry, and fed up with being on the move, I flopped into bed for a cathartic cry and fell to sleep.
The next day I was up at 5:30. Chats with my Wonder Women Fi, Philipa and Ranae in our DM group. Down for breakfast. Oh they do a great breakfast in the big hotels in Asia. From Thailand, to Hong Kong, to Singapore, the fusion and variety is generally sublime. The coffee was shit though.
We had a meeting at the university cancelled as our host was unwell, so the morning was given to us for free time. There were plans to head over to Little India for some shopping, and I opted out. I am enjoying being on my own so much. I like me. I like my music. I like reading. I like being on my own so much. It used to terrify me. Now, it does not. I relish it.
I needed to get some toggs as I forgot mine again. So I peeled myself out of my cuddly king-size bed and hoofed it to ground level for a look around and some shopping.
A wall of wet heat blasted at me before I even managed to step outside.
I asked the bellman where the nearest shopping area was. He laughed, and the man stepping out of the cab overheard our exchange and said “This is Singapore, there’s shopping literally everywhere.” And he was correct in his assertion.
So I turned left and landed in the lap of consumerism. Not my favourite. I did manage to get a lovely vintage bathing suit. Feel a bit like middle aged Sophia Lauren when wearing it. That’s a nice way to feel.
We had a meeting scheduled at a boutique agency that specializes in Real Estate comms. They are based high up in an office block on Clarke Quay. The views were stunning, and they office reminded me of my own. The creatives were based around the corner and the two managing directors had huge desks covered in kitsch and creative trinkets. Our host Sandi was warm and friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. His friend and colleague Jasmine popped in and joined our conversation. She’s an absolute rockstar!
They gave us a vast selection of Singaporean treats and nibbles and some sticky sweet coffee. The warmth and hospitality was absolutely gobsmacking. This was my favourite agency so far.
Directly after the meeting it was off to Raffles for a Singapore sling. Not my favourite drink ever. But it was the foundation for an incredibly long and interesting adventure.
That coffee kept me up all night. But oh my goodness I am glad it did. I had dinner and chats with my darling Ranae and we worked out a strategy including many-a-cunning-stunt to save the world. Think we might have also worked out some plans to manage some of the stunning cunts we have to manage at times. Have I mentioned that I Love Ranae? Because I fucking Love that staunch, beautiful, gentle soul so much.
And then, I drank with strangers until the wee hours. It was perfection. Fiona stopped down to find me but I must have been out the back with my new friends and frenemy (a tall young man who called me ma’am and doesn’t believe in climate change…ouch, and ouch again, with a side of WTF). I was complimented by another in the group for the tolerance that I showed toward him, considering how much we all had imbibed. Thanks for that sir. I appreciate you noticing that I am the poster girl for self-control. Then again, maybe not.
Morning came and messages from my peers bounced across my screen. I had a long leisurely bath and made my way down to breakfast with my friends.
The meeting was great, and another bubbly and feisty comms professional shared their passion and their story with our group. It was agency culture (corporate), so I was not as enthusiastic with questioning as I had been with the boutique and niche agencies.
Then we went to lunch at a chicken rice place. I abandoned my vegetarianism for a taste of the chicken. It was okay. I will go back to being a vegetarian now.
After lunch we headed to a mall for coffees and discussed the fire in the London flats. The thing about being in the business of sharing information, is that we are painfully aware that bad news travels faster and farther than any other force on earth. Tragedy pushes a lot of the buttons as far as News Values are concerned. Personally though, I fucking hate the helplessness of seeing tragedy and not being given a call to action or the opportunity to DO SOMETHING. Amplifying news of tragedy and fear for the sake of amplifying news and getting clicks and eyeballs across your channels makes me feel a bit sad for the communications industry. Saying that, being well informed of current local and global events can be very useful and empowering. Sigh. Medium, message, message, medium, chicken, egg, voyeurism, fear, fanaticism, fake news, real news… I just don’t fucking know what I think as I sit in Changi airport feeling markedly exhausted after a very long day.
So back, to that long day. I walked back to the hotel with Ranae and then headed directly to see my dear friend Harri and her son (who is one of Daniel’s best friends on the planet). It was a wonderful visit. I got to hang out with their cat, who came to Singapore all the way from Greenhithe. I miss her being closer to me. But thankfully there’s social media so I get to know what she is up to and she feels closer. Which is lucky, because she’s good to the core and hates mean girl keeping up with the Jones’s bullshit as much (if not more) thank I do.
After swims and chats and much laughing I caught a cab to the airport. Breezed through check-in. Got to customs and the attractive Indian man scanning passports was talking to his colleague and peppering his conversation with some fairly punchy language. I started to giggle, and he got a bit agitated. Then I explained I like that he swore a bit, as it puts me at ease. And then I explained that that would NEVER happen in the US, and probably not in Canada, but possibly in NZ. He’d warmed up to our conversation enough by this point, to inquire how an American or a Canadian expresses their emotions. I had no decent answer for him.
And now I am here. With my slightly tipsy and extremely terrific team (they had cocktails in the sun while I had a much more family friendly afternoon) and we are at the gate lounge charging our devices and waiting to board our plane.
I didn’t mean to have such an incredibly epic time here in Singapore. There’s social and human rights issues that make me loath to travel here, but people are beautiful the world over. And there’s a lot of people in Singapore. Expat and local. Travelers and residents.
I’ll be back, but next time I come through I will bring Daniel to see Owen.
Goodnight. I am knackered and have hours of flying to look forward to, I hope you are considerably more comfortable as you read these meanderings.