Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sounds like SG$48,000 (or not)

Three guys. One girl. Three days. One car.

Late! Jon forgot his passport and so we left late.
Jam! Stupid roadworks on the North-South highway delayed us further.
Rain! The conspiracy was beginning. Obviously the Government paid money to some skilled cloud seeders to stop us from crossing the border.
Storm! We couldn't see beyond a few metres. Good thing Terk (the most experienced driver) was driving.
"No white card?!" A sarky Singapore Immigration Officer surled. Jon blamed the Malaysian Immigration, which was true... they said to go ahead to Singapore even without the card.
Delays! EVPs, cash cards, yadda yadda yadda which made us late, late, late.
Lost! FELIX!!!!!!!!!!!!! ("Let me drive! I know the way! Err... hmm. Hang on....")
Lost again! No coin-operated public phones. Where does Jon's uncle (who's not really his uncle) stay?
Arghhhhh! Near-accident number one.
Arrgggghhh! Near-accident number two.
Arrrggghhhh! Near-accident number three.
Uncountable! The number of traffic rules we broke that night.
Finally! Rest. Almost midnight.

Skipped church. I was totally okay with that but Jon's spiritual conscience was pricked. Around noon, we picked up Fel and headed to Vivocity, Singapore's newest mall. It's got a pretty spiffy design. Had a lousy lunch at The Fish Shop--the fish batter was so rough it scraped the top of my mouth till it felt sore. Then I met up with Cheok and William, my ex-art directors, who forced me to insisted I have lunch a second time at Superdog with them, a new Singaporean hotdog/burger place.

After some misunderstanding with the group (the cable car ride was too expensive so they decided to wait for me though I'd wanted more time to chill and shop and meet them there later), we went to Sentosa Island. It was raining heat waves. The place was packed with tourists, even though I didn't see anything special about the place. The huge trees were... fake. There was nothing much that interested me there. Jon and Terk tried the luge while I had a drink at Coffee Bean and Felix had a Subway sandwich. (I was to learn how perpetually hungry Terk and Felix are.) Spent my time looking at the small birds hopping around for tidbits and the numerous lovebirds shopping around for tidbits.

Terk wanted to check out the miniature gold course after that but it seemed pretty abandoned. (I guess golf games of a different nature are more popular on the island.) Next, we went to the Underwater World. While it was expensive (SG$19.50), I did enjoy the touch pools where visitors can gently stroke a select population of stingrays, starfish and other slimy/scaly creatures.

After having heard good stuff from different people about Sentosa's 'Song of the Sea' i.e. musical lights display, Jon and I persuaded the rest to go for it. Unfortunately, it was one of the lamest shows I've watched. DO NOT go there unless you want to feel annoyed. The lighting effects were great, but the script and human acting were corny beyond corny. Huge disappointment considering the technical potential.

Sunday also saw a huge chunk of skin grated away by my left slipper from all that walking. And later on, in the wee hours of the morning, I woke up, realised I'd fallen asleep without bathing, then proceeded to make a royally disgusting/embarrassing mistake. I shall not tell you what it was.


Final day. Shopping day. Walked, walked, walked. Walked, walked, walked. Gah, gah, gah. The guitar shops I wanted open were closed or didn't have the right electric gig bag at the right price. After visiting about 10 music shops, I settled for the bag I wanted at SG$70. The shop I bought it from also carried the most expensive guitar in Singapore: a one-and-only-in-the-world SG$48,000 Santa Cruz with an ancient woolly mammoth bridge that was specially procured from a museum in the US, extensive mother-of-pearl inlay on the neck and naturally aged wood which had a musky scent (all this according to the shop owner lah). After asking the boss to play a tune and demo it (of all things, he started strumming 'Your Cheating Heart and singing along... argh!), I asked in my sweetest most innocent voice if I could have a go at the guitar. Hee hee hee. And so I will remember this trip for those few seconds playing on a $48,000 guitar. It was much lighter than expected (the top even feeling like plywood) and certainly had a very resonant sound, but IMHO it's not worth SG$48,000 at all.

We left Felix on the island as he started sem again today. During the drive home, Terk and Jon started singing together to keep awake--first oldies (after which they realised they didn't know any lyrics), then church songs, followed by Disney songs. It was absolutely funny/troubling. Wish I had a video of it.

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