The flights over here were completely uneventful and pretty good. Though I was a little bit upset that United doesn’t have its nicer business class layouts on their Asia flights. Hey United, Asia is just as important as Europe — get with the retrofits! Hell, I’ve had the nice true flat beds inside the US before. Still, I slept about 80% of the flight and was knocking back booze and food the rest of the time. Not a bad way to get halfway around the world.
The security screeners in Tokyo loved the Gama Go stickers on my laptop. I had no idea what they were saying but one of the guys grabbed the laptop, had a huge grin on his face, rattled off something to the coworkers, then all four of them ran over to look at the laptop. They were all smiling and pointing at the stickers. Walked over to the terminal and immediately boarded my plane to Singapore.
When I landed in Singapore I had no idea what time or even what day it was (it was actually Friday — I left on Wednesday). I had 6 meals and slept a lot in a metal tube; my body just had no frame of reference for time. Luckily Ross was there to pick me up, and we went back to his place around 1AM. Drank some beers and shot the shit. Some girls were texting him to come out, but we wanted to save up energy for Friday, and I wanted to get on a regular sleep schedule.
Singapore is hot. Just like New Orleans hot except it’s always hot here as it’s on the equator. I found this out as we took Ross’ dog Boudreaux out for a walk in the morning. Damn hot. Had some breakfast then jumped in a cab for Marina Barrage. Ross’ friend Ryan picked us up in a boat and took us to the floatilla of other boats moored in the harbor. We spent the day cruising around the inner harbor and watching the various practice sessions. Very, very cool. I got to see some views of Singapore that most people don’t since the harbor is basically a lake and it’s difficult to get a permit to access it (and even launch your boat). In short, we got to spend the day hanging out with some very generous and good people. Asia was starting to look really good.
Friday night we had planned on going to the F1 Rocks concert at Fort Canning. N.E.R.D., ZZ Top, Simple Minds, and No Doubt were on the list. We spent so much time on the boat that we missed everyone except for No Doubt. The best part is that Ross, was well being Ross, and asked everyone on the way in if Beyonce had played yet (she was on the next day). Being persistent and funnily annoying paid off and some guy gave us his VIP passes as he left. Score! Met more of Ross’ friends including one who worked as a presenter for Star Sports and one who blogged professionally for F1 (yeah, love to have that job). Afterwards, we went to a party at the museum hosted by Fuel. Well to be honest, we snuck in. We cruised around for a while as the party was kinda thin. Security spotted us and promptly tossed us out. Whatever. Next Ross had it in his head that we had to do this bungie swing thing…so we did. Not the best of ideas after a full night of drinking, but fun. Called it a night around 3AM.
Saturday we met Ross’ friends Cricket and Lavina for lunch in Boat Quay. Ate at a Chinese restaurant with a hellaciously long name, but served some righteously good food. Very very good. Chili crab just might be my new favorite seafood dish. I could move here just for that. Honestly. That good. The pepper crab was a close second and altogether the whole meal was great. Decently priced, too. Came out to S$250 which is about $176 US. Not bad for a bunch of beer, a lot of crab, and 3 other courses. Sure there might have been cheaper places but this one was nice and we were sitting along a beautiful waterfront eating great food. Tough to beat! Oh and the waiter gave me props for a gwai-lo pronouncing Tsing-Tao properly. Go go San Francisco street knowledge!
Another thing about beer here; all of the beers on tap are either Tiger of Heineken. The Heineken thing kinda surprised me. I thought it would definitely be something else. Truth be told, I prefer the Tiger to the Heineken, but beer is beer.
After lunch we headed into the race area and watched practice. A great course setup, I just wish we could have had access to more areas. Our 3 day walkabout tickets limited us to zone 4. Still, very cool and I got some good photos. Headed back to Ross’ for food and showers.
This night was pretty dope. The official F1 after-qualifying party was at Stereolounge, a very cool club near Clarke Quay. Ross knows the owners and got us on the VIP list. Booya! This party was definitely bumping. Hello beautiful people! I felt like I was in some Hollywood A-list event. All of the women in there were amazingly gorgeous. Hell, I saw Bernie Ecclestone there and even he looked good in the right lighting. Had a lot of fun and met a few more of Ross’ friends including Ian and Carmi. Great stand up people. I was into my fifth Johnnie Walker of the night when some Chinese guy was buying shots at the bar for his birthday. That 151 did not sit well, and I went from kinda buzzed to drunk quickly. Damn you rum. Damn you. Left that party (I still don’t know why) and rolled back to the museum. Except this time we were on the VVIP list — yes in Singapore you have VVIP. What a difference a night makes. The place was packed and jamming. Will.iam was on the set and bumping. I ran into Carl Cox and chatted with him a bit. A bunch of Ross’ friends were there and a good time was had by all. Lindsay Lohan was also there and supposedly trashed, but I didn’t see her. Called it a night a little after 4AM.
Spent the next morning recovering and planning our trip to Bali on Monday. Met up with some friends for drinks and food at a place along the river called Brewerkz. Good beer, not too hot along the river, and hung out for a few hours. Rolled over to F1 to watch the race. Moved around a bit from spot to spot to see as much of the race action as possible. Got some good photos without a doubt. We got a text from Ross’ friend Kim that she was on top of the Esplanade and that the views were good. So we headed over there and she was right — they were easily the best seats for those on the walkabout ticket. Very cool. After the race I bought some race souvenirs, and we headed back to Boat Quay for some after race beers. Both of us were whupped so we headed back. Along the way we stopped for some chicken rice — quite good. I watched some of the NFL games online and crashed.
Ross is at work this morning, and I’m hanging out with Boudreaux on one of his verandas. Low key day as I type this up and pack for Bali. So far everything is great. I’m really lucky to have Ross as such a great host and Singapore is quite awesome. Great people and a beautiful place. It’s also much greener than I had expected. Oh and there are monkeys! You can see them in Ross’ neighborhood, but are supposedly not friendly at all. They’ll attack you if they feel threatened.
I can tell this is a place you must have money to really enjoy, but I also get the feeling that most people here do. The people are also super friendly — amongst the nicest on Earth. The only negative encounter I’ve had was with a pushy Brit at the F1 souvenir tent, but I’m not going to hold that against S’pore.