Street but Sweet


Monday, January 15, 2007

Singapore lah! Part 5: The rest of my stay


Apparently, people were having dinner at Harvest in Boat Quay, so Mel, Vivi, and I waited patiently for a cab (even chasing a few down the road), to no avail. Then suddenly, this dude comes out of the hotel and asks us where we were headed. Then he offered us a lift! "I can't let these lovely ladies go around chasing cabs," he said. If this had happened in the Philippines, I probably would've freaked out, but we figured Singapore was probably one of the safest places in the world. Plus I had never ridden a Mini Cooper before, so here was my chance! Hahaha. The dude said he was waiting for a friend, and he had nothing to do anyway. So yay! We hopped into his tight little ride, and found out that his name was James and that he actually worked for Mini Cooper. He gave us his card, and I even got a little Mini Cooper notebook (which has been totally useful, by the way! I bring it everywhere with me!).

Harvest was a seafood restaurant located right along the water, and we had all these connecting tables outside. Quite a few of the semi-finalists/finalists and most of the winners (Team Taiwan was missing) were there. We got to chat a bit with Justin (HK) and David (Australia), two more of my favorites--they were just really nice guys. I know we didn't have enough time to get to know them, but sometimes you can just tell when people are...kind. It's in their eyes.

(From top) Boat Quay at night; Justin (center) with finalists Zach, Jaime, Lena, and Tim (Bevis was MIA); with Mel and super nice guys Dave and Justin; with Lena, who's such a sweetheart!

I also had a little chat with Lena. She was sitting quietly there, and it seemed like something was wrong, so I went up and talked to her. I actually didn't think that my words had any effect. Haha. So it really surprised me when she posted a message for me a couple of months later in the 5 Takes forum, saying she'll never forget what I said to her! Aww, I love Lena.

So the drama

Later on, Tim convinced us all to go to Rochester, where some of the other people (including a certain chick he wanted to see, I'm guessing...) were. We had no idea where this was, so we all hailed cabs. I think we had two vans full of people. We got the middle of nowhere, had to walk, and boarded another cab. We finally found Rochester, which looked like a swanky little village. Apparently, the bar we were going to was in a house--the scene of a brewing cat fight between two semi-finalists. Haha. Amazing how two people can learn that they detest each other in less than two days! The Aussies came into the room wearing cowboy hats they found elsewhere in the house to somehow diffuse the tension. Haha.

(Top) An accidental artsy shot in the van. (Bottom) Ride 'em cowboy: the Aussies plus Mr. Bombay, Marc.

We decided it would be best to separate the two chicks, so some of us made our way outdoors, where there was a gazebo. I really liked it here--it was in the middle of a garden and had lots of comfortable seats. There wasn't any loud music, just conversation and drinks, the kind of place my barkada would like. Here, I got to try an authentic Singapore Sling! Woohoo! As we all know, I don't really drink, but I figured I couldn't leave Singapore without trying it! I also got to try some chili ice cream. Seriously. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my tastebuds on some Hainanese chicken rice. Boo.

Another accidental artsy shot, this time with roomie Wendy at the gazebo.

I finally got to talk with Simon and Daniel (both from Sydney), probably the last two people I hadn't met--and Daniel cringed and shook his head while I told him about balut. Haha. No idea how the conversation ended up there! (It was probably Singapore Sling-induced...)

We be clubbin'

Vivi, Mel, and I (and I don't remember who else!) left the gazebo of happy Aussies and went back to the hotel. We found out that the others were going to Momo, a nearby club, and decided to go. Twas our last night together after all. We were hanging out at Mel's room with Zach when who should walk in but Bevis--in his short shorts! And man, were his legs white! Haha. We tried to convince him to go to Momo with us, to which he replied, "I don't go clubbing!" in his cutie Taiwanese accent. We finally got him to say yes.

We met up with Sky (one of the almost cat-fighters. Haha), who told us what all the fuss was about. All six of us proceeded to Momo on foot...or at least we tried to proceed to Momo on foot. We were lost. They actually stopped a middle-aged Indian man to ask for directions, because obviously a middle-aged Indain man would know where a trendy club is. Haha. (He was so off, pointing us in the opposite direction!) The whole time, saucy Sky (quite the fireball) was tutoring Bevis in the fine art of cussing. Haha. Let's keep this entry G-rated, so let's leave it at that. Twas hilarious though.

We ran into a group of teenagers, and Sky charmed (or bullied, depending on how you look at it) them into giving us a ride to Momo. Wow, my second free ride with a stranger in one night! The head of the pack, this ma-porma dude who probably thought he was the sh*t (again, G-rated), asked us to choose which car we wanted to ride--the "family car," the "ordinary Honda" (or whatever), or the best damn car in the world (he pointed to his car). Zach, Vivi, and I piled into Mr. Cool Dude's car. I was fully expecting his sound system to be blaring some serious hiphop. But no--instead, we were greeted by the opening strains of J. Lo and Marc Anthony's No Me Ames! I kid you not.

We got to Momo and there the others were, tearing it up on the dance floor. I would've danced up a storm myself if 1) my feet didn't hurt from all the walking, and 2) H were there! Hehe. I did manage to get a two-step in though. Hehe. It was a great way to end my stay.

Janice and Zach show off their moves--I love this photo!

Back to reality

The next morning, we woke up bright and early, as Team Philippines and Team Australia were sharing a ride going to the airport. We said our goodbyes, had our last pictures together taken, and boarded our separate planes.

We're leaving on a jet plane: (from top) With Simon, on our way to airport; with Remi and Chesie--I was actually in heels (really!); Dave had to stoop so that we'd fit in the frame.

The experience was barely three days long, but it was enough to last me a lifetime. In such a short span of time, I met people from all over, all with different personalities and different backgrounds, all with a story to tell, each one interesting. I was immersed in several cultures, not just as I hung out with the semi-finalists, but also as I explored Singapore on my own--the country, I was pleasantly surprised to find, isn't the bland, sterile place I thought it would be, but a charming mix of nations and influences--with a good number of people willing to give you a free ride! I learned that things I do on a whim, even when I don't expect them to lead to anything, can flourish into such a rich experience.

I may not have made it onto the show, but learning all that I did, and meeting all these fantastic people, and getting a free trip to boot sure is a consolation prize I could definitely live with!


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