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Tiger, Tiger, Tiger (No Monkeys)

13 January 2011

It was a calmer day today. The sun shone, the pool was cool and refreshing, and we got a lot of nagging things done in the interim, Al with some work work, me with some design projects. We also bought our return tickets to Chicago. I know it’s a little early to be talking about going back, but it’s a handy thing to have an exit strategy from this island, as they don’t take too kindly to hangers-on. (Fun fact: Given our return route through Dubai (both to visit friends and to get our annual proctological exams taken care of courtesy of TSA—see! public healthcare is already working for America!), we will have effectively circumnavigated the globe: Chicago to San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore to Dubai to London to Chicago. Suck it, Magellan.)

Despite the calm exterior, however, the specter of fear haunts us.

Ever since our monkey encounter, we have been on edge, feeling that every trip past the kitchen will reveal another simian sneakthief running amok—stealing eggs, raping our women and ruining our tropical paradise. As you can imagine, the stress is at times overwhelming; we never know when we’ll be called to action to defend our newly-adopted homeland from these stealthy, potentially feces-throwing invaders.

To deal with the strain, we’ve adopted some radical measures of self-preservation. These include:

  • working out / walking through the nearby nature preserve. Here we are able to commune with nature while exerting ourselves physically (because 85° and 100% humidity doesn’t make you sweat enough), which puts us in greater harmony with the universe. This is also where yesterday, a lone flautist was serenading the park, his notes echoing off the walls of the old quarry that is the central feature of the place making the experience like some sort of live-action Ma Yuan painting. It was quite zen and stress-reducing.
  • escaping the apartment to distract ourselves with the glorious buffets that are the Singapore hawker centers. For example, last night we went to a local stall where one side featured Cantonese dishes, the other Indian. We went Indian and gorged on roti prata and murtabak (#31 & 32 on the list we’re eating our way through). The curried flavors were delicious and the tang of spice on my palette and its attempts to assault my guts with the fury of a pissed-off Ganesh on the speedbag proved an ample distraction from our domestic horrors.
  • drinking heavily. This method proves both a distraction and a challenge, as alcohol on this Manhattan-sized island is highly regulated and taxed, meaning that the sixer of local Tiger brew we bought set us back S$15. Now, granted, that’s 15 Singapore dollars (which is essentially play money because we all know the almighty Greenback is the only currency that counts), but still…after you do the highly complex calculus required to figure the exchange rate (don’t forget to carry the 2), it still ends up being about 12 Real Dollars. For a six pack. Of moderately shitty beer. Not sayin’ I’m not going to pay for it, savor it and buy some more, but as you can see, that whole process has made me completely forget about the monkey in the kitchen. It’s a highly effective distraction. (For reference, we were in the grocery store the other day, and a standard bottle of Jack was going for S$91.47. So despite brewing their own beer, they really don’t want you to get a buzz over here. But as they say, “that’s why there’s Thailand”.)

Off to feed the koi. More later.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 14 January 2011 10:57 am

    Absolutely LOVING your witty and wonderful stories. Keep them coming. Love you and Miss you…Mom(senora)

  2. Lori permalink
    18 January 2011 2:29 pm

    Hide your kids, hide your wives, hide your husbands ’cause the monkey’s rapin’ everybody up in here!

    I loved it!

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