Our last morning in Singapore was spent shopping in Chinatown, which clearly wasn’t enough — I had to duck back before the show to pick up some beckoning cats.
After that we were invited to the home of our producer, for a delicious home-cooked lunch and a sari fashion show by the ladies in our troupe. The kind hospitality of our hosts didn’t end there. After the show I had the distinct pleasure of spending the evening — well, pretty much up to an hour before our departure — in the company of a delightful young lady who just happens to be our producer’s intern. While the others enjoyed a late-night nosh at the Newton Hawker Centre, I was whisked off in a tricked-out Jetta (whose driver was, shall we say, “nicely toasted”) to Zouk, home base for Singapore party people. The complex holds at least three clubs, each with different themes and music; we made it to two of them. As befitting a temple of dance culture, each room had a central stage that kids could hop up on to be seen. Under the influence of a few drinks myself, I was coerced into doing just that, and no sooner did I take my position when a blast of cold steam blinded me from above, in time to the pounding jungle rhythms. Any mojo that I had enjoyed up to that point was instantly lost; I shrieked liked an old lady!
I’m still not sure how I managed to make the 6:50am flight to Hong Kong, but I persevered, and was rewarded with the chance to visit Sham Shui Po and The Golden Centre, yet another massive electronics mall. Never before have I seen rows of people staring thoughtfully at displays of bare circuit boards and processors, but my personal favourite was the pirated software in the basement, their packaging disguised with animated characters — who wouldn’t want a copy of Microsoft Office with the Power-Puff Girls on the box?
Before heading back to the airport I stopped in to pick up my finished suit. For about $600 Canadian, I am now the proud owner of a hand-tailored three-piece cashmere suit, plus a built-to-order cotton shirt and complimentary tie. The proprietor does a brisk business, so if you’re planning a visit to Hong Kong, let Malik the suit man know you’re coming!
Back at the airport, our Air Canada sugar daddy arranged for us to get passes to the executive lounge while we waited for our flight. We actually had a choice of the Royal Thai Orchid Lounge or United’s Red Carpet Club, but once inside either of them, we had to stay there. We chose poorly — UA’s airport oasis offered only oreos for food, and two beer fountains that didn’t work! But all was forgiven when our entire posse got bumped up to business class, for both legs of the journey home. I’ve divided my time between sleeping and writing this… Now I’m going to watch my Singapore movies on VCD!