Thursday, June 16, 2011
Weekend Reunion in Singapore
This past weekend had been planned for a long time. I got a Facebook message from one of my high school buddies saying he and his family would be in Singapore for a few days on their way to Indonesia. The last time I saw this kid was after Marine Corps boot camp, when we almost got beat up or shot by some high Puerto Rican kid in a convenience store parking lot. Territory issues. ;) We didn't even have enough time to get into a pissing contest, the kid just came to the Geo Metro I was driving and started throwing punches through the window. Stunned and like "Oh no you didn't!!" I stepped out of the Bad-A Metro, puffed my chest out, squinted my eyes, furrowed my brow and squared up to him and his friends. Then someone yelled, "He's getting his gun!" at which point my brain overrode my testosterone and we got the hell outta there!!Anyways, Pae and I had just returned from our honeymoon in Indonesia. Singapore is only a couple hours away by plane, so Pae and I purchased two tickets on Thai Airways and decided that it would be a cool weekend to go to Singapore, where neither of us had ever been, and meet an old friend, best friend back in the day.As the weekend approached, Pae began the interview process at an airline and passed the first round of interviews. If she kept passing interviews, she would be required to pass a swim test on Sunday...rendering her unable to spend the weekend in Singapore.She, luckily, didn't go to Singapore, but I did. Pae would swim at the weekend (British grammar), I would spend time chatting and checking out some of the city with my friend and his family.As you may be able to tell, I'm intentionally trying not to use my friend's name as he likes to try to leave a minimal www footprint. Big Brother IS watching!! I guess he could technically google the web with Facial Recognition software!! Haha. Florida family will know who he is of course, everybody else, let's just say I had an enjoyable weekend catching up on the past 23 years with an old friend.Singapore is a beautiful city, but it seems to lack personality. A friend described it to me like that at school, and I tend to agree, so I stole his description. The place is not overly Chinese, not super western, not at all S.E. Asian...It's just there, it's beautiful and it's very very clean. I'd say that you run into pockets of culture and personality...Chinatown, Little India, clothes hung out windows on poles to dry, but as a whole it seems very sterile and sanitized.All of the bars are closed off, windows filmed over with the muffled sound of music bursting out only when someone leaves to have a smoke. No trash in the streets or floating in the little canals or rivers. Stray cats, no stray dogs. An expansive public transportation system. Very clean air. Very few street vendors, and absolutely nobody bothering me to buy souvenirs around every corner.I didn't care about these things this time around, as I was there for a single purpose. Reunion. Next time we'll find out more about the place, we'll explore, we'll find some fun. I had a good time catching up with my friend and meeting his wife and third grade child.Anyone else ever in the region, we'll try our best to hook up with you...Bangkok is a lot easier though! Hint hint!!