Ms J – Weekend in Singapore

My good girlfriend Ms J and I like having a few cold ones. In fact, we love it!

So when I made the decision to spend the weekend visiting her in Singapore, I apologised to my liver before-hand.. having had many liquid lunches and dinners with Ms J in Sydney that involved laughter, massive memory loss, and an aching, oversized, swelled up liver, I wasn’t expecting any less from an impromptu meet up overseas in a foreign land.

A couple of Ms J moments that spring to mind are the unplanned marathon karaoke sessions where Gloria Gaynor’s ‘ I Will Survive’ is belted out in succession, 17 times! But I only ever remember singing it once. And I may remember stealing microphones off others in selfish, drunk, attempts to complete duets on my own.

And then there was the time Ms J and I had several casual drinks of vodka and an extensive gas-bag in my courtyard one sunny afternoon. My flatmate said to me the next morning ‘It was so funny, I came home in the evening and you both were sitting outside in the dark, deep in conversation having a great old-time, but neither of you were making ANY sense..’

With this in mind, it didn’t come as a surprise when directly after arriving in Singapore, while still in the taxi straight from the airport, Ms J turns to me and asks ‘We’re going to make a quick stop off at the supermarket on the way home… what would you like to drink?’

Burn baby burn – Karaoke night!

Being a Karaoke whore, I was excited to spend my cousin Liyana’s 17th birthday bash at a KL Karaoke bar.

The karaoke buffet – Having only ever had liquid meals with my karaoke, I couldn’t work out the logistics behind eating solid foods and singing at the same time. But if you don’t mind the occasional, loud, open-mouthed belch in the middle of your ‘I Will Survive’ rendition, it works!

Smoking – Is still allowed in the karaoke booths. Not the best for the lungs, but an awesome excuse for pitch problems. * Squeak, cough cough, can’t breathe… next song*

Song choice is everything – When no-one else in the room knows Bohemian Rhapsody, you know you’re with the wrong crowd.

I selected this Queen classic thinking it was a great way to get everyone up and singing in comradery – God was I wrong.

As I courageously rocked out to this quirky number solo, belting out the falsetto and baritone ‘Galileo’ sections like a schizophrenic on speed, broadway style, I’ll never forget how quickly faces can turn from pity to horror. And back to pity again.

Take my advice, with this Malaysian bunch, lyrics like ‘ Mama, just killed a man. Put a gun against his head pulled my trigger now he’s dead‘ was NOT a crowd pleaser. And head banging ain’t so cool when you’re the only one banging it at 3am in the morning.

‘anyway the wind blows…’

Darling Harbour on steroids – Houhai @ Shichahai

I got super excited when I discovered this recreational goldmine – It’s not only gorgeous, it looks like so much fun!!

Houhai in the Shichahai Lake area is lined with designer restaurant after designer restaurant, bar after bar. Imagine Sydney’s Darling harbour on steroids and you’ll almost have it.
In the lake there are traditional boats, water peddling boats, floating restaurants, locals swimming with hundreds of water lilies beautifying the lakes borders. On land there are bicycles, 2 seater bicycles, 3 seater bicycles and if that’s still not enough, they even have the family four seater bicycle, people flying kites, juggling, and kicking the glow in the dark hacky sack around – at the same time!

Walking along Houhai there is Reggae Bar, Bob Marley Bar, Purple Bar, Michael Jackson Bar, Country & Western Bar, Jazz bar, Lotus Bar (etc, etc, etc). All with a duo of acts singing modern chinese and all time favourites for live entertainment.

If you happen to come by yourself, like I did, don’t worry, there are many young hosts standing in the front of these bars and clubs who are not shy about grabbing your hand, leading you into their bar, sitting you down, getting you a beer, and keeping you company with the usual line of questioning – What is your name? Where are you from? How long are you in Beijing? Why?

Entering the stage is Kitty and Tom (Foolery I’m guessing). They perform at the Purple bar 7 nights a week, she wears a Sailor Moon outfit most nights and looks like a life-size doll (can I have one?), and he has orange hair. Together they’re ‘Born to be Mild’. Not really, that’s just the name I’ve christened them with after viewing their performance. Understandably, its difficult to keep up the enthusiasm night after night especially when competing against the vast amount of bars who are offering the exact same service, scenery and style of entertainment, side by side, on your street.

I enjoy being on holidays, with my only direction being south, and having no boundaries.. except when asked if I want to sing karaoke, in public, in chinese.

After Born to be Mild? ‘No way!’