Luck never made a man wise. ~ Seneca, Letters to Lucilius
(And am I a living example of that. Read on to know more.)
Friday 23 May, was a landmark day. It was the day that 3 things happened, 3 important things, 3 good things. Listed in order of importance, they are:
- My salary got credited
- The Singapore Shopping Festival started
- The Singapore Arts Festival started
Friday saw me back in the folds of River Valley Road, Such and Cee. Back to office and back to breakfast with my colleagues @ The Coffee Bean and The Leaf Tea. Ah! That's the life. Taste-o-Treat in my tummy and a large cup of English Breakfast nestling in my hand, lying back in one of a winged sofas. Replete with breakfast and a gossipy chat with my colleague, who fills me in on all the latest to-dos in office while I've been in training, we get to the ATM to check my financial status.
As we were walking to the ATM I am surprised to see a bunch of people waiting for the Takashimaya SC to open. I've never seen anyone wait for a shop to open! Banks yes, shops no. Usually, shops open and wait for people. Laughing and admiring the zest with which Singaporeans and tourists in Singapore shop, I reach the ATM and voila! The money is in. I hardly need a reason to start spending now but as I turn around I am smacked with the BIGGEST reason to spend - the GREAT SINGAPORE SALE 2008, my friends, was starting that very moment!
The shop doors glide open and people walk straight to their favorite aisles to pick up what they've been waiting for the sale to pick up. Everything is on sale. Unable to resist, being a shopaholic, and this being my first (earning) time during the shopping festival, I walk in determined to get a bargain. My very restrained first day, first hour purchases were:
- 2 pairs of shorts – hey EVERYONE wears them here, why should I be left out?
- 2 KAPPA tops, in pale lemon and dark pink with diamonds
- 6 pairs of ankle socks (Darsh you were right, I need more socks)
The whole day is spent finishing an assignment at work and running downstairs (read talking the lift downstairs) from 13 floor to shop floor to cull out more bargains and see everything on display. There are softer than soft towels with the most delicate embroidery, bed sheet sets, there are jewellery cases, toys, house hold items, pots and pans and kettles and the works! I know I'm yet to check 4 more floors. At 7 P.M I call it a day and head back home.
I step in and Such has obviously been waiting for me, I have 10 mins to get ready she says, Cee is waiting. I quickly get ready, donning my new dark pink Kappa top, Such looks fetching in a black and black ensemble. In the honour of the occasion we take taxi to Fullerton and it looks like the river is celebrated my return! It is crowded and everyone is expectantly waiting. Bursting with curiosity; I stroll over and find a nice spot to oversee the happenings on the river. Welcome to the opening of the Singapore Arts Festival floats a voice over the river. And then the action begins.
The opening act of the festival is a water theater played out on the Singapore river neat Boat Quay. The reflection of burning boats on water was rather pretty but the fireworks was the highlight of the evening for me. Here is a YouTube on the opening act:
- Gado gado – a salad with tempura
- Chicken in pandan leaves
- Chicken and beef satay
- Duck roast
- Coconut rice with chicken gravy
- Roast chicken (7*s so good this was! Succulent chicken with crisp skin. YUM!)
- Wine and beer
The night ended at Cee's favorite bar in Clark Quay, Cuba Libre. A live band performing South American music and lots of rum-based alco. (None of which I had thank you, cause the heat is just not getting me in the drinking mood; silly I know but what to do?)
Saturday 24 May, breakfast was @ Epicurious on Robertson Quay (yeah we live on one Quay or the other like some sort of expat fishing family). Next on agenda was Vivo Mall. On the way to Vivo Mall we took a bridge to cross the river and lo and behold what did we see! The whole bridge was covered with rafts – all student-made, hand-made, home-made (ghar pe bana hua), and seemed like they used recycled materials. I was so impressed with these school/college kids, and obviously they were having a good time doing all this. It was such a vibrant and expectant atmosphere there like everything was waiting for the "water test" the next day.
There were all kinds of rafts - some all done up, some coming undone, some real basic, some others were totally tricked out – butterflies, water rat, lobster, tortoise family – very darling. There was also a section for slipper rafts (never got to see if anyone could float it on water and actually manage to stand on it, didn't look like it was possible!). The best of all were the F1 rafts designed to look like, what else, F1 cars. All this was for the River Rating Competition being held the next day I found out. Sunday for us, I realised, was booked.
Vivo mall is 3 stations away from Clark Quay MRT. The biggest mall in Singapore – naturally there are loads of shops and there is tons of stuff. Loafed and loafed and loafed and bought 1 croc chappals. Had lunch @ 6 @ Brotzeit German Bier Bar and Restaurant – beer, sausages, mashed potatoes, and sauerkraut. With a view out into the little stretch of sea separating us from Sentosa island, it was a peaceful and reflective break after a crowded mall.
Back home and it was time for a quick nap. Woke up and met Laks @ Takashimaya where she was making the most of the Great Singapore Sale. Loafed a bit with her, saw Paragon mall across the road from Taka mall and headed out to Blu Jaz! Had their famous Chimichanga and washed it down with a large Jasmine tea. And then it was all socializing with the owners (the owners are the sweetest people), servers (so much fun), musicians (oodles of talent there) – man has that place has got it right! A great let-your-hair-down atmosphere, three floors of party space, each with its unique theme and genre of music, a vibrant crowd, and a dias for amazing musicians - the place is 1000 watts of happiness and energy. We sat there till 2 P.M. listening to musicians jamming and when they shut shop we made our weary way back home.
Sunday 25 May, was supposed to start @ 9:30 to watch the first of the River Raft Races. But as things turned out, we opened our eyes @ 12. Ouch. Cee made us Amsterdam cheese and sundried tomato pancakes which were superlicious and with sustenance in our tummy off we went to watch, what was left, of the raft races. We managed to catch a nice shaded spot on the river edge and saw a few races that were left. And were they fun.
Of all the rafts we saw yesterday, we really could not say if they would even float. Looked like most of them managed to float but there were serious crew issues. Some rafts only moved in circles, not ahead or backward, just round and round, some went forward but only diagonally. It was a riot! Some kids were super competitive the others obviously looked like they were there for the fun of it. Lots of rowing (naturally), a few splashes into the water (hehehe) and overall a great time had by me. We meandered back home with a quick stop in Brussel Sprouts to quench our thirst.
After this I became all serious and ironed my clothes from 5 to 6:45! Time for a serious treat and Such and I headed out to Little India for Murugan Idli Kadai – yes my friends, they have a branch in our own piece of India in Singapore. Have to confess that Little India on a Sunday evening is like Gariahat during Durga Puja, Delhi on Holi, Ahemdabad during Navratri, Tirupathi during a festival, and Gateway of India during weekends all rolled into ONE! In other words utter ROWDY nightmare! But what I will not do for Murugan Idli. Lovely dovely idli was consumed and with a full tummy, a happy heart and a sated soul the weekend was over.
And also all the money in my account, thank you. There's luck for you!