A Singa Mate

21Apr10


Just as I was thinking I needed to find a hobby or join a group to keep my weeks from falling into the mundane work, home, sleep routine, the Iceland Volcano erupted. And in the theory of 6 degrees of separation, a family friend(one I’ve never met) just so happened to get stuck in Singapore without a way home. So I met up with my new “mate” (he’s a Kiwi, from New Zealand) on Monday for a drink and a “yarn” (picking up catchy New Zealand terms is probably the last thing I expected to get from Singapore, but this one has staying power and can see it becoming a solid staple in my vocab) at the Fairmont hotel

We kicked off the evening at New Asia bar on the 70th floor of the Swisshotel (a standard for him when he’s in the area.) If you’re ever in Singapore, you MUST put this place on your “must see” list. The view from the restaurant is unmatchable. Sitting there in the restaurant with champagne continuously being poured in my glass by the attentive wait staff, watching the sun set over Singapore as smooth jazz played in the background placed the past 2 evenings in the Top 5 most amazing experiences of my life.

Once the champagne was kicked, on Monday night we went to Fatty’s for some authentic local food. Fatty’s has a history here in Singapore. A family run, well established hole in the wall Chinese/Malay restaurant that serves a fried rice, clay pot chicken and spring roll with flavor you will never get from a Chinese Take-Out restaurant in the States. Paired with a nice Tiger beer (the local brew) it made for a perfect way to end Monday and a good start the week.

Which brings me to post-New Asia bar, take 2. Tuesday night and it was time for some good German food. I know you may be skeptical, but you can get some really good “Western” cuisine in Singapore. The restaurant is called Brotzeit, as wieners and steins is what they do best. Not since I’ve been to Germany (4 years ago now) have I had a stein of good German beer of this size and German potato salad. Good stuff all around and a very, very nice change from the Asian cuisine that has been my breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past 2 weeks.

Satisfied from the good beer and good food (not to mention the champagne and skyline sunset at new Asia), and with the night still young, we were off to our next stop.

When in Singapore, when it’s about a solid 80 degrees outside and you’re a little tipsy on a Tuesday evening with a family friend you’ve only just met, one thing beckons—a Rickshaw ride to the next bar! No question it would have been faster for us to walk, but my mate insisted I experience my first Rickshaw ride through Singapore. So there we were, sitting in the Rickshaw seat as what probably must have been a 90 year-old Asian man with no teeth and sinewy limbs slowly peddled us to our next destination.
Just when I thought that was the apex of the evening, we arrived at Divine bar— a very Gotham-esque building with a design resembling the Empire State building (the waitress later told us it was designed by an architect from Tokyo—only 9 yrs. ago)

The place was quite empty; and as we took our seats in front of the towering wine case , a pianist, cello player and vocalist took to the floor and performed a Grammy-worthy rendition of Allison Krauss’ “When you Say nothing at All.” (Mikki and Lo- no joke tears filled my eyes when the lady started singing. CSM and you 2 are with me even all the way over here!)

A “little” Asian girl, probably around 25, dressed in a silver sequined ballerina outfit with a tutu and fairy wings approached our table and we proceeded to order a bottle of South African red wine. Next thing I knew, that little fairy girl was prancing over to the base of the towering wine case, harnessing herself into some sort of Cirque du Soleil contraption and with remote control in hand, floated whimsically up the 12-story wine case, to find our bottle. All the while, we’re sitting there with our heads arched back watching and giggling like little kids–A riot. What a job—imagine being hoisted up to fetch wine as you’re dressed like Tinker Bell for crowds of wine guzzlers to get a rouse out of—just looking up your skirt and having a good laugh at you –or at the absolute wackiness of the whole thing.

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One Response to “A Singa Mate”

  1. 1 Marilyn Siemons

    Hey, Aly. Your mom just sent me to your blog. It’s great to hear that you are having such a wonderful experience. You sure don’t let the grass grow under your feet!! Enjoy!! Enjoy!! Thinking of you, Muff


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