(First, an apology. I published this by accident yesterday before I had finished writing it, so for anyone who read it and had no idea what I was going on about – I am sorry. I’m sure it will be better now it’s finished.)
This is another post requested by my most avid readers, who apparently find my drinking antics far more interesting than my cultural excursions. I had been considering writing about my social life before, but I finally managed to actually go clubbing in Singapore a few weeks ago, so this seemed like a good time to finally do it. I don’t have the biggest social group out here, because I don’t really like people and because I work weekends (to be fair, it’s much more the second one than the first) but I spend a lot of my free time with people I work with because we have the same anti-social schedules. While working weekends is good in that you manage to avoid all the awful crowds that pack everywhere on Friday and Saturday nights it is bad, very bad, because the options of things you can actually do on a Monday or Tuesday are pretty limited, and, for some reason, lots of Singapore seems to close on Mondays instead of Sunday, like all normal, civilised places.
For a few weeks our usual socialising was the most British Monday night pub quiz you will probably find outside of the UK. Run by an English man and held in the oldest Irish pub in Singapore we regularly did pretty well, mainly because we descended en masse and aced all the more niche (British) cultural references. The pub quizzing has died off in recent months, because we were just too good… and the drinks were expensive. But, you’ll be pleased to hear, we have continued to explore the Singaporean nightlife on offer to those of us who are cursed with having Monday nights off. We have sampled the delights of Boat Quay on more than one occasion, eaten Korean BBQ and got drunk on bad cocktails, eaten a lot of cheese, washed down with a lot of wine, at Wine Connection (which I’ve prattled on about before, so won’t do it again now), and had horribly strong martini’s at Emerald Hill (which were probably 80% gin, my least favourite tipple). However, there is one event in particular which has attained almost god like status in our little social circle, and ending up at this hallowed ground has become the true mark of a good night. I am, of course, talking about the great Asian tradition of karaoke.
Ok, ok, maybe that is a stereotype, but there is a lot of karaoke on this side of the world, and not in the jokey, back room of a pub sort of way that I’m used to. You have to be careful of your choice of karaoke venue in Singapore, there are a lot of bars which are basically designed for creepy men to go and watch girls sing, and a bunch of drunken teachers stumbling into one of those accidentally would have been… a story, at least. So anyway, pick your karaoke venue carefully. For us it’s a tucked away bar in Clarke Quay with a name I can’t remember which hires out private karaoke rooms so you can wail to your hearts content and not disturb any strangers. It’s not quite a bar, so you have to buy whole bottles of alcohol if you want to drink while you sing (always advisable) and this quite often leads to a messy night. I can’t say confidently that I remember half the stuff that has been sung at karaoke, but I can say that there has been a lot of ABBA, a fair amount of Blue, some Red Hot Chilli Peppers, an acceptable amount of popular indie, more Grease than is really necessary and a lot of rap which, it turns out, no one actually knows most of the words too. Also, a weirdly large amount of Shania Twain. Both of these karaoke excursions have been because of one friends wedding – the first the joint stag/ hen do and the second where we ended up on the actual wedding day itself. I think I can safely say that was the weirdest wedding reception I will ever go to, but also probably the most fun.
I have also, finally, been clubbing in Singapore. I think I’ve almost made it a few times, but on those occasions we ended up whiling away the night drinking cheap beer at Boat Quay or sat on a bridge, which used to be a thing before they brought in no public drinking laws a few months ago. Kill joys. But, a few weeks ago, when thanks to SG50 I actually had a Sunday off work and could therefore enjoy a Saturday night, and after an awful lot of wine, I actually ended up in a club. I can’t say for sure where it was, and I have no idea what it’s called, but it was a pretty cool place spread over three floors with a rickety (and probably very dangerous when you’re drunk) staircase connecting them and the roof terrace (at least, I think there was a roof terrace, I’m not one hundred percent sure). The music was a mixture of hip-hop and remixes and, while not quite up to the standard of the legendary Arena Cheesy Tuesdays, was fun and a lot more acceptable to admit to enjoying. I did, however, keep getting asked if I was German, which was odd. We then got caught in a massive rain shower on the way home and bought an obscene amount of junk food in the corner shop which almost made me feel like I was back at home.
Leah Out X