THE SUBTERRANEAN HOMESICK NOOS » Singapore

Take this job and…

10 09 2002

Graham approaches me. He’s the new boss. He’s not approached me in the few short weeks he’s been here. It’s a Friday morning. It’s Friday morning and the non-approaching new boss has approached me. He’s approached me at my desk. He looks troubled. A man struggling. He says, buy viagra help “Can I see you for a minute?”

Some of you may recognise this dance. You know what comes next. I look sheepishly at my closest proximity workmate.

I know it too. It has come, best viagra medical the revolution. Wall, cialis sale I’d like you to meet Janeen’s back.

I am first. Fifteen minutes later, Loy joins me. Then comes Scott. We shake hands. By the end of the day, ten people are with me. We few, we happy few, we band of…no-pay-chequers.

There are five distinct phases of retrenchment aftermath. Depending on the person, they occur in any order they damn well please. Sometimes it seems like there are more than five, but really, it’s just the same phases repeating themselves ad nauseam.

The stages, in no particular order, are:
Pure Fury
Pure Depression
Pure Joy
Recovery
Pure Panic Read the rest of this entry »



A Haw Par tour

25 08 2002

People, best viagra prescription I have had my eyes opened and my retinas violated. It was tops!

Lately I’ve been prattling on with this baloney about seeing and tasting and touching and sniffing things to make sure all your opinions are based on fact. With this baloney in mind, decease I dragged my poor unsuspecting parents along to a tack-ridden kitsch fest to rival the late Liberace on his best day in Vegas.

Haw Par Villa
The Lonely Planet guidebook sent me there. The words ‘grotesque statuary’, ‘gory comeuppance’, and ‘10 courts of hell’ leapt off the page at me. Made me all a-tingle. And only $5 entry. How could I resist such a tourist mecca? And there was a story to go with it—the Tiger Balm fortune story. Next time you go rub a bit o’ balm into your corked thigh, you can think of this place.

Two quick observations
1) The $5 entry fee has evaporated. It may have been used in the past to actually maintain the joint, so the absence of it perhaps gives some clue to Haw Par’s run-downedness.

2) If you want to make your parents look completely aghast for a couple of hours, take them here. I’m sure if the place had been in full working order, it might have been a better experience for them. But it’s run down. The water isn’t running through the channels and paint is flecking off statues all over the shop. But still. As I said to them in my wise and all-knowing manner, “You have to see the bad in life—it makes the good look better.” Read the rest of this entry »



Pay as you wish

29 06 2002

“Eat what you want
Pay as you wish”

It’s a concept I’m not quite familiar with. I did a few mini-double takes of the slogan at the top of the menu, best viagra pilule just to be sure. I was sitting in an Indian restaurant with fellow Ion Global-ers* Philip and Suba. Suba had told us about this place—which sounded somewhat mystical and terribly new agey to me—where a person could go and eat all they wanted, cialis ALL THEY WANTED, and at the end decide how much they would pay for the meal. There was no bill. There were no prices on the menu. This Oz, this Eden, this other world, simply lets the customer do the math.

“No way,” Philip had said, in his typically, disbelieving Californian way. The same kind of tone he used a bit later during lunch when I was talking about good Australian wines.

But ‘Way!’ There we were. Eating all we could and contemplating just how much we thought the vegetarian belly timber was worth. I think because we were all a little chuffed at the concept—the downright wonderful ethic of it all, the beauty of the ‘you decide the value and we’ll let you scarper no questions asked’ ideal—well I think, actually I’m pretty sure, we overpaid.

Read the rest of this entry »



We have a winner

23 05 2002

“Give me your tired, best viagra ampoule your poor, cialis generic cialis sale Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… Scrap that, click just give me Noodle.”

It seems to me that if you’ve just inked somebody’s fingers to hell and back for the purpose of obtaining fingerprints, giving them something large and wet-ish to clean their inky hands with would be kind of a nice thing to do. Not something that’s, say, roughly the size of a gnat’s nappy. In the interest of globalisation, I’ll repeat that for my US punters—not something that’s, say, roughly the size of a dragonfly’s diaper.

But you don’t get a decent-sized thing at all. You get a moist towelette. Like the ones you get from KFC. A Colonel Sanders moist towelette. One. It’s the size of a postage stamp. And I got inked twice. Once to get a ‘Certificate of No Criminal Conviction’ in Singapore, and the second time to get a set of prints to send back to Australia. To be fed through the criminal system just so at the end, there will be confirmation that I am a good, wholesome, cherub-cheeked person. A clean skin. A very model citizen of a very model society.

It has all been rather dramatic lately. If I’ve neglected to speak to you, I’ll speak to you now—I won the Green Card lottery last week. All you actually win, if you care to know, is the chance to apply for your Immigration Visa without going through the whole pain-in-the-butt drama of convincing some US company to hire you, or even more difficult, some poor US gentleman friend to kneel before you and say ‘Let’s marry our fortunes together, stranger’. Oh well. No more marriage of convenience for me! Oh, and before anyone gets too, too excited, there’s still a chance I might not get my green card. But let’s wait for the interview to roll the dice, shall we? Read the rest of this entry »



Do you know the way to Boat Quay?

12 05 2002

The Chinese character for ‘no’ looks like a picnic table. At least I think it means no, sildenafil case or it means words that roughly mean no or ‘not for you’. It pops up in the sub titles at the cinema whenever someone says ‘no’, cialis sale or ‘don’t’ or ‘can’t’ and words of similar meaning. It’s also displayed on the signage outside Chairman Mao’s Pub, the slogan for which, Singing is not guilty. Dancing needs no reason, amuses me greatly. It’s also across the laneway from Molly Malone’s Irish pub, which is where I was today.

I didn’t mean to sit down there of course. I was just out for a jaunt—ducking, diving, weaving and careering around Boat Quay trying to take some pics to thrill the punters. I just happened to wander down the laneway to take a snap of Chairman Mao’s and well, the call of the Guinness got me. ‘Just one’, I thought. ‘I’ll consider it lunch’. I went in. Is 11.00am too early?

I think Irish pubs must be the same the world over. I’m remembering a snippet of a conversation now that I had with Roy when we were in Dubai. At an Irish pub. In Dubai. Forty-five degrees in the shade—oven forced air outside. And Roy and myself (I can’t remember if Crazy Val was there?) inside, wolfing down a Guinness. It looked like every other Irish pub that I’ve ever been in. Except for the abundant supply of big moustaches and chiselled walnut-coloured faces in this Dubai one. Read the rest of this entry »



The homesick blues

9 05 2002

So, generic cialis there another Thursday and Giles the Manchurian and Noodle the … Macslandian (parental estate) stroll down to Brewerkz for lunch. There are plenty of cheap eats in the vicinity of the office, viagra usa hospital but what narrowed down the field of lunch choices for the both of us was the possibility of a pint to go with it. Oatmeal stout. Not to be sneezed at. And only $2 if you order it with the lunch set. Extremely cheap for Singapore.

Much of the conversation is simply venting, venting, venting about work. Giles has a vent, then I have a vent. It’s fun, really fun to have a good whinge about it, and he being the pom…. Hang on, actually I held my own there. Maybe even hogged the conversation? Anyway, anyone who’s ever had the misfortune to sit with me over a beer and listen patiently while I moan about ‘being on the wrong road’, just insert your own experience here and the scene will be set.

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