THE SUBTERRANEAN HOMESICK NOOS » Do you know the way to Boat Quay?

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.

We were talking about how, somewhere in the world, there must be the ‘ye olde Irish Shoppe—for all your Irish pub supplies’, where a proprietor can pick up some Dublin road signs and old apple carts, flagons, four-leaf-clover motifs and crap like that. Half price if you buy the whole shebang including rustic tin cans—straight from a gen-u-wine Irish dump to you!—plus a touch of old blarney for good measure. There’s a lot of that shit in Molly Malone’s.

I scanned the joint. Cast my eye over a rather splendid piece of signage. Wondered if it was nailed down?

Later, I came back from the little girls’ room with that furrowed brow look I always get when I come out of the ladies’ at Molly Malone’s. But this time for a different reason. Usually, I’m confused about the sign in there—the one that says ‘no feet on toilet’. Feet ON toilet? Why would there be feet? Anyway. It’s a concept that is foreign to me—but, well, I guess that puts the ‘foreign’ in foreigner. But the sign’s gone. I wanted to take a pic. Stupid idea anyway, taking a picture in a lavatory.

I put down my empty glass of water and thought about the Guinness again. ”I must walk off now! Leave this place!’ I rationalised. ‘I still have to ride my bike named Scott home!’ Very sensible thinking. I do indeed walk off, reluctantly. But it’s sad when a Noodle drinks alone. I s’pose I could’ve called Mr Gills and Hobo, but they’d have come down. And I would’ve been stuck there all afternoon. Drinking S$12 pints. Stuck. And that would’ve been a real pain. I should’ve called them.

I strolled back to the water’s edge at Boat Quay—at least a 30-metre walk. Meandered off to the left, past the place where I ate a scrummy chilli crab with Conrad and Loy on ‘Connie from Cornwall’s’ last night here. I can’t remember if it really tasted that good, or we were just all a little Guinness affected. My liver twitched as it remembered. Actually, I think it was just my eye twitching in sympathy for my liver (it had been glad to see Connie leave on that jet plane). Black pepper crab is also meant to be pretty schmick down here. Maybe bring the parents here, when they come.?

I stopped kind of suddenly and swung around, almost taking out an English tourist couple. I know they were English. They had that ‘look’ about them. He had on a socks ‘n’ sandals ensemble. In Singapore. And a handicam attached to his hand. I apologised, because I was brought up right. Realised with horror he was Australian when he said sorry back. Felt ashamed.

Anyway, I’d remembered this honkin’ big bird, sorry, this large bird (doesn’t honk at all) sculpture in the other direction that I wanted to get a snap of. A giant robin I think? I arsed about for a bit, trying to figure out what angle to take it from, then thought ‘just do it the tourist way’. I snapped it plain. The only thing missing was someone pointing at it with a fiendish grin. That’s about all I can say about it really. It’s a ruddy giant bird sculpture. A couple of weeks ago they were shooting a type of Bollywood thing in front of this very sculpture. I was too shy to get too close. That’s why I’m a terrible tourist. I always want to get a closer look, but I ain’t got the cahones.

A bit later still, I jump on my bicycle named Scott and wheel away. Tackling the Singapore traffic on two wheels. I’ve forgotten the sunscreen. Sweat leaks out of me. As least I’ve done something this weekend. Not too shabby.

Toodle-Noo. Here endeth the missive.


©Janeen McCrae 2002



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