Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Macau Story - Pt 1

I’ve been on tons of holiday where I have social and monetary consequences catching up to me when I get back or when I’m at the boarding area running a mental recapitulation of the weekend’s proceedings and subsequent damage.

It’s always the familiar case of the tourist mentality and the notion of your invincible dollar. Yes, our limits are made to be breeched and it’s becoming a fatal routine to run out of cash and risk having to pawn our organs just for that one more bottle of vodka.

Yet, this time round, I was plague by periodic pangs of concern that I was going to have to pawn my kidney before the trip was over and mortgage my car, the kitchen sink and my parents after I get back. If I wrote down every time I thought, “what the fuck?”, it will make everything Dan Brown has written look like a primary 6 composition.

Last night, LB and I got stuck at the airport for over 4 hours. I was hungry, LB was freezing his butt off and we were at the smoking area tabulating the amount of money we spent and I believe the famous last words were “what the fuck?”.

And this is how it all happened...

It was Macau, the Vegas of the East, the holy land of slot machines, high stakes poker and illegal immigrants. No one really cares to sight see there because if there isn’t a casino in that building, you know it’s either not worth the visit or that it will be demolished soon in favour of more casinos.

This fact is well proliferated in popular mass media and although many TVB drama serials have taught us the rule that Macau is where people go to lose their fortune, virginity and sometimes their wives, we also know that humans are incorrigible beings that believe that beating the casino is a possibility much like a sub 9 hundred metre dash and happy ever afters.

Prior to the trip, I was already briefed that one of the guys had a huge appetite for lavish spending. I was properly re-assured that ‘no frills’ was the word of the day and the code by which we were going to live by for the duration of the trip.

I am proficiently aware of the merits of a budget-less travel because I am a staunch believer that a conservative approach for the purse takes away a lot of potential fun for the trip. I like, every carnal human, thrive on the thrill of the experience without the weight of inhibitions.

In retrospect to my past travels with LB, we were both comfortable with words like, intemperance, debauchery, indulgence, profligacy and hedonism. After all, these were staple words inked to my very fibre of existence. If I had more vodka and less humility, I would have told you that I invented those words and emailed it to Webster one day in a drunken stupor.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

Our first meal was dinner at some seafood restaurant that was apparently pretty popular – and pricey for that matter. I don’t remember the name because I don’t give anything that doesn’t come with alcohol, hard music, disco lights or cleavages much attention.

As the dishes started to be served, I went from “this abalone is damn fresh” to “I wonder if my pay is in yet”. There were prawns and fish and God know what else the sea had to offer and by the time they brought out the oysters, I didn’t know whether to shout for joy or for a taxi back to Singapore.

Then I presumed that it was usually a mandatory custom to have a hearty first meal as a self-celebratory welcome for ourselves - which in fact an act of masochism if you ask me -, so I anticipated the following days to be lined with quick trips to the local food stalls, slurping noodles in the cool grace of Spring.

Then we headed out to gamble and a quick introduction to the basement of Lisboa – of which I will dedicate an entire post to, just because I think it is amazingly hilarious to me. Part of me would like to tickle you with my turn of hands at the Texas Hold’em table, but it all happened so quickly and I acted to impulsively that I lost nearly half my gambling reserves in under an hour chasing a lost cause.

So what do I do when I lose money at the casino? I find the nearest bar to drink. The great thing was that most of the group had already started a heavy round of rum and champagne over at MGM, and I knew that alcohol while capable of erasing memory, also provided great solace.

Then the champagnes kept flowing, by which time I was already well tanked and convinced that buying half their champagne inventory was a great idea. Some of the guys headed out to gamble again and I was already too teased by alcohol to be even remotely able to sit with enough discipline for a game.

We eventually left together and LB and I parted ways with them shortly out the casino because we were too restless to even consider sleeping a viable option. Then as soon as we turned back, we met this group of girls that were next to our table at the bar.

They were tipsy and one of them was so sloshed, she was barely able to hold a pose. Then she started puking, which by all books is a legitimate process when you are in a committed relationship with alcohol and binge drinking. Only thing was, this girl was trying to hide the fact that she was vomiting.

I’ll paint you a mental picture. This girl was covering her mouth with one hand, waving with the other when the door man asked if she was alright and as muffled as it was, replying, “I’m okay . I’m okay”, whilst puke continued to drip through her fingers that were over her mouth.

I’ll put that in perspective. She was drunk, trying to convince people that she was okay, vomiting and trying to pretend that she wasn’t. Now that is what you call, multi-tasking. So we did what any chivalrous male bystander would do. We started chatting up her friends. And that’s what you call, seizing the opportunity.

I don’t exactly know the possible outcome of it because LB and I both saw it in varying perspective. He was confident that we could have closed and I was sure that I got cock blocked by one of the other girls. I know so, because she yelled at me. She was a lot bigger than me so I dropped the idea of challenging her to a fight.

When they left, we got so bored we decided to hop on to a cab and have the driver take us around the city to visit all the vice joints. And by this I mean your strip joints, massage parlors and brothels. It was on an impetus of boredom, not horniness and synergized by a driver that was so obliging in taking us on his red light tour.

He would stop by the side and we would walk in to see the girls and then come out 2 minutes later and he would take us to the next joint. We weren’t going to pick any girl because it is absolutely retarded to pay S$160 for girls who look like they just came out of a village. Some looked like they dropped out of a weight loss program midway through.

It was hilarious for us because we were a tad inebriated, had no idea where we were going and popping in every joint for a free visual buffet of tits. Sometimes we popped in just because we needed to pee and one of us would act like we were genuinely interested just so that we would keep their hopes up for another minute or so.

Fucking crazy night man.”

And I was so wrong because I had NO IDEA what was installed for me the next day...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

That Debate

Sometimes, debates are not meant to be engaged with everyone. Debates are great to have against spastic kids or mutes – let’s face it, there’s only so much can write before they tire -, and should generally be avoided against rappers, people with lisp and Wikipedia enthusiasts.

And as of what I realized some time back, you should also never get into a debate with anyone that is hot; simply because everything they say is right.

If you have me on Facebook, then you would have read my post about the ‘Best Debate Ever’ and would probably be anticipating this post. If you haven’t, then I don’t understand why you bother having Facebook if you don’t have me on it.

So there I was sitting at a bar counter alone when this girl very randomly struck up a conversation.

She: “Is that ALL you are having? A Red Bull?

I looked up and saw what was probably the hottest girl within a 7 mile radius. She was tan, had immaculately sharp features and her face was radiating so much awesomeness it would have blinded Stevie Wonder.

All this girl needed, was to hold up two fried chicken wings and you would still think she was an angel. Seldom will anyone halt me with a reply for 2 seconds just by flickering her eyes, but she was so amazing, she could out do Helen of Troy and set off a million spaceships from across the galaxy with just one smile, and all that without any communications aid from Singtel.

We got into a debate over the marketing proficiency of Red Bull and I threw in a whole bunch of technicalities over the differentiation between the gold can Red Bull and the Blue/Silver one from Austria.

I would bring up taste differences and she would harp on the similar names. I would pull up historical beginnings and she would question the need for a lawsuit over the brand. I would point out that they are essentially two very different products and she would eye me with enough skepticism as if to accuse eunuchs of smuggling condoms.

If you know me personally, then you will know that I am as proficient with my tongue as I am with my writings, so to entirely drown me out in a debate is quite a remarkable feat by any merit means. That is of course unless you are hot, then I truly do not see a need to disagree with anything you say.

She was that pretty to me that I honestly couldn’t care less if she said Red Bull looks better in Pink or that Michael Jackson is actually Osama under all that prosthetic shit. She could have said that the Sun was our next optional planet to live on once Earth is destroyed, and I would still have thought that it would be a great idea.

Then about 5 minutes into the conversation, I started realizing that she bore an uncanny resemblance to a celebrity.

Me: “So when was the last time you been to a club?”
She: “I’m not in Singapore much.”
Me: “You’re not local?”
She: “I am but I’ve been overseas a lot..”

Then it hit me. I was having a debate with…

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Life In The Mid Week

We’ve all heard the myth that Singapore is that tiny dot with nowhere to go on a weekday, or at least before Wednesday, which is for most, the start of the weekend. And that is true, for most parts, until you discover the world of Thai discos.

If you haven’t already realized, Thai discos are the newest rage on the night scene, even though they’ve been around for years. They are so popular now, they are springing up all over the place like genital warts on a $10 back-street whore.

And this is a place that defies the popular notion that no one parties on a Monday. There is a crowd regardless of day, just as long as there’s someone pretty singing on stage and a couple of other hot asses parading the club peddling shots.

No one is sponsoring my blog so I won’t even begin to name drop.

Just the other day, we went to Geylang – I have so much to write on this place, it will take me seven volumes and a magic wand to complete writing it –for market visit on consumer consumption patterns for the pubs.

So we started at a place that one of my colleague recommended and I knew it was going to be shit because I’ve not heard of it. However, professional etiquette and a mission to run the entire gamut of what Geylang had to throw at us eventually drove us there.

Now, I know a pub is good when I walk in and I see a pretty face within the first 5 seconds of stepping through the door. Sometimes I am greeted by other positive sights like cleavages or mini-skirts, which I shall refer to as pull factors. And sometimes these cleavages also come with saggy boobs that will touch her knee cap within the next year, of which I refer to as push factors.

This club had a significantly higher push than it did a pull but because this was strictly a visit built on the premise of work, we decided to stay for a drink anyway. I sulked, but no one gave a shit.

It got worse because as we started walking further in, I spotted this one particular Amazon by the chalk board and my first thought was, “that is one muthafucking ugly transvestite”. When we got closer, I thought to myself again,

I am right. That is one muthafucking ugly transvestite.”

I say transvestite because I am convinced that this is simply a man in drag and he still has a penis. I believe there is an international law for sex change and even surgeons have to abide by this moral code that if you are ugly, you are not allowed to have your penis chopped off. If there isn’t such a law, then there should be.

What the fuck are transvestites doing in a bar supposedly demarcated for Vietnamese? Well, they are friends of the patrons of course, why did I not think of it?

They might as well be working there too because the other girls there weren’t even the least bit worth a consideration. If you were absolutely- held by gun point to you dick- forced to choose one, then you’d probably have a hard time choosing between a walrus and them.

I’ll pay some credit because there were some that were decently pretty but they either came with un-proportionate silicon tits or looked like they were religious fans of anorexia.

Years ago when I first went to a pub like this with LB, we got conned – coerced or pressured, however you choose to see it – by two Viet-congs, and I learnt a $20 lesson that day; No isn’t just about saying, it’s about making them understand that you don’t want them within 2 metres of you.

Years on and inured with lived experiences, I got so good at rejecting them, some of them would actually yell at me before they leave and I always imagine them to be praising me for it, only just alot louder. Then sometimes, there are the ones that just come out with the weirdest reasons.

She: “Hello.”
Me: “No thanks.”
She: “But you send me signal.”

This was highly amusing to me because for one, I wasn’t even looking at her. I certainly wasn’t waving and neither was I even smiling. And now all of the sudden, I was sending her signals? What the fuck is she? A Dolphin?

How the fuck am I even transmitting signals to her? So I used my hyper squeak sonar, “eek eek” that said, “fuck off”.

We finally left the place and headed down to this other place that was spinning hard techno remixes of techno songs. This was basically a bastardization of what is already a very fast beat as with all techno music, way harder and faster than any Hard Trance that I will readily shuffle to.

And when I am sober and unable to catch up to the beat, you can imagine what people who are drunk and trying to sync their dance to the beat will look like. Three words,


There was this one particular guy who was so decked in Addidas, if Addidas ever hosted an Olympic, he would qualify as a mascot. He was entertaining because he was so smashed, he couldn’t make up his mind whether he was going to do the running man or pop and lock. I realized than that if a Polio kid with nerve damage ever danced, it would look just like that.

I laughed so hard I almost shat my pants and I thought nothing was going to top this. Then I looked at the DJ console and realized that I couldn’t be more wrong. What could be funnier than watching one man dance like that you ask?

Three man dancing like that next to the DJ console.

So who says Geylang is all about erection relief, foreign talents and late night suppers?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

About White Lies

I’ve never believed that relationships work on total transparency and this is carved from empirical evidences, both narrated and lived experiences.

You see, white lies were created for a valid reason and sovereignty to use it – or abuse it – lies in all of us, of course more so for people who are in relationships, because you need to lie more often than the rest of us.

By definition, for the benefit of those vocabulary challenged,

White Lie [noun:]

1. An often trivial, diplomatic or well-intentioned lie
2. What people say to avoid un-necessary confrontations, usually in the form of nagging
3. Used by people to explain periodic disappearances
4. Used by people when they say, ‘You look fine’.

In the old days when my heart – and penis – belonged solely to one woman, I was a religious subscriber to white lies. This was because that person was highly possessive and restrictive. Her repertoire of laws included, no gambling, no clubbing and no watching shows with excessive violence, which effectively boiled down to WWE, even despite my argument that it was essentially a soap opera with well choreographed acts of violence.

She was like Hitler, passionate, domineering, believed in dictatorship, just that she didn’t have testicle issues, a penis or a moustache for that matter.

I would often lie about going to the clubs just so that I could sneak out for a game or maybe 5 of mahjong. Just imagine, I had to LIE that I was going clubbing just so I could play mahjong, which in her rank of trinity of evils, sat right at the top, above even an intemperance of alcohol and a lewd affair with the toilet bowl after.

That was a white lie, even though she would nag about it, but she genuinely preferred me at the clubs drinking then throwing money over the table for mahjong. It was a strange affixation she had, tying the decay of a soul to gambling. Yes, I believed she saw moral fibre as paramount to liver failure.

And even when I was at the clubs, obligations, responsibility and a blind commitment to love were my sheath for any misdemeanor. If I did flirt, it would merely be restricted to eye contact. There were no exchanges in contact numbers or bodily fluids, and I my purpose there were solely for obligations to friends and abuse of whiskey.

That was until one night that I got hit on by a girl and I actually recounted the story back to the Empress Dowager – even though I didn’t take her contact. She got worked up and started questioning if there were more incidents that I didn’t tell her about.

I told her there was one time Coco Lee flew in all the way from Taiwan to propose to me on one knee in the middle of Zouk. She didn’t think it was the least bit funny. She stared so hard, she would have made blind people blink. I said, “can’t you take a joke?” and she said,

Do you think this is funny?”

And when someone says that, you know that NOTHING you say after that is going to resolve it and EVERYTHING you say is going to be wrong. That was when I realized how big an idiot I was for not using what God had created for men; white lies.

Just the other day, I had a short discussion with a friend, because her friend was upset that her boyfriend had gone to a KTV joint and had a lap dance from one of the girls. Now, the thing is, the boyfriend was honest about it and recounted the entire incident to her.

His validation for visiting the joint was based on the cruel participation of a stag’s night and that the lap dance, part peer influence and part submerging to the prevailing mood of a final night with hedonism, was merely a transaction.

The one mistake he made, was the overtly vivid account of the girl's breast being close enough for him to relate the scent to a familiar fruit. Now that pissed the girlfriend off because as much as she acknowledges the sentiments of camaraderie on a stag’s night, she didn’t appreciate the fact that he had to have a lap dance.

When I was asked on my opinion of the matter, I said that what was really important, was the deliberations and intentions behind the lap dance. If it was as he had said, a mere transaction, then he really is dumb enough to believe that honesty and love is beyond the myopic lenses of jealousy and paranoia.

You do not tell this kind of shit to your partner and expect them to be perfectly calm about it.

White lies work like a sort of space time continuum, where we use it to fill in an event that we do not need to convey. This is usually well intended, because the activity that is being covered up is trivial by some records and does not compose of any detrimental effects to the relationship.

This is only for incidences that you did not plan for underlining intentions. For instance, that lap dance ended there and then, or maybe you caved in and nibbled a nipple. But you did not fuck her – or him – and it ended with nothing, or maybe just an erection and not a post coital shiver at the transit hotel.

White lies are only for preventing people from making a huge fuss out of nothing and this is something humans – I won’t even say women because I’ve seen how men can over-react – are vastly proficient at, much like crop-circles and aliens, retrenchments and recessions or planes crashing into buildings and terrorism.

They say ignorance is bliss and sometimes it is. We don’t really need to know every intricate detail or aspect of how our partner’s day went, or at least we shouldn’t. There’s always that line where we should be able to enjoy, even if it means having some harmless fun like a flirtatious conversation that isn’t navigated towards the bedroom or a grind with a stranger at the dance floor, just as long as we know that our limits are tagged to the song.

I see the protest in some of your eyes as you are skimming pass this. Let’s be brutally honest. EVERYONE one has lied and if we all grew sharper noses when we did, rhinoplasty would be obsolete. Somewhere, sometime, somehow, you’ve told a white lie before, because you like all members of humanity understand the intrinsic value it has to sustaining a relationship.

I can understand why that person was upset with her boyfriend; that was because he was a moron not to use a white lie. Despite what people say about the merits of honesty in a relationship, you have to know that honesty is only appreciated intelligibly.

If you are going to be doing things that your partners are not going to be happy with, then insert a white lie. If you have to lie like OJ on the witness stands, then do it, because people only appreciate honesty when it is something they want to hear.

And if you are really good, white lies can be used to explain the following; waking up next to strangers, turning up late on Thursday mornings for work and not calling after sex.

Or if you really must know, if your white lie fell through and they get upset with your honesty, then what you can do, is to throw huge words like, “over-reacting” and “at least I’m being honest” or my personal favourite, “forget it, next time I won’t tell you anything”. These work great with the right tone of agitation, because if you execute it right, you can actually make them feel bad about it.

White lies, it’s all about simple manipulation of the truth.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

iPhone Scews People

I always knew that technology was going to screw us over eventually. No, the world isn’t being overtaken by machines that were jolted to life by a freak lightening and supported with an infinite brain manufactured by some super secret faction of the government.

That would have been some script only that Hollywood has abused this too often. It is after all, a myth, much like the Loch Ness monster, vampires, democracy in Singapore and recessions – from where I was standing at Zouk, it doesn’t look one bit like we are in a crisis.

I am however, speaking about phones, because as much as it has bridged distances, pinnacled the communications revolution and made shit loads of money for Singtel, it has also been the cause of many interrupted weekends, untimely wakeup calls and it sometimes doubles up as a GPS for paranoid people to check on their partners.

The phone has fucked us up in many ways, some in more ways than once and some actually has them fucking on it. I’ve been a guilty victim – or instigator, sometimes – to the flaws and awes of the evolution of the phone (keylocks, redials, cameras and touch screens, just to name a few).

I’ve been a loyal supporter of Nokia for God knows forever, but 2 months back, I surrendered functionality that Nokia so prides itself, for that gigantic interface known as the iPhone. And I believe I am being punished for my treachery.

I’m sure the phone is great and has tons of applications that you can use as post coital interactions if you wish to skip pillow talks or as great distraction when you are battling constipation. It’s just that I use it primarily for two things; call and SMS. Occasionally, when I feel adventurous, I check out the GPS function.

Thing is, I’m just not good with phones with reject buttons that are displayed on screen as opposed to having it materialize on the phone design itself. As such, I have on countless occasions, assumed that the sole button with the square is all I ever need to press when I end a call. If you own an iPhone, you will know that this is NOT the case.

Apparently, I have on many and I stress again, MANY occasions left the phone running because I did not end the call. As a result, people get to hear my post phone conversations, a lot. Obviously, this isn’t something new to me because the insidious pairing of a non key-locked pad and speed dial is a potent recipe for disaster as we all know.

The unthinkable has happened before, and by that I mean the nadir we can fall too, assisted by part technology and part carelessness. Think, you are bitching about someone, and you have them on call because redial functions without key-locking is a bitch.

I’m sure you’ll have some stories, after all, Hollywood is huge on the whole accidental call incidents, for instance; you call your boyfriend and you hear nothing, then pants and oops, he’s fucking your sister on the side. Everyone loves drama.

Then came last Thursday, when I had to pack in several meetings across town and this one particular client kept changing the time and venue. First it was the Flyer, then it was Raffles City and neither time did he turn up. And believe me, I have patience. I have so much patience, if Patience was a game, I would be Michael Jordan.

Yet even I have a breaking point and facing the mid day sun, an empty stomach and 3 litres of fuel that is killing the Ozone and giving some kid in Melbourne skin cancer, I wasn’t prepared to take shit. And so the last straw was him telling me to meet at Bugis instead, to which I cordially replied,

Ok, see you there.”

Then I got off the phone, threw it onto the passenger seat and instinctively, like all born and bred Singaporean Chinese, exploded into an expletive overdrive.

Kan ni nah. Chee Bye!”

And immediately, I realized that I still had him on line. I had pushed the button to bring up the main menu, not to disengage the call. I am perhaps the smartest person living.

I was now faced with several options. I could pick up the phone and hear if he was still on the line. I could – if my wits worked fast enough to recover from a you-fucked-up situation – salvage it by pretending I was cursing another imaginary person. Or, I could stop by the church and pray to God that he didn’t hear me.

The finite choices of action panned out panoramically into my instinctive train of thoughts. I was crippled by embarrassment and my reluctance to face the consequence. If we pretend something didn’t happen, then it didn’t right? Is this not how the world works? Isn’t that why we live in denial?

So there I stood, staring at the phone while the call duration ticked away at the top of the screen. Then it became clear to me. There was only one course of action that I could adopt, and that was to end the call and think of a word that sounds like, “kan ni nah”.

I realized then that “kan ni nah” does not sound like a cough or sneeze and has no phonetic similarities to anyone I have in my address book. What is with these dialects, why do they not sound like any easily replicated English words that we use on a daily basis?

When I got there - half pushed by professionalism and slightly convinced that I could sell the story of it being a car horn to him -, he was slightly solemn and lost most of that friendly disposition that he exuded the last couple times we met.

Him: “Hey very sorry about that. Hope you're not angry.”

Perhaps he really did hear my vulgarity charged remark?

Me: “Of course not. Don’t worry about it.”

If you deny something long enough, it never happened right?