Monday, December 28, 2009

Butterfly Goes To Turi Beach

Every once in a while, charity finds a way to align themselves with alternative lifestyle cultures, because people are just bored of watching celebrities prance around on stage and knowing their money is going to be of great use buying someone a condo.

Well, holding a starving kid with cerebral palsy in your arms just doesn’t cut it like it used to and is it just me or was there a general consensus to not give a shit about people with kidney problems, because of what the fuck happened to NKF.

So what do all great organizations or societal structures do in the face of adversity – namely just corruption allegations really- ? They adapt, resource and re-align with lifestyle pillars that are entire polar opposites of charity; the clubbing scene.

On hind sight, this actually makes great sense, since with the inception of alcohol and with enough amounts, everything will be a great idea, like beer showers, domestic violence and donating to charity.

Couple weeks back, we supported The Butter Factory who did some charity tie up for bone marrow donations. It was held at Turi Beach in Batam and I basically interpreted it the way I wanted.

Beach party, free booze and great music. Oh and with a charitable cause.”

I was sold on the idea. Not so much that I was doing a good cause, but because there was going to be a party. And I am too blinded by alcohol, and not good enough a person to really care what my donation is going to do.

After all, I’ve donated to NKF before and look what that turned out to be. So, unless my money is going to fund some war in Iraq or self-esteem courses for Whales, I don’t really give a shit. I am a horrible person.

It was also great that I had LB, Nana and IceMan heading down as well so if everything else failed, I knew I would have 3 more buddies wasting a weekend like me.

Shortly after we got there, it started pouring so heavily, it looked like Batam was going to sink. What was worse was that the villas were built into the slope, so I was convinced that if a landslide didn’t kill us, the lack of decent TV channels would.

We spent the entire afternoon in IceMan’s room playing Texas Hold’em with cigarettes as chips, almost convinced that the torrential downpour was a mocking from God for forfeiting a weekend to travel to Batam for charity.

Then it stopped, almost as sudden as it came and we were back on schedule for a nice outdoor dinner spread and the ever inviting thought of a pool party. Then more good news followed in the words of ‘open bar’, which got me so excited, I tore my larynx while executing a silent cheer.

There was also an area setup for recruitment of bone marrow donors. And I was dragged there by LB, at a point in time where I already had a few drinks and pleasantries have gone beyond my recall.

Some of the highlights of the recruitment lady’s persuasion to have me become a donor.

Lady: “BoldWould you like to donate?”
Me: “Nope, I don’t think I should.”
Lady: “Why not?”
Me: “I’m a bad person.”

Lady: “Do you know that it is a 1 in 10,000 match to find a suitable donor?”
Me: “How’s that guy going to feel when I’m that match and I say NO.”

If she had a stick, she would have beaten me all the way into Christmas.

Then there was the art auction that Butter Factory organized to raise funds, that was a lot more refreshing than having to call in to place a donation because of some fire breathing, coal walking, stage prancing act.

With all the formalities out the way, the music started playing, but it was a slow coax to what would be a night any Trance junkie would have been proud of. Old school beats, techno hits and even a couple of Jay Chou songs snuck right between.

Before we knew it, we all lined at the shallow end of the pool, jumping, forcing nasty liquids like bourbon down each others throats and attempting front flips off the platform.

4 hours later, you know something is wrong when we’ve had so much to drink and no one has actually left the pool for the toilet. By then I had already made a conscious decision to moderate my drinking.

Where possible, I would spit a good portion of the drink back out into the pool every time someone forced a bottle of bourbon down my throat. Then it hit me; everyone else was practically doing the same!

5 hours later, you know how fucked the pool is when we’re spitting back whiskey and bourbon into the pool and spraying Red Bull all around. If we had gone 6 hours, we might have shat, puked and had supper in there as well.

Then we broke up the party and then talks of supper came up and we had so much time getting up to the rooms and making so much noise banging on Cel’s door, her snap back at us probably woke me.

I got back to the room with Nana, stumbling through the corridor and fumbling with our door knob and key. It just wouldn’t open, but I could see our bags so this had to be our room. Or did they lock us out?

Me: “Nana, this is not funny. Not funny I tell you. I cannot open the door.”

It was like China all over again. Then 5 seconds later, I held up the door handle.

Me: “Nana, this is not funny man, not funny at all. I think I broke the door handle from the hinge.”

The lucky thing was that it actually opened the door.

Nana: “Do you think they are going to make us pay for that?”

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Hong Kong Rave Club

If you’ve watched enough Hong Kong movies and wondered if rave culture in clubs is as blatant as movies portray, then you should know two things. Yes it is, and that if you have a stomachache in a club, you are fucked.

And you know what else will get you fucked? Staring. It’ll pretty much get you the same ass beating and trash talking in Singapore – but in Cantonese.

That said, I’m sure if you throw some dough around, it’ll get you fucked in all merit of the word. It’s Asia, there are definitely people in the club who would go down on you for money. Think about it, we’re Chinese, we basically invented prostitution.

The great thing about being back in Hong Kong was the weather. It was chilly enough to bring a coat but not freezing to the point where I feel the risk of amputating my fingers every time I smoke.

The down side was that our entire day was spent sitting through a seminar that I hardly even had time to appreciate the in-room movies, let alone do some shopping to exploit the cheaper designer label prices.

What we didn’t do in the day, we made up amply for in the night. Ceaseless flow of alcohol, and a gratuitous wide eye appreciation of cornucopian parade of Jagerbomb trains. And along the way we were singing so loudly on the streets that we only needed a reindeer and it would have been a Christmas carol.

Then there was Club Pipi, reputed dance club and the biggest Hong Kong had to offer. And from the entrance it looked like it was ostensibly living up to its billing, with a whole throng for people that looked like they were there for the next Young & Dangerous casting.

Crowds were a good thing for us, because only an hour ago, we were at this club that was so empty, they had more urinals than people. Ironically, that place was called Full House. I laughed so hard, I peed all over the floor. It’s like calling your daughter Princess and she turns out looking like a toad, with a missing ear.

The place was large, I’d have gushed over it except that in Singapore, we’re used to mega dance clubs. It was obvious that this used to be an old cinema judging from the usher isles and impressively high ceiling. It’s a pity that I don’t give a shit about décor so long as there’s alcohol.

So it all started again. The familiar surreptitious comments and glances on the place, the people, the music all while keeping a close proximity to the bar and penning out the drinking itinerary.

The first bottle of vodka came out. I was still periodically tapping my feet, trying to coax them into beat to dance to some cataclysmal mash of pop and R&B that would have made deaf people frown.

Then, it came. Almost instantaneously, without warning, or regards to the glasses of vodka that awaited my lips. That all familiar rumbling in the tummy.

This was bad. I was in a club, having a stomach upset and needing to shit badly. Very badly.

I placed the glass down and started walking briskly to the toilet, periodically breaking out into hops and skips, whilst clenching my butt tighter with each approaching step.

It was full as I expected it to be. I now wished I hadn’t laughed at Full House because if this was there, I would be picking my cubicle by how much toilet paper they had. Maybe this was karma, and it sure picked a great time to get back at me.

I immediately rooted myself outside the nearest cubicle, started pulling out paper from the communal toilet roll and prayed. It was the only thing I could do because it felt like an eternity just waiting for my turn.

Then I realized, there was actually more than one person inside the cubicle. And since this isn’t a gay club, the obvious was beginning to settle in. People were actually doing drugs in there.

I glanced over to the other cubicles and it was the same circus there. I am fucked. How long am I going to have to wait before I’m allowed to do what the toilets are actually built for. Am I the only legitimate toilet user in this place?

I was breaking out in sweat just bending over with my hands supported on the wall. A thousand scenarios raced through my mind. Maybe I could run to some back alley and shit by the drain, or a basket. Maybe I might not make it that far, so will the stairs do? Will I get thrown out if I shat my pants?

Or maybe, if I just prayed hard enough, they will be done soon?

Then some guy taps me on the back and says something in Cantonese to me. Generally, my comprehension of the language is as good as a midget trying to do a pole vault. So when I’m trying to hold my shit in, everything sounds like penguins singing the national anthem of Antarctica.

Me: “I… don’t speak.. Cantonese.”

He: “Oh, if you want to use the toy-let, I think maybe you try sum-where else. These pee-pole will be in there long time.”

FUCK! Hope was the only thing I had left that perhaps their packet of blow was about done, or that one of them was going to OD and they would come bursting out, dragging the muthafucker with them. And now, it was all gone.

I was at a crossroads, a decision making axis where all great men have come to face. Do I stay and wait, or do I leave in search of more toilets?

I quickly made my way back to the guys.

Me: “I need a toilet. Badly. Like a VIP toilet, or for crew.”

Sam: “Okay follow me. I bring you to VIP toilet.”

So I did, and 30 seconds later, I ended up at another toilet – to his credit -, but with the same powder carnival. Maybe this was just another cue from God to crap my pants.

I went back to the bar where the bottles had multiplied and they were on to champagne. I was going to have none of it, I was not going to dance and I certainly was not going to shit by the looks of it.

Some of the guys came up to me, visibly inebriated with a lot less concern for my plight.

They: “Come drink!!”

Me: “Don’t touch me. Like seriously don’t touch me. I’m trying to concentrate on keeping my shit in.”

Then 15 minutes in, one of the guys had deliberately poured champagne on one of the girls, another had gotten emotional and I was still gently pacing the place, singing hymns to myself.

Me: “Hey, I need to go like now. I’ll see you guys back at the hotel.”
Nana: “We’ll all go back together.”
Me: “Then we need to go now. I don’t think you want to be there in the cab when I shit myself.”

I eventually made it, with dignity intact. And it took me a sprint across the hotel lobby that would have made Usain Bolt look like Terry Fox.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sleepless in China

This is perhaps the longest I’ve been silent of any literary merits, and no I’m not on a sabbatical nor have I abandoned my blog. Truth is, I’ve been away a lot, I’m having trouble with my desk top and there just isn’t enough hours in a day to mix writing and drinking.

So where do I start? The nights in Hong Kong? The one I nearly shat my pants? The Turi beach pool that we tainted with Red Bull and Whiskey? The one we fed ceramic plates to crocodiles? This was the one in China..

Sometime back we made a trip to China. It was a less than refreshing welcome back to a place that seemed very much the backwash of rapid commercialization in Macau – save for the slightly cool weather.

It was back to the all too familiar sights of men spitting by the road, dwarfed puppies on sale for 100RMB, traffic lights that no one gave a shit about and if you think about it, they only need to sell fried rats and this could actually pass off as Bangkok..

The thing about this particular part of China, is that there really isn’t anything to do, unless you love cheap clothes that look like it’s from a basket sale at emporium. Electronic stuffs are great too, just that nothing is ever real, so you can buy Nokia models that are so advanced, the guys in Sweden don’t even know it’s out.

So what’s left is to wait in baited anticipation for dinner – because no one ever wakes up for lunch-, then for night because having alcohol before the sun sets just isn’t good for the liver.

This was one night where the party had adjourned to one of the larger local joints and everyone was trashed. And I know we were because one of them refused to wear his pants and I don’t even remember how many bottles of champagne, vodka and cognac we went through.

That embarrassment is something we have sworn not to discuss again, so it’s beyond me to relate the matter in public, especially when most of that insanity didn’t even come from me.

What I did remember was that by the end of the night, we chalked up about quite an impressive tab and the place didn’t accept credit cards. By then most of the guys had left and the remaining four of us had to literally clear out pockets down to the coins just to make the figure.

And for a moment, I was convinced we wouldn’t have enough cash and that all of us had to sell a part of our organ to make up the difference. At that point, I was ready to part with my liver, and throw in a testicle for another bottle of champagne.

Then everyone left, staggering out of the bar, and I was stuck with Nana who had to send one of his friend who had been playing host to us back. It was going to be a quick detour to her place and then back to our hotel for some much needed sleep.

And then it went from a quick drop off to having to make sure she got up to her place because she was so drunk out her wits, she even had problems with the front lobby door. So we became Samaritans and then five minutes later when we finally got in, she passed out on Nana and I found myself walking round the place trying to entertain myself.

Remember, I was drunk, very bored and restless. And what would anyone in my state do when there is a fruit basket in front of them with a pair of knives? If you said, ‘cut some fruits to eat’, then you must be gay and never been drunk before.

Next I know, I was fighting the fruits with the knives while Nana looked on in bewilderment. I had, when I was done with it, disfigured the fruits so badly you wouldn’t know a banana from a pineapple.

Me: “Do you think she’ll notice if we stole her stuff?”

I scanned round the room, threw some cosmetics out the window then tried to move the television.

Me: “This is fucking heavy!”

Nana looked on in amusement.

Me: “Let’s get out of here. It’s boring!”

So we left and mind you, this was some apartment that had no lights at the corridors so imagine how many problems we had going down with enough alcohol in us to drown a ferret.

When we got to the door, I started blind feeling for the latch which felt like some funny knob that I couldn’t figure if I had to turn it, push it or to pee on it. Neither worked, and then slowly it dawned on me, perhaps we needed a key to open. We were fucked.

Me: “Nana, this is not funny. I can’t open the door. Not funny I tell you, we are going to be stuck in here till morning. Not funny man, not funny at all.”

He looked on once again. Silent, with a frown but his lips pursed together almost breaking into a smile. All this while I continued frantically fiddling with the knob.

Me: “FUCK!! We’re going to be stuck here!!

Any moment now, I was going to break into tears just so that it might lubricate the door enough to slide open.

Me: “Not funny Nana, not funny…”

Then he pushed the gate and it miraculously swung open. And then I realized, all this while, I was pulling the side gate which wasn’t suppose to open to begin with.

Oh, and the knob? It was a screw.