And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. The countdown to CNY: Singapore is on, and one can hear the Tiger screaming his death throes as the white rabbit approaches (knock knock, Neo).
So catching you up on Sunday, I'll begin with some really, really good news. Sammy the Bull officially logged SEVEN MILES OUTSIDE!!!! The weather, whilst rainy, was perfect, as it was actually BELOW 80 degrees for a change. To quote Matt Miller: "You just have to wait for the right season to run in Singapore. The humidity breaks in the month of NEVER." That means that, when you get a chance to run outside and think you might actually SURVIVE - you take it.
Considering that my goal was to log 7 miles outside by the end of Feb, I'm certainly feeling good about my progress so far. I logged 45 minutes on the bike tonight, and during that time I saw 2 CLASSIC Hairless wannabe's:
1. Hairless Wannabe #1: 2 minutes like he's trying to create enough gyroscopic force to tilt earth off it's axis, followed by 2 minutes of heavy grunting - rinse repeat twice, followed by a VERY sweaty 1 minute cool down...
2. Hairless Wannabe #2: 40% effort at best for 2 minutes and 55 seconds. Really? REALLY?
Jackie, Muffin Puffin, and I did make it to Brewerkz for a pint, where I tried "Smokey the Beer." I'm happy to confirm that it was REALLY good (think Scotch without the Scotch), but then I made a SERIOUS tactical error in judgment - I went for the cask ale.
So those of you that have followed my exploits in the UK know that I'm a cask ale lover. These beers are WONDERFUL, especially in winter in Britain when it's colder than 40 hells. However, there are a few "nuanses" about cask ales that are tough to replicate in the Sing. Some key ones:
1. You need a cellar with natural air conditioning at 40-50 degrees. In Singapore you're lucky to get ANYTHING below 70 if your PUMPING AC.
2. You need old barrels or cement casks that have stored and aged beer and whiskey for hundreds of years. This place proudly boasts "Fine brewing since 1994."
3. You need the surroundings to be earthy so that the water can leech the nutrients and contribute to the flavor. The water here as enough clorine to clean the Mississippe 47 times a week.
I say all this to tell you that my first sip of the "AWARD WINNING CASK ALE" was, well, how can I say it - DISHWATER. Seriously, to quote the Terrier, it was DOUBLE DONKEY TRASH OF THE LOWEST ORDER. Consequently, I did what the Welshman and Lord G have always taught me to do - I sent it back. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, was a CLASSIC conversation. Basically, I won for 2 reasons:
1. I used the words "horrible and clearly an off batch"
2. She had NO IDEA what I said and was tired of trying to decipher it
But hey - I got a replacement (Golden Ale) at no charge, so I couldn't complain.
Dinner that night was Indian, where I had some GREAT vindaloo (although it wasn't hot AT ALL). This morning, however, as I contemplated the gas pain in my stomach and the rumblies in my tummy, I made the following realizations:
1. Mercifully my alcohol tolerance has COLLAPSED. I had 3 beers last night -THE MOST I've had in a single session. I'm still not at the Week 1 consumption level for the UK, for the record (I'm at 16 pints).
2. I really might have burned out my taste buds at the Doot. Stuff that makes other people cry no longer requires water, liquid or bread (minus that Habanero from Dinger, of course).
3. Whilst the heat doesn't kill me, the chilis, well...let's just say they don't "sit" as well any more. I think my intestines are starting to liquify.
Tonight was an AFD and dinner in, but I simply must recount the conversation I had at work today. So for those of you who don't know, Muffin and I are going to Vietnam this weekend for CNY. Their currency is...wait for it...wait for it...THE DONG. THAT'S RIGHT, BABY - THE DONG. I mean seriously - tell me the truth isn't always stranger than fiction. And since Paula's been to Vietnam and knows I need DONG (huh, huh...you said DONG), she stopped by my desk today. Below really is a transcript of the conversation. Granted, we were hamming it up, but let's be honest - WHERE ELSE ON EARTH CAN YOU WALK INTO THE MIDDLE OF AN HR FLOOR AND HAVE THIS CONVERSATION AT FULL VOLUME:
Paula: "I heard you're lookin' for some Dong."
Sammy: "Yep, I really need some Dong." (first chuckle - face still almost serious)
Paula: "Would you like to buy my Dong?"
Sammy: "Oh, you have Dong for sale?"
Paula: "Yes, you can't buy Dong in Singapore. But I have Dong for sale."
Sammy: "I will buy ALL YOUR DONG." (can't help but laugh - no pretense of being serious)
Paula: "I will sell you the cheapest Dong in Singapore."
Sammy: "I promise you that Dong will have a good home." (trying not to cry)
Let me say it one more time - I LOVE THIS COUNTRY.
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny (the Dong trading specialists)