Saturday, 12 February 2011

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Recapping a week of CNY Festivities...


And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City! So I owe everyone a recap of the week's festivities (which have been QUALITY, for the record). And so, without further ado, I present the week in review, better known as "All the raw fish tossing you can handle..."

Tuesday: Taking the Nottingham Pitcher and Piano to a new level - raw burgers in an abandoned church...

So as you probably guessed, Tuesday was ROUGH for Team Taylor. Between arriving at midnight, going to sleep at 2, and fighting off the 49 tons of mucus filling my throat as I slept (gotta love those 3rd world parasites), Sammy the Bull woke up EXHAUSTED (as did Muffin Puffin). And when you add in lunch at a Hawker Center (chicken rice - nothin' like some greasy Muslim cuisine to settle an upset tummy), you have a recipe for Sammy feeling like he'd been SHOT OUT OF A CANON. However, we did rally, and we even hit a new area for dinner.

The featured spot was Bobby's Grill, an "American" diner serving steak and ribs. The interesting aspect was that this restaurant was just one of many restaurants nestled in the remains of an old cloister from a closed Catholic church (the church is still there, but it's now just a storage facility). The area is known as "Chijmes," and it was very cool.

The directions to the place were, well, DONKEY TRASH, and had we followed the instructions on the website, we'd probably be in jail, deported, or caned by now, as we almost ended up breaking into a REAL Catholic Church thinking that was the spot. Luckily an old lady noticed that we looked like the type who spent their Tuesdays at the pub vs. confession, and she headed us off before we trespassed. In our defense, the directions said "look for the church steeple just outside of Raffles City." Well, there is ONLY ONE STEEPLE visible from there - it just happened to belong to a working church. Details...

The place was called Chimes, and it was REALLY cool. I definitely think that we'll go back and check out some different spots, as the layout is really neat. However, I'm not sure if we'll hit up Bobby's again, as the American fare champ remains Brewerkz. That being said, it was tasty.

We met Jackie for din din, and we KILLED some burgers. I asked for medium rare, and it came out, well, MOOING. Now don't get me wrong - I ate it and LOVED it, but it was probably THE WORST thing to eat on an upset stomach. The only difference between that burger and tare tare was the bun. All the same, it was SOOOOOOOOO GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD (peppy cheekies). We then went home and PASSED out, sacking out around midnight (which was a trend for the entire week.

Wednesday: SABOH!!!!

So Wednesday was CLASSIC, as we had the annual "Ye Sheng Prosperity Raw Fish tossing" ceremony. It took place at 4 PM, and THE ENTIRE FLOOR was gathered around all these tables of Ye Sheng. Martin (my boss) said the first bit, welcoming everyone and saying Happy Birthday (remember - it was "everyone's birthday" on Wednesday). He then said, "Who would like to explain what the Ye Sheng tradition is?" And THAT, dear readers, is when Evelyn Kang "saboh'ed" Samwise.
"Saboh," as they say in Singlish, means "to put one on the spot." In this case, the lovely Evelyn yelled out, "Oh, Sam knows all about Chinese New Year. He can explain it!" Of course, I don't know the FIRST DAMN THING about Ye Sheng. All I know is that you throw salmon at the ceiling and scream out how much you want a Maseratti. So, in the spirit of "Meet the Parents," I spoke in much the same way Gaylord M. Focker did the prayer when he first met the parents:

"Um, so yeah, Ye Sheng is sort of...a meal of...prosperity...where you take chopsticks and sort of...well, throw lots of food coated in ginger and honey at the ceiling...and scream Cantonese...what you want for the new year...loudly...screaming...with food...and Chinese people...for prosperity. CHEERS!"

Yeah - it was pretty painful. That being said, 30 seconds later I was screaming "HUAT AH!!!!" at the top of my lungs, begging for mad cash and chucking food about 40 feet into the air. I haven't seen those cars delivered to my doorstep yet, but then again I suppose I'm in line behind Hitman getting his lawn mowed and Old School Cool getting his fence painted. But hey, I'm not concerned about it happening. After all - "YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!" Maybe...

I logged 4 miles at an 8:27 pace that night at the gym, which felt REALLY good. It had been a week since I'd exercised, and it felt really good to get back and get after it. Honestly, being able to log 4 miles and still have some fuel left was a great sign, as I honestly feel as though I've turned a corner and have now established a baseline level of fitness. Granted, I've got a long way to go before I'll consider myself ready for the Sundown 1/2, but I'm certainly feeling better about things than I did back in December and early January. Oh, and I did manage to get a really cool shot of the laser show coming off the Marina Bay Sands. I can't WAIT to check out the Skypark and the infinity tower up there!
Thursday was honestly silent like the grave. Work was busy, and I logged 50 minutes on the bike. I will say that I started "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton, and it is AWESOME so far. That guy was a rare talent, and he will sure be missed. So many GREAT stories, and this is just another solid effort.
I know, I know - no funny stories or jokes on this day. WEAK.
Friday - Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!!! Bring on the Lion!!!!
So Friday really was EXTRA AWESOME. For starters, the work day was interrupted at 11 AM with an announcement that EVERYONE WAS REQUIRED TO GO DOWNSTAIRS for the CNY celebrations. I mean, can you imagine making this announcement in the states? We can't even get people to go to the breezeway at Gateway Village for free lunch, let along leave their seats for a celebration!
So we get down there to the sounds of cymbols, gongs, and drums erupting FURIOUSLY. What was happening, you ask? The lion dance! That's right - a professional troop had been hired, and we were treated to an EXTRA AWESOME Lion Dance peformance. Granted, I made the mistake of saying, "That Dragon is cool," only to be looked at as though I'd just requested to eat someone's left arm for breakfast. "Oh no, Sam - the dragon is different. The dragon is much bigger." Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...and I should have known that how? Better question, what PART OF THIS COSTUME LOOKS REMOTELY MORE LIKE A LION THAN A DRAGON? Where's Falcor when you need him...(VA - that was for you).

The dance really is awesome, as the lead cat (with the head) jumps onto the back guy's shoudlers, blinks the dragon's eyes, and even throws things with his mouth - it's pretty sweet.

After that, Muffin made some new friends and got in on the act of raw fish tossing - check out perfect pumpkin in action!
Incidentally, the lion then proceeds to come through EVERY floor and dance at every cube. I actually have a GREAT polaroid that Evelyn took of me being consumed by the lion, but I can't get it to load. Rest assured that when I figure out the problem, I WILL be posting that puppy.
The lion actually goes into every office as well (I presume for good luck), and the noise from the drumming is DEAFENING. Seriously - my ears are still ringing - I don't know how the performers deal with this day in and day out over these 2 weeks.
In the evening we (FINALLY) rolled into Chinatown, where we checked out the lights and the festivities before having a great meal near pagoda street. I stuck with normal seafood, but Shogun and Hairless - FRET NOT - Q2 is going to start the "Sammy eats things that should only appear on Man vs. Food" portion of the blog. Bring on the spiced donkey meat!
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. I'll recap the weekend in tonight's blog. Chat later today!
Sam and Jenny

1 comment:

  1. Enjoying the blog, as always!! Loved the Vietnam posts... your trip was almost identical to my trip there in 2000-- I even have some of the same pictures.. LOL!! And, I love Chijmes! If you need to get a good pizza fix check out Capella at Chijmes.. very good! At all costs avoid the microbrewery in Chijmes. Take care, Ash