Monday, 3 October 2011

And so it begins - Team Taylor's last solo weekend in Singapore...


And a good Sunday evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City.  So as crazy as this might sound, even though there are still 3 months left in our tour of duty here in Singapore, this was the LAST full weekend that Jenny and I are in Singapore together.  Between her (rather ambitious) travel schedule and friends visiting, there won't be another Friday to Sunday stretch where it's just the Bull and Striker (TM, of course - OSC, that's for you).  Consequently, Team Taylor decided to go BTTW (CP - that one's for you - lovin' all these acronyms) this weekend, and I am happy to report that life is good.

The party kicked off on Friday night, where Muffin and I went to Blu Jaz and had dinner with Sarah and Eliza.  Eliza, a native of Toronto who's lived in Sing Sing for 6 and a half years, is the newest addition to the Team Taylor family.  She is one SERIOUS athlete - Jenny met her at one of her Sentosa open-water swim sessions, at which point Eliza was training for a HALF-IRONMAN.  Yeah - that's no joke.  Sarah was in-between flights to the UK, and we knew that if we didn't see her this weekend, it might be 2017 before we caught up with her again.  Consequently, we were really glad that we made this dinner date work.

We had a blast hanging out with them.  Blu Jaz (in the "Arab Quarter") is a spot Money and Dan had introduced me to, and they have some GREAT Lebanese cuisine.  They also have ice cold Heineken on draft, but since neither Eliza nor Sarah were assisting (Eliza went with water and Sarah went with the ever strong "lime juice"), Jenny and I had to carry the load on the jug o' brew.  In retrospect, I wasn't really complaining...we got home about 11:30, at which point we finished up Season 2 of Modern Family (which is, without a doubt, the funniest show that I have EVER watched) and called it a night.
Now I've had a disaster of a time sleeping lately, and so I was counting on sleeping until about noon or so on Saturday.  However, at 10 AM, Muffin Puffin woke up like a SHOT (which NEVER happens, for the record - these extra hours of sleep during the week are transforming my baby!) and announced "I'm going to go work on the photo album!"  Happy that she's excited about the project (it's one of the "to-do's she was assigned during her LOA") but not sharing her enthusiasm for the "early" rise, I rolled back over for another 20 minutes or so before hopping up and heading to (where else?)  BOOMERANG, BABY!!!  However, in a SERIOUS plot twist, we went with a pizza vs. the all-day brekkie (Dean, don't worry - we didn't consume any kangaroo this time...but they sure looked tasty) 
After Boomerang, we rolled to the one of the last 4 spots left on the "Team Taylor must do list" in Singapore - the Chinese Gardens.  This park was absolutely fantastic, and we spent the better part of two (SCORCHING HOT) hours wandering around the manicured grounds, climbing the pagoda, climbing the "Adventure Playground" and taking in the nice breeze along Lake Jurong.  It was definitely better than I'd expected - good call on that one, P-Dawg! 

It was then back to the condo, where we showered (because we were about 50 shades of DISGUSTING - Ladies' Man, style) before doing something we'd NEVER done (which is almost sacrilege as an expat) - an evening dedicated to CLARKE QUAY, BABY!!!!!  So as many of you know, Clarke Quay is THE SPOT for nightlife in Singapore (unless you want a hooker, and then I highly recommend Orchard Towers...or so I'm told...). 

There are tons of restaurants (such as classy establishments like Hooter's), and about a basquillion bars.  It was one of these bars that was the featured event of the evening - The Highlander (yes, the one with Asian people in kilts - not cheesy at ALL), as I wanted an evening of singing my lungs out.  Before that, however, we needed some grub, and we wanted to try a new spot.  Consequently, we ended up at Tomo, which is a Japanese Izakaya-style restaurant where you sit on the floor.  Let me tell you - this place was SOOOOOO GUUUUUUUUUUD (peppy cheekies).  Izakaya (if I'm even spelling that correctly) is a traditional style of eating in Japan, where "salarymen" used to go to local pubs for "vast quantities of liquor, sake, and spirits (isn't that all the same thing?) as well as snacks before heading home for dinner with their families."  Consequently, it's kind of like Japanese tapas, only WAAAAAAAAAAY better.  This place was seriously DELICIOUS, and we ate squid, bacon-wrapped scallops, and sweet potatoes covered in cream cheese.  On the whole -YUUUMMMMAHHHH...

It was then over to the Highlander, where we thought 9 PM would be perfect for the arrival - we could hopefully score a table and the band would just be kicking off.  Well, as fate would have it, we had NO trouble scoring a table, as the place was EMPTY - the reason being that the band didn't kick off until 10.  However, no complaints here - we got the exact table I wanted, we had a pint of EXCELLENT IPA, and we chatted for an hour until the music kicked off around 10.  The rest of the night was history, as we had a GREAT time singing through 3 sets of live music and dance music from the DJ between sets (Sam - we tried YET AGAIN to get your theme song - check out our effort - FINALLY!).  It was a BLAST, and we rocked out until about 1:30, at which point we came home, shocked Jenny's mom with a birthday phone call at 1:52 AM, and then PASSED OUT, 100% content with the day's activities.

We woke up just past noon this morning, and it was the sleep of LEGENDS.  We then rolled down for brekkie at (wait for the shocker) - WINE CONNECTION!  We actually had no idea that they did a brunch, but since a) we were starving and b) wanted to fit Wine Connection in the perfect Singapore weekend, this was an excellent play.  And let me tell you - the benedict and the salmon bagel were both EGGGGGGGGGGGSELLENT Smithers. 

It was then over to the Traditional Balinese Massage Hut, where I went with a 90 minute hot rocks treatment (very good, but not exceptional - I am switching back to traditional massage going forward.  Mum - I want to try the Rogersville gal when I'm next home. :-)), and Jenny went with the 90 minute traditional massage (she came out looking like a limberneck - Nanny, that was for you - and said it was "the best massage EVER" - that's high praise...).  We walked out of there just before 5 PM barely able to stand due to relaxation overload, and then throw in a hot shower and a comfy couch, and you had a pair of chilled out folks who really had no desire to go ANYWHERE.  However, there was still a final to-do on the weekend checklist, and so the Bull and Striker rallied to head over to Little India to check out the Deepavali festivities!

Deepavali (which is, I think, the same as Diwali) is a big Indian festival and is the next holiday
coming up on the Singapore calendar (let's keep the comments to a minimum, shall we?).  Much like Chinese New Year, Little India is decorated, and there is a very festive mood in the neighborhood.  And so we went and checked it out before rolling over to Spice Junction for some guuuuuuuuuuuuuuud Indian that we'd been talking about for AGES!  That place is excellent, but let's be REAL clear - it's not the Doot, baby!

After that it was back to the house for some episodes of The Office - we're waaaaaay behind and just now kicking off Season 5.  Oh, how I love 75 cent pirated DVD's!

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print.  Chat tomorrow (at which time we'll pick back up with Sydney)!


(A VERY relaxed) Sam and Jenny

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