Friday, 14 October 2011



And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City.  Okay, so first off - ANNOUNCEMENT:  there will be NO BLOG until Monday, 24 October.  Why, you ask?  Because Sammy the Bull and Jenny the Striker are leaving Singapura (only 36 hours after Muffin Puffin's return) to head north into Khmer country - CAMBODIA BOUND, BABY!!!  Oh yes!  Who sees some ridiculous blogs in our future...

Top of the world, Ma!  Top o' the world!
So yesterday was a big day in the life of Jennifer Elaine Tacy Taylor, as she officially joined the Larry Bird Club!  That's right, sports fans - it was Jenny's Birthday!!!  The girls arrived just before 2 PM (slightly early - well DONE, Tiger Airways) and were home by 3, so they took it easy whilst I finished the work day before heading to Raffles Place for the first of 2 featured events of the evening - a visit to 1 Altitude!  This place, billed as the "world's highest open air rooftop bar" (as I said, ALL about superlatives), is 62 stories up and is the highest point in Singapore.  The bar is literally ON TOP of the steel frame of the building, and the glass boundary around the outside was so low that I could literally rest my elbow on it.  And whilst that was a bit scary (as there is NO safety net), the low walls and glass made the views AMAZING.  Seriously - we've been to the Sands for that view (which was great as well), but this was WAY better, simply because a) it's a lot higher and b) it's more in the center of the Central Business District, and so you can truly see the entire island (and all the way to Malaysia and Indonesia).  We watched the sun set and the city come to life for about 2 hours up there, and it was DEFINITELY worth the $18 to get up (that came with a drink, so it was actually cheaper than a lot of other bars!).  I'd say Jenny and I will DEFINITELY make that a "final week blowout" spot to hit once more.

After 1 Altitude, we rolled over to Ann Sieng Hill, where we took Jenny out for her birthday dinner at P.S. Cafe.  This was the same spot that we'd had Rebecca's birthday in August, and we actually sat at the same table.  In keeping to form, I even got the same meal (vegetarian lasagna - Emma, aren't you proud?), but we threw in some Hunter Valley wine as a tribute to the Aussies and a Poutine as a tribute to the Great White North Crew whom OSC is currently looking after (so jealous you're rockin' the Reds right now, brother).  Everything started out great (as expected), but then the foot arrived, at which point things too a turn.

So my lasagna was cold.  Jenny's was warm (certainly not pipiing hot by any stretch of the imagination), but mine was almost ice.  I took another bite, considered whether or not to speak up, and then decided "I paid $28 for this - I'm going to get it heated up."  And as I'm about to beckon him over, Megan shows us her burger.  She'd requested well done, and it came out RARE.  Seriously - JT and I would have loved it, but that was NOT Megan's style.  So I call the waiter over, and here is the conversation (WORD FOR WORD - I HAVE THREE WITNESSES):

Sammy the Bull (StB):  "Excuse me, her burger's undercooked.  Can you please take this back into the kitchen and cook it some more?"

Nice but Clueless Server (NbCS):  "You want the burger cooked more, is it?"

StB:  (resists temptation to say "yes, lah")   "Yes, she asked for it Well done."

NbCS:  (looks at burger)  "Ah, this is our version of well done."

StB:  "Well, we'd like it cooked some more.  She doesn't want any pink."

NbCS:  "Yes, but we cannot cook it more.  That is well done for us.  That is how we do it."

Megan:  "Oh, well that's okay.  If that's how you do it, that's fine."  (Server nods and starts to walk away)

StB:  (fangs showing and ready to pounce)  "No.  You will take that into the kitchen now and cook it until it is gray."

NbCS:  "But then it won't taste good, sir."

StB:  "NOW.  Until it's gray.  NO PINK."

NbCS:  "So you want it gray, is it?"

StB:  "YES.  ALL THE WAY GRAY.  And take this lasagna back.  It's cold."

NbCS:  (clearly rattled)  "You want this heated, is it?"  (SERIOUSLY - STOP @#$@ING SAYING "IS IT"!!!!!!!!)

StB:  "What I WANT is a new piece.  If you can't do that, then make it HOT."  (Jenny hands him her plate as well)

Jenny:  "Same with mine.  Heat it please."  (server runs off - Elizabeth looks at all of us and then at her plate)

Elizabeth:  "You guys want some Yellowfin Tuna? "

Food = hit or miss, but the guy can take a good photo...
So the food came back out later - mine was much better but still not exceptional, and so we won't be back to P.S. Cafe.  It's too bad, as that was my 4th time there.  However, that was ridiculous.  But still, we had some good laughs and a great time, so no complaints at all.  We then went home, where we poured some Bailey's and tucked into the Chocolate cake that Fraser Place had given Jenny for her Birthday!  Seriously - that girl is livin' the dream...

Classic story from today's work day - so once a quarter I host this "get to know your HR" session, and I have to come up with a crazy game for folks to play.  Last quarter we played Flip Cup (without beer - still HILARIOUS to watch these guys in action), and this quarter we kept up with the "college drinking game" theme by rolling out the other time honored collegiate tradition - BEER PONG!!!  Granted, we again had water vs. beer, but I was CONVINCED this was going to be a blast.  Ooooooh, you poor, naive, uninformed American...

So we divide it up, and there are 6 teams.  So I announce - "we're gonna have a play in - you guys sink 4 balls."  Seriously - if this had been Chuck Powell, this would have been over in THREE MINUTES.  KJ - Echo would have KILLED this - beer in one hand and ping-pong ball in the other.  But OOOOOOOOH no - NOT my colleagues.

The first game went fifteen - count 'em:  FIFTEEN - minutes, and STILL no one had sunk a ping-pong ball.  More painful was the fact that 97% of them weren't even close - 60% weren't even hitting the cups or the table.  And so I adjusted the rules:  "Just get 3 in!"  No joy.  "Just get 2 in!"  No dice.  "Okay, the first one to sink one wins!"  5 minutes later, what did I do?  I DISQUALIFIED BOTH TEAMS. 

The only thing wrong with this photo is you can't see the
"century egg" bruise on Elizabeth's arm that's the size of
Mainland China...
We had some luck with the other 4 teams, but it still took FORTY-FIVE MINUTES to play 3 rounds of Beer Pong (without the beer).  It was, arguably, the biggest gaming failure of my entire life, and you could see the look of pain and agony on the faces of both the competitors and the spectators.  As the day ended, I got the distinct impression that many a colleague was thinking:  "He goes home in 11 weeks, right?  Think he'll do something stupid and get fired sooner?  One can hope!"  Oh well, in my defense - the idea looked GREAT on paper...

Dinner was a farewell at Wine Connection, which Cuz and Elizabeth picked up - thanks so much, guys!  It as then back for some final packing before their 9:50 cab.  And so it was as it is with all our guests, an AMAZING visit ends too suddenly with a rushed good-bye beside a taxi with the meter running.  But hey, we know we'll see them both in less than 3 months, and that makes us VERY happy.

Megan and Elizabeth - it was SO GREAT having you guys here.  Jenny LOVED your time together in Thailand, and it was just great catching up and getting to meet Elizabeth.  Safe travels back to the Queen City!
REUNITED!!!!  Ah, life is perfect again...
Okay, so Muffin Puffin is doing all the Cambodia packing whilst I sit here and crunch out this post, so I'd better help her and then shuffle off to bed.  I am SO excited about Cambodia - bring on Angkor Wat!

That's all the news that's fit to print.  Chat with you in just over a week!



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