Well hello! It’s 10:18pm here in blog land and I am typing from Beatrix’s room in the almost pitch black, while said child pretends to go to sleep. I could really use one of those groovy computers that has light up keys–do you know what I mean? I think it’s a feature on the newer Macs? Mine is a only a year old (after my old one had a terrible meeting with a small glass of water), but it is not cool enough and new enough or souped up enough for those groovy light up keys. Had I known I was going to become a bedtime blogger, I would have popped for the extra feature. But alas, instead, my gift to you this holiday season is typos brought to you by my inability to see the keys.
Today was just one of those days, you know? I’m a little down in the dumps, maybe it’s the looming holiday season without having the kind of money I want to buy presents (Christmas is so different as an adult, isn’t it?), and also the early sunset. I am impacted by these early sunsets, as I have said in the past, so bear with my gloom. Beatrix just asked me what time it is and I said, “It’s time for you to be asleep.” I’m the Grinch. No matter, she will ask me 1,000 times what time it is and in the same breath ask me if it is Christmas yet. It’s hard to explain to a three-year-old. In fact, she is completely ticked off that we don’t have a Christmas tree yet, and when I suggested that we get one this weekend, the elder child (the 13-year-old) said, “If we get it on Saturday it will just die before Christmas.” Sheesh. We need a little injection of holiday spirit over here.
Okay, Wheatley, time to pull yourself up by the boot straps and write a blog. Ready? Oh, Beatrix just looked at me and smiled saying, “I’m so comfy cozy.” That does a heart good. I’m ready to write. She’s all snuggled in next to me. Ready?
We left off with getting off the plane in Singapore. Can we take a quick pause here and talk about Singapore Airlines? Now, remember that my memory dates back to 1994, but at the time, Singapore Airlines was the #1 airline in the world, and I can tell you it was fantastic (besides their endless loop of America’s Funniest Home Videos). First of all, the women who were the flight attendants were absolutely stunning. They all wore the same outfit, and I’m telling you that even as a straight woman, I drooled over them, so I can’t imagine how the men felt. Maybe I can find a picture….
Well, funnily enough, when I Google imaged “Singapore Airline Flight Attendant, a whopping 365,000 images came up. Seems that I am not the first person to notice how attractive they are. Most of the pictures that came up were of white guys surrounded by flight attendants like this <—– which makes me think these pretty ladies probably have some training in fending off men who’ve been on flights for 22 hours straight.
Moving on, I have to admit that I don’t have a great memory about the particulars about what happened those first 24 hours because we were all in such a jet lag fog. I can tell you that it was amazing that everyone spoke English, and all in a beautiful British accent because it was formerly a British Colony. It’s amazing to be in a country that is 76% Malaysian, and hear everyone speaking in British accents.
Here’s what else I remember.
1) It was as humid as any kind of humid I’d ever felt.
2) Did I mention it was hot and humid?
3) I think I forgot to say that Singapore is hot, and about *60 miles from the equator (*I have no idea if that is right, but that “fact” has been lodged in my brain for 17 years, so let’s just go with it. I’m thrilled to be corrected, but here’s the point. It’s hot and humid and close to the equator. Okay?…Oh, and for those of you keeping track at home, it’s 10:56 pm and I am still in the dark and Beatrix is still awake.)
Here’s what my friend Traci Lyn remembers (she was on tour with me and has a good memory).
1) The line at customs was ridiculously long, and even though we landed early, we didn’t get out of there until afternoon.
2) We checked into our hotel and then–she thinks–we didn’t have a rehearsal, but we did have a meeting at the theater.
3) Everyone went to the famous Raffles Hotel and had a drink (probably a Singapore Sling).
I wouldn’t remember the drink part, because I’m sure I didn’t go. Instead, I went off with a group to eat at the famous
food carts called Hawker Stands, which are like outdoor food courts on wheels. This marks the beginning of my problems with food in Singapore. Let me tell you a truth about me. When it comes to food…
…I’m picky. Not like, ridiculously picky, but in the world of Singapore, I’m ridiculously picky because I don’t eat seafood. Which is a problem that plagued me for three months.
Everyone else seemed so thrilled with the food and feasted on mystery meats on a stick, and giant prawn, and soup with unidentified floating objects. I walked around in circles, looking for anything that I might find in a normal food court, and ended up with what would become the staple of my diet for the next three months.
Fruit from a fruit stand.
Let me talk you through it.
I say, “fruit stand” and you picture piles of apples and bananas, right? Wrong. Here we go. This was a rolling cart of deliciousness that involved cut up tropical fruit, served on a pile of shaved ice. Okay, so like, you walk up and you point at passion fruit, pineapple, watermelon (or something that looks like watermelon or just anything on the cart, really) and you say, “I’ll take that.” Then the guy then chops it all up for you, puts it in a giant bowl of shaved ice and off you go. If you want to change it up, just get it juiced. I discovered fresh pineapple juice in Singapore and drank enough of it that I had monstrous canker sours within 48 hours. I was not the only one who suffered from fruit overdose brought on by a dislike/distrust of the food; another friend ate so much fruit and drank so much coffee that she flared up a rotten case of irritable bowel syndrome.
Of course, there are entire shows devoted to Singapore’s fine cuisine on the Food Channel, so I’m proving what a foodie I am not. But I could give you directions to the one and only American Market (Cheerios were $10 a box, which I happily paid), and I frequented the one pasta restaurant, a scenic restaurant on te river called Pasta Fresca (right, Traci Lyn?) that served delicious pasta until the wee hours of the morning. Pasta as midnight? Never a problem for one’s diet. My corset did not get tight. That’s a lie. But do you want to know the greatest food discovery in Singapore? One word.
Do you know of this candy?
It’s British and it’s a malted milk ball, but way, way, way better than a whopper. It’s got a LOT more chocolate, and is astoundingly good straight from the freezer.
Do you like my Singapore tid bits so far? I am doing such a great commercial. I can’t believe the tourism council hasn’t hired me. Let’s do a wrap up.
It’s hot, don’t chew gum, don’t do drugs, don’t steal street signs, don’t throw eggs, don’t eat from the food carts, DO eat fruit (but not too much), pasta late at night is great and the best thing available is a frozen Malteaser.
Everyone caught up?
Great. Once I’d discovered Malteasers, $13 bags of pretzels and where to buy peanut butter and jelly, I was ready to really dig into rehearsals and prepare for opening night and the party that was shaping up to be the party of all parties.
To read the next installment in this series, go here