Terribly sorry for the lack of update. What follows is a very attempting-to-be-literary blog post I wrote on Microsoft Word yesterday afternoon in the lack of (free) Internet access.I Lost My Head In The City Haze, 6.05 PM, Saturday, 17 October 2009
Swissotel the Stamford Hotel, Singapore
Surprisingly, when looking down from the balcony from our room on the 38th floor, the haze that has drifted over from neighbouring lands and was rumoured to have settled in peaceful abundance over Singapore, is quite noticeable. There is a little junction not quite far from here, marked by a rather quaint clock tower, which is shrouded in an almost yellow atmosphere, like an old photograph. In the distance the buildings are shady. I thought Bangkok was supposed to have worse air pollution than Singapore, but it could be just the hazy month here.
Today’s the first time we took Cathay Pacific (airline) and all I can say is I miss Singapore Airlines (quite a lot!). In DEFENSE we have that we’re being economical by saving airfare, and that CP has all our basic needs (food, reclining seat, TV, air stewards and stewardesses, safety). In ATTACK we have a huge hefty sigh and the little kid voice, “SIA’s just better.” Maybe it’s the iconic uniform I miss (DESIGNED BY BALMAIN- who can miss that as a plus point?), or the cheerful stewardesses with their blood red nails and enviable make-up, or their always welcome greetings of “Hello, good morning” and “Thank you, have a nice day” as compared to the rather stale “Hello” and “Bye” we got this afternoon. (It could be, too, that “chicken and rice” turned out to be rice and a very suspicious orange block of spicy ‘chicken’. Yes, it was a block.) My mother didn’t tell me we were taking a flight that’d been from Hong Kong passing through Bangkok; the movies available were very, very limited and even when I opted for the passable “easy listening” playlist, the songs played were different from the ones in the book. (I wanted to hear Kate Winslet sing! Oh, you liars.)
All’s well that ends well and anyway we’re closeted in our hotel room already (a surprise from Mum, who thought I would be better off not knowing we’d be spending a night in a posh hotel- I ONLY PACKED ALL MY KOPITIAM CLOTHES!) Mum has gone down to buy some presents and Er-ge is in a room two doors down reading or playing on his computer, I don’t know which. Da-ge is reading and Dad’s in a meeting. Uncle Luke is, too, two doors down. It’s almost comical. A little grouping of people who know each other by various means and are resolutely not talking to each other!
We went to the shopping mall next door to buy my sport shoes. First stop: New Balance. Crunch and you feel the strange texture of gravel below your feet; it’s true, the shop is one part gravel one part wood. The gravel is to try on shoes, obviously. I found it so incredibly cool. The salesman seemed to have plenty of expertise too, measuring my size (both feet!) using a rather intimidating metal bar, and asking me to walk a few rounds to determine my foot type. Sadly the shoe I was interested in wasn’t available, so despite his offerings to call up Novena and ask them to reserve a pair we went off to the neighbouring Adidas/Nike. While looking at Adidas a very vicious salesgirl came over, asked what I was looking for (running/netball/basketball) (don’t mention tennis… or the fact that we change sports every few weeks…) and promptly said, brutally honestly, “Oh, come to Nike. Adidas is never going to have your shoes.” Dejectedly, we went to Nike, where she pointed out a shoe costing over 200 dollars and said that it was world-class, chosen over all brands and preferred by athletes. She then told me I had a low arch and that the New Balance people were liars. We picked out a 109-dollar shoe. When giving me my size (“You’re an 8, obviously- how could you be a 7??”) she told me that what the New Balance salesman had said was “total bullshit”. Feeling rather down and wishing to go over and give the NB guy a big fat hug, I tried on the shoes. Sadly, they fit. Well. After lots of “do you feel the cushioning?” (it was obvious she thought I was a pro netballer and couldn’t tell that I was only looking for a pair of shoes to get me through PE classes without the soles falling off) we bought it. Walking off we couldn’t resist feeling we’d bought it out of pure intimidation techniques.
Back in the hotel room I tried it on again with Dad’s thinner black socks (they are incredibly cool- high and black, must steal them!) and it seems the Nike shoes are here to stay. I am a complete idiot at telling if shoes are a good fit (if they’re fashion shoes, I look for design, and if they’re for sports I rely totally on my Dad’s opinion) and so I only cross fingers and hope the “athlete, not salesgirl” at Nike was right.
PLEASE LET HER BE RIGHT!P.S. I smell very slightly of FLORA by GUCCI. If you didn’t know, that is my total obsession. I try to get samples every time I’m in Changi Airport.
SOMEONE RICH, PLEASE BUY ME FLORA BY GUCCI!