Sunday, March 04, 2012

Pounding pounding techno

Today we got up early, which was a difficult thing to do, on account of being up late last night in a bar, pounding beer and playing darts. (In my case, bouncing darts ineffectually off a dartboard, but never mind that.) We took the bus out to the Botanic Gardens and met an old university friend of mine and her three kids, then spent a few hours wandering around in the sunshine.

Singapore is lovely when it's not raining; it was very relaxing to go down to the water and see an enormous catfish hoping to be fed. And I got to eat hummous, so I was as happy as a fat catfish.

In the afternoon I skulked in the office, catching up on some work while my wife packed and unpacked, and so after neglecting her in the day, for a treat I took her out for dinner tonight, to a rooftop bar in Chinatown.

The bar was very nice; friendly staff, good food, a lovely setting in the middle of town, yet insulated from the ferocious urban nature of Singapore by the trees on the roof. We polished off our food and sat there relaxing ... And then the music started up.

I've heard some awful music when I've been in this part of the world. I've had a Malaysian taxidriver play "I'm in Miami Bitch" cross-bred with a Lady Gaga/Michael Jackson mashup, all the way up Mount Kinabalu and back down again. That's not a boast. I'm just saying my tolerance should be quite high by now. But I still didn't think that at eight on a Sunday night it was very neighbourly for the next bar over to start playing the worst techno in the world as loud as they possibly could.

It was acid squelches, and bang bang banging drums, and Chuck D's voice pilfered from Bring The Noise, all blasted out so loud it was perfectly rendered in my ear drums, despite being a roof and a thicket of trees away. It was laughably inept, but only laughably because I could get up and leave; if I'd been in the hotel under the bar where we were sitting, I would have had a fit.

Come to think of it, I was in a hotel near an incredibly loud bar one of the first times I stayed in Singapore last year, and I almost had a conniption then too.

Curiousity overcame me and I went over to look at the other bar. There were four people there, which meant they were getting forty decibels each. Maybe more people would patronise their bar if it wasn't so damn loud. I would have shouted this advise over to them, but they wouldn't have been able to hear.

We fled homewards, secure in the knowledge that we have no such bad neighbours at our place. Well, I have an enormous stereo arriving tomorrow, so if required, *we* will be the bad neighbours.


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