Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weakened in Singapore

I think that when they have had problems thinking of names for things in Singapore, they left it up to a large border collie.

“What shall we call this hotel, Fido?”


“What shall we call this hospital, Fido?”


“What shall we call this shopping mall, Fido?”


“What shall we call this municipal toilet facility, Fido?”


The consequence of this is that giving directions to people is sometimes fraught with danger. Or at least misdirection. I plan on telling somebody, whenever we arrange to meet, to do it outside Raffles, and avoid specifying whether I mean the hotel, the sewage refinery or the baked goods emporium. It will be a bit like telling someone to pick up you in Hong Kong, outside the Starbucks that’s over the road from the Seven Eleven.

Today, exhausted from last night’s wandering around the Night Safari, I awoke at 9 and failed to get out of bed for two hours. My wife, annoyed at this lassitude, turned on the television and forced me to watch the remake of Rollerball. This is a film so incomprehensibly terrible, given the high quality of the actors, that the only plausible explanation for it is that it’s a Situationist joke. But Situationist jokes are never funny if you’re the butt of them, and, lying in bed watching some mugs going round and round a Mongolian rollerball arena (no, seriously) I was lacking any ability to find the humour in this situation.

We got up and left the hotel and walked towards my office, detouring to the Philatelic Museum. This has lots of stamps, as you’d expect, and is aimed mostly at small children, as there’s lots of things for them to play with, but there’s enough for an adult to be interested for an hour or so. There’s also an entire room of Tintin (perhaps because of the recent film) which allowed me to make the surprising discovery that the Tintin books weren’t much cop as comics. You can say what you like about the care and detail that Herge had, but when each panel seems to be a very small picture of a man and a very large speech bubble filled with text, you begin to long for a man who thinks he’s a spider punching a man who thinks he’s an octopus in the gob.

Also, they had a poster for the famously recidivist Tintin Goes To Russia on the wall, a book only slightly less suspect politically than Tintin Goes To Africa [And Enjoys Reinforcing Racist Stereotypes]. I tried to explain to my wife about how offensive this was, but she argued that Herge’s depiction of Communist Russia was entirely correct. I think we’ll leave that one for history to work out.

We wandered down to the financial district, I did some very boring banking, then we went to a vegan burger restaurant and then I went to the office to think about things for a few hours (what could be more fun in Singapore?) before going back to the hotel for another run. I’ve run every day since Tuesday now, and soon this will be an attempt to improve my health that leaves me skint from all the running gear I’ve had to purchase to support my habit, or smothered by my wife when she’s fully enraged by the stench from the bathroom of all those sweaty clothes.

This evening, Mexican food, and then home to bed. Fairly shattered, but there’s still another day of the weekend to go…


Post a Comment