Friday, December 07, 2012

Dinner, delayed

Tonight we had our second attempt to meet my wife's friends for dinner; once again, we were sat on our own for an hour, but eventually they materialised, escaped from a train that had been a non-starter, and (eventually) a taxi.

Mostly, Singapore's public transport works fine. There's the perpetual annoyance of taxi drivers not deigning to drive you to where you want to go, but I should be inured to that after living in London, where cabbies refuse to go south of the river. The trains are a bit dispiriting after Hong Kong; whereas the MTR will transport drunks home to bed at a civilised hour, the MRT stops before midnight, which is useless for getting home after a few hours on the sauce. It's almost as if somebody thinks we'll be more productive if we aren't awake all night drinking. For shame!

The other downside of the Singaporean trains is that they're automated, and so you're driven by a rather wobbly robot who cares not for your comfort. Hong Kong train drivers lurch less, approach stations with more aplomb, and don't slow down to a halt in tunnels without explanation quite as much as their automated equivalent.

Plus ca change, plus la meme chose. Trains suffer from flooding in Singapore, like they didn't realise this country was in the tropics, but the MTR wasn't weatherproof in Hong Kong either. But at least it gives people something to moan about.

Aside from the dire service at half the restaurants, that is. It really is a crapshoot; we went to a dim sum bar where there was apparently only one member of staff, who wasn't keen on seating us. Then again, he'd have had to take our orders, cook them and wash the dishes afterwards so I could understand his reluctance at taking on an increased workload. We moved to a nearby Japanese restaurant who were helpful to a fault: there wasn't any soy sauce on our table when we arrived so the chef came out to personally apologise and give us free stuff.

I like free stuff, so I was made up. It was a late night (I have an early start for a filmshoot tomorrow) but then if I'd stayed at home I'd have only spent the evening beating up imaginary people in a facsimile of Hong Kong. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


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