Singapore Adventure

Thursday, June 30, 2005

by venitha

In the elevator down from the 19th floor, Bin Chin asked me what I thought. "It's way more than we need," I said, and closed my mouth lest something Freudian slip out. I was thinking of naked bodies. And the Virgin Mary.

Viewing this apartment while its owners are in residence is a religious experience. A family of four from , they are Catholic, as is evidenced by the large portrait of Christ in the master bedroom and the two-foot high Virgin Mary statue atop a roof-garden fountain. They are also art lovers, if you'll allow art an enlightened definition: their taste dances sensuously along the edge of a pornographic abyss.

Photographs, statues, and wooden carvings... of breasts, phalluses, and erotic poses. In an abrupt contrast to the two earlier apartments I had seen that day, both empty and pristinely clean, the place was a seething throbbing mass of copulating flesh. I was shocked, stunned, and overwhelmed. So dumbstruck, in fact, that I hardly noticed anything else. The one thing I had noticed was from the car park before I even entered the building: there were an inordinate number of places of worship in the very near vicinity. A Buddhist temple on one side, a Baptist church across the street, and a Singapore church, whatever that is, with a big "Jesus Is Lord" sign, directly in front. Combining Mary, the erotica, and the height of the building, it was a wonder lightning didn't strike.

Thankfully, my stupor had not prevented me from taking pictures. Paging through the photographic evidence of my day revealed the apartment behind Mary's skirts and Adam's er, well, yeah. An enormous penthouse apartment on the 19th floor, a short walk from the MRT. A rooftop garden. An awesome view. Light from two sides. A GREAT kitchen. Did pictures lie?

"You've got to see this place," I told Jim, "more for the decor than for anything else. But I want to see it again, too."

We went back the following evening to see the apartment - and the view - at night. This time I could actually see and appreciate the size, the windows, the layout, the kitchen. It was Jim who was struck dumb.

"Did you notice?" he said, on the elevator ride down. "Even the little boy was in on it. Running around in his underwear! That's what I'm going to do when we live here, too." A nod, a smug smile, and a slow tender kiss on the cheek.

Catholicism is not as catching. It's written in our lease agreement that the Virgin Mary goes.

We move in on 9 July 2005. Click here for Fun and Games.