Singapore Adventure

Friday, December 16, 2005

Reality Bites
by venitha

Just when I'd decided that public toilets with seats that I might actually sit on were something dreamt up by my humidity-addled brain, Taiwan's Chiang Kai Shek airport provided stalls with Western toilets and paper seat covers. Amazing. I also suspect that I've imagined salad bars, hotels that provide bathroom washcloths, and shoes with arch support, but unfortunately none of our travels have dispelled me of these notions.

It takes mere minutes in the cooler climates of Taipei and Chiang Mai, and I cannot believe that such an oven as Singapore truly exists. I look in hotel room mirrors at a hairstyle still intact after a entire day outside, and I know that Singapore's humidity and the last six months of hating hating hating my hair are just a girlish nightmare.

Back in Singapore, ironically, the reality of the stifling weather actually adds to my sense of unreality. The mind-numbing heat overpowers even the pervasive Christmas carols and lavish Orchard Road holiday decor, making festive cheer seem freakishly out of place and Singapore a land infested by cruelly displaced elves. It's still summer!, my mind protests. And it's an endless summer, one that's lasting centuries instead of the usual three months, an inverse time warp I'm perfectly willing to accept as just a manifestation of my unhappiness.

Some mornings I awake in Singapore, stirring reluctantly out of a dream of Maggie or of skiing or of a really great haircut, and reality bites. Some mornings the only thing that gets me up and out of bed is the thought of Bob Newhart stirring awake next to... Emily? Some morning, I thank God, I'll wake up cozy in my waterbed in my lovely blue bedroom in Colorado, and I'll tell Jim that I've had the strangest dream.