Singapore Adventure

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tiger Moon
by venitha

A delicate breeze wafts through Holland Village, and we bask in the competing lights of the full moon, neon beer signs, and the nearby fluorescently-lit hawker center. Seated outside Gem and Rashid's new shop, the four of us are enjoying some beers and catching up after a long summer apart.

When the conversation turns to the relative merits of the local brews, Carlsberg and Tiger, and I actually have an opinion, I know it's time to cut myself off.

"I like Carlsberg better. It's smooth."

"Tiguh so bittuh," Gem agrees, setting down her glass. Just as in the movie we saw earlier in the evening, I see an English subtitle, Tiger is too bitter, at the bottom of the screen. Yep, definitely time to cut myself off.

Luckily, Jim and Rashid aren't as refined as their wives, because at these prices, it's a sin to let beer go to waste. Jim cheerfully takes over my glass, while I make a run to the 7-11 across the street. Ice-cold water easily trumps Tiger.

As we hail cabs an hour later, I press a no-longer-ice-cold water bottle on Rashid. "Drink it on the way home." He's the only one of us who has to get up and go to work on Sunday, and after my recent WOMAD experience, I have renewed sympathy for hangovers.

Back at home, Jim is no longer cheerfully bourgeois. "I'm going to regret this in the morning."

While I perform our newest nightly ritual, rubbing Tiger Balm into Jim's sore lower back, I search my memory for the afflictions against which Tiger Balm is supposedly effective. Along with the to-be-expected muscles aches, flatulence is on that list, though Jim has admitted that even applied in the current you-would-think near-optimal location, it hasn't made a difference. And even in the interest of science and even when he's this drunk, I doubt he's willing to get any more optimal in this regard. I know I'm not. But I digress. Hangovers that would kill small farm animals, unfortunately, is not on the Tiger Balm remedy list.

I get him some aspirin and kiss him goodnight.

Gem and Rashid's new shop, ManyMoons, is opposite 7-11 in Holland Village. It's loaded with lovely jewelry, pashminas, and other trinkets from India; please check it out.

Jim and I both thoroughly enjoyed Singapore Dreaming. Check it out, too.