Singapore Adventure

Sunday, October 29, 2006

by venitha

"We'll be coming from HarborFront, probably around 5."

Andrea gasps. "You're going to ."

I wish I could deny it, but it is the sad truth. "Yes. Yes! I admit it." I hide my head in my hands. "But it's not what you think."

I have not been taken over by a Singaporean pod person, desperate to hit the latest greatest hugest shopping mall before most of its stores have even opened. Nor has HP cut off my air con, driving me the cooler temperatures of public venues on the weekend. My excuse, and I do have one, is that I'm surprising Jim with tickets to a film - Even this sounds good, right? It's a film, not a movie - at the European Union Film Festival playing at Golden Village in VivoCity. See? I'm being forced to VivoCity. Dragged there kicking and screaming, completely against my will.


"So what are we shopping for?" I ask Jim. Half an hour early for our movie, we have wandered through the mall, fighting our way through throngs of shoppers and gaudy congratulatory floral displays to one of the mall's few open stores, VivoMart.

"A sense of youthful optimism?"

"I don't think they've got that. And there's no sarcasm either. But, hey! Look! in bulk!" You learn to take what you can get in this country.

VivoMart, the mall's superstore, is incredible if only for its likeness to stores in the US. Wide aisles, towering shelves, and vast selection... if it wasn't for the smell of durian, Yesterday wafting from the loudspeakers, and the arctic blast of the aircon, I'd almost think I was home.

VivoCity itself also boasts a Gap (Singapore is unbelievably excited about this), a Levis store (called, creatively, Levis Store), and guys in yellow hot pants racing around on Segways, which I admit is darn close to a sense of youthful optimism, but I don't think they were for sale.


Jim wiggles comfortably into his assigned movie theater seat, then leans over, kisses my cheek, and smiles widely. "Thanks for bringing me to a movie, Mia. You're a really good wife for me." He licks my earlobe with a smacking slobber, and I shoo him away like an annoying bug.

He shakes his popcorn, examining it for that bug or a prize, tosses a kernel in the air, picks it up from his lap, and pops it in his mouth. "We get to go shopping again after the movie, right? 'Cause I don't wanna miss anything. VivoCity is super cool."

I lean my head against his shoulder as the lights go down. Who needs to shop? Optimism, sarcasm, a really good husband for me: I've got everything I need right here.

This was two weeks ago. There are surely lots more open stores at VivoCity now, though the guys in yellow hot pants may be gone. The Finnish film Mother of Mine was excellent, though completely devoid of both optimism and sarcasm.