Monday, November 23, 2009

last days on the equator

productive workshops all day in class (well, after the xeroxing was done, during which interval we played "fuzzy wuzzy likes" and "around the world in 80 days"). commenting on stories via email in the afternoon. best butter chicken ever at a totally deserted indian restaurant. man at toast box anticipated my order: I've ordered the same thing around the same time in the evening enough times that he's got it -- kopi with milk, take away. he said he'd see me tomorrow. the other part of my routine is making eye contact with the ridiculously cute guy who waits at the same bus stop in the morning. might miss these things.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

singapore, again

Writing because my camera = NOT WORKING (a story for another time -- how not to lend your camera to a guy you're sleeping with for the hell of it and have no emotional/ intellectual interest in, because the camera MIGHT NOT WORK when it comes back to you. Also, he might forget to return the cord to upload the photos. Actually, this might be more about not sleeping with people you have no interest in, more than a lesson about a camera). ANYWAYS.

I'm a bit homesick. Last time Marissa and I were doing this together, and I felt pretty good about the timing of it all. This time around, I'm anxiously anticipating the colloquium that's happening a week after I return (actually, have no time to be anxious about it, which makes me more anxious). And today (Singapore time) I missed Randy's birthday party which was last night (SF time). I had that terrible feeling -- urgently wishing to be elsewhere (more specifically, that I was dancing and hot tubbing with friends on a Saturday night, rather than taking a nap in Singapore on a Sunday afternoon.


Shopping trip.

In my defense, tho., Kenji (fellow instructor) & I DID go to the Asian Civilizations Museum in the morning. And then to try a kaya toast stall.

I walked by the old places, went to the favorite clothing store, found a fantastic dress & top (the latter being 25% off with purchase of former), did a little Christmas shopping, explored the new ION mall (as in, EYES ON ORCHARD), which really DOES have a nice food court. I had scoffed that they were all the same, but this one really was particularly sparkly. I had a cheap dinner tho., of glutinous rice & fresh spring rolls, which I carried back and ate on the terrace of the hotel. And then I did some work, went swimming, had dessert... I guess it was ok.

But the teaching takes so much out of one. And I think I should have done a better job of explaining the syllabus so as to have the afternoon = study hall writing time, with a set-up activity each day. The students are delightful young people, of course, but jeez. Draining.

Last night I went with Kenji and his TA for Chinese food at Clarke Quay on the river. I think my stomach was not entirely happy with the spiciness factor. But the river at night and the "mer-lion" fountain... nice.

And before... I've gone back to Little India, out for Indonesian & Thai, marveled over the dainties imported from Fauchon in Paris...

The most ridiculously amazing things for me right now:

ORCHARD ROAD AT CHRISTMAS TIME: It's like Seuss threw up all over Orchard Road. There are big yellow globes with red patterns hanging from the trees. ALL the trees. And at close intervals, swirly arches with red inlaid circles. AND ALL OF THIS LIGHTS UP AT NIGHT. Oh yes, because the first night I went down Orchard at dusk, and thought, well, it's over the top, but I'm pleasantly surprised that they didn't add lights. MOMENTS LATER: LIGHTS ON! Also, tree sculptures. And actual trees (or fake trees) decked out in ornaments and lights. AND CHRISTMAS MUSIC. Everywhere. And when it's not Christmas music, it's Miley Cyrus or soft rock hits from the 90's.

THE SUBTERRANEAN POOL: This hotel has a pool. The pool is underground. This is supposed to make it so you can swim regardless of the weather. Singaporeans apparently didn't get the memo that it's always hot here? Or didn't want to deal with the occasional 20-minute bout of rain? Anyways, turns out, they then realized the water wasn't warm enough, since the pool was inside, and inside = air conditioning, here. So the pool is heated. And surrounded by fake foliage and rocks, to make it look like a lost paradise starring Leo DiCaprio. The jacuzzi is tastefully obscured by a fake rock wall. Oh, and there's a little waterfall going into the jacuzzi. The kid pool involves a slide. The ceiling has blue sky with clouds painted on. In other words: they did everything they could to help you pretend that this pool is outside, while claiming that an outside pool would be quite inconvenient.

That may or may not be an analogy.