A little shot of home was just what I needed. Sure there’s all the same nasty chain shit here as there is at home.
Chilis (I want my nasty babybackbabybackbabyback… ribs!)
BK (have it your way as long as your way is one of our seven choices)
The Clown (delivery!)
KFC (now serving breakfast!)
Popeyes (not the kind of Louisiana cuisine I prefer but it is fast)
Wendys (open 24 hours!)
But in this heat the only Good Ol’ USofA thing I needed was a Starbucks Venti Iced Chai Latte. So refreshing…
Much like every large city on the planet there’s a Starbucks every couple hundred feet here. There’s even one in the building adjacent to my hotel, which makes me happy. The cost was surprising – just over $5 for my Venti so fairly on par with the prices at home. I suspect, based solely on how the cup feels in my giant mitt and how quick I guzzled it down, the size is actually smaller. Whatever – it was still delicious.
How anyone could walk around in this heat and drink a hot coffee will continue to amaze me but I suppose if this is the only climate you know, it’s normal. Hell I’ve watched two or three people put on a jacket here. I’m sweating in the air conditioning just thinking about that. The only reason for a coat here would be if you don’t have an umbrella when it’s pouring out.
Or to wear it backwards, Kriss Kross style, while riding your scooter.
As I’ve wandered about over the last few weeks, sometimes with a Chai sometimes without, I’ve walked past Orchard Towers. Orchard Towers is no more than a ten minute amble from my hotel and to get most anywhere there’s little choice but to pass it by. Now comes the warning - if you have delicate sensibilities I suggest you skip this part of the post…
You’ve been warned.
No really. I’ll be talking about mixed genitalia.
OK fine. Here we go.
Colloquially known as “Four Floors of Whores” Orchard Towers is a fairly typical Singapore shopping area by day. Electronics boutiques and other little shops do a bustling business. There’s even a Starbucks just across the street! And just down the street! And probably another one not far from there!
Round about sundown the shops drop giant steel gates over their storefronts and the bars open. Same building, dual purpose. Could you imagine a strip club or even just a raucus dance club in any mall in America? Nope. Too uptight. Those places need to be far away from civilized society! Protect the children!
See, oddly enough, parents protect their children here by not bringing them to that side of the street after hours, and clearly the working girls are not approaching anyone walking with a family, or even a date. Everyone kind of just… goes about their damn business.
Unimaginable concept that first part, don’t take your little ones to where the whores are. Huh. I suppose that could work. Parenting by involvement rather than expecting the Gub’mint to enact rules and have the police enforce them and have the courts prosecute all who would dare offend my delicate damn sensibilities. ‘Merica! Fuck yeah!
I know there are many parents out there who do raise their kids right. I salute you! Despite this blog being evidence to the contrary my parents did a damn fine job with me, and best as they could with my hellion sister – ha! Love ya kid!
Of course it can be done – we only really hear about the cautionary tales because the people doing it right aren’t exciting and exciting sells!
But I digress (as usual). This isn’t about the morally uptight, legislatively focused society from whence I come. Back to the sex.
My last trip here, on my second night in town, I was coerced (and by coerced I mean asked) into going to Orchard Towers with a group of girls from work. I half knew what to expect… the half with boobies. The first bar we went in to was packed with really attractive women with medium to large breasts. I felt a hand grab my ass (I was skinnier and less the horrific broken wreck you see today).
Singapore tourist tip… if a lady here has an impressive rack she probably also has a penis. Whether that’s impressive or not I suppose depends on your particular preference.
The second bar we entered that night… well I’ll be damned. It was like Hangover 2 but, you know, before any of us ever saw Hangover 2. Ladyboys dancing on tables, $10 beers, and filthy bathrooms with filthy things going on. But who am I to judge?
Sidenote (of which I am so fond) – this bar and it’s activities did not offend me in the least. I simply don’t care as long as what you’re doing makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone else. If that means you want boobies and a weiner* more power to you. Twice as many playthings. Great. Rock on with your bad self.
*I just made myself giggle with the use of weiner, so mission accomplished for today.
Now if you’re of the male gender and it’s evening time you’re likely to be propositioned on the street outside the Towers, and most definitely inside. Repeatedly. Best advice I’d have if you’re not looking for a, well, companion I suppose is as good a word as any, is to smile, say no thank you, keep your hands in your pockets, and keep on walking.
Again, I have nothing against it and I’m not running a damn morality or political blog here. This is more of your basic “potty-mouthed middle aged fat guy trying to make people tittle, chortle or chuckle” type of blog.
So why keep your hand in your pockets (as he jumps back three sentences and confuses his reader)? From the US Dept of State;
Singapore enforces strict laws pertaining to the propriety of behavior between people and the modesty of individuals. The Singaporean law “Outrage of Modesty” is defined as an assault or use of criminal force on any person with the intent to, or the knowledge that it may, outrage the modesty of that person. Penalties may include imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, caning, or a combination thereof. Men are sometimes accused of inappropriately touching other people, often women, resulting in their prosecution and punishment under this Singaporean law. Scams involving a claim of outrage of modesty are thought to exist and male travelers should be very cautious when frequenting popular nightspots.
See those kinds of rules I’m actually OK with, in the spirit of it basically being a “don’t be a dick” rule. Don’t assault or use force on anyone with the itent to outrage their modesty. OK, “outrage their modesty” is really a bit wide in scope for my taste, but you get the general idea. Don’t be a dick and you don’t get caned.
Sadly that law can be twisted into a scam and let’s be honest, what the hell can’t be twisted if you’re creative, uh, I mean devious enough. I suppose in that regard we find ourselves right back to the fundamental belief of mine that all humans are exactly the same despite where on the planet they reside.
Let’s wrap this shit up. If you’re looking for a story to tell your grandkids (assuming your grandkids are naughty little bastards like you) you could always ignore both my and the State Department’s advice. Maybe you’ll get lucky. Or caned. Or lucky and caned if that’s what you’re in to.
One final note for this entry; I was told a story the other night and it made me laugh. It’s difficult to translate to text but here goes.
A guy was at the Towers (fuck you, I know what you’re thinking. It wasn’t me… it really was some other dude) and he was approached by a gorgeous woman. As they talked she kept saying what he thought was “I’m naughty girl”.
“Great,” he says “that’s what I like.”
For this story to work, and the reason it is funnier when told, you have to put a slight emphasis on the second half of the word; pronounce “naughty” as something along the lines of “nawttay”.
What she was really saying is “I’m not a girl”. Not sure if that changed his response or not.
I now return you to the more mundane blogging topics.