16:45: Aircraft descending, be handed Singapore customs slip. Read note at bottom: “Death for drug traffickers under Singapore Law.”
17:37: Deplane. Become convinced drugs have been planted on me. Google: “how to tell if drugs have been planted on you” and “singapore customs drug traffickers immediate execution?”
17:58: Clear customs.
18:03: Admire glass testicle art in garden display.
18:27: Obtain money from ATM.
18:34 Run to catch city bus. Be told that bus drivers cannot make change.
18:39: Find someone who can make change.
19:00: Catch bus.
19:29: Arrive at Singapore Promenade. Also, possibly, 1993.
19:30: Begin walk to hostel. Peek into coffee shop to see prices. Cup of Earl Gray: $7. Think Singapore is a parody of itself. Wallet begins to cry in back-pocket.
19:43: Check into hostel. Make note of front-door auto-lock time and entry passcode.
21:10: Watch Suits in bed. Eat noodles. Forget that law firm life is terrible. Forget that no paralegals are Meghan Markle. See hostel roommate pick dead skin off toenail and toss. Regret quitting law.
09:47: Enter Tiong Bahru Food Center in order to consume staple breakfast: soft-boiled eggs, coffee that would buzz a rhino, squares of toast swiped with coconut egg jam (kaya).
09:49: Fear that Bahru Food Center loyalty cards are only form of payment. Order and hope for the best. Cash accepted. Guy pours coffee from a thousand hit bong.
09:54: Take un-‘grammable picture. Take sip of coffee.
09:56: Hit chest to prevent cardiac arrest. Research bathroom location.
10:17: Finish breakfast. Begin search for Banana Man.
10:48: Found him, found Banana Man.
11:17: Arrive at Gardens by the Bay. Convince self that Snapchat is like teleporting friends to you. Record every move. Hope for response.
11:37: Kevin responds. Like Kevin more than usual.
12:47: Look at orchids.
12:54: Look at waterfalls.
13:15: Depart to catch subway (MRT) to Little India.
13:23: Realize why Singaporean streets are apocalyptically empty: the population is underground and in gigantic malls that are like air-conditioned aviaries except for people. Outside is a crockpot.
13:24: My outfit is inferior to those on mannequins. Chukkas, board shorts, wrinkled blue linen shirt make me the foil, the slipshod, the bindlestiff. Luxury in Singapore is not so much a signal for class as it is ordinary. The stores in a mall are lined as if lifted from a dozen pages in Vogue. Employees are clean shaven, their clothes pressed, their faces wondrous concoctions of cosmetics and plucking and rehydrating oils. Items on display look to have never been touched. This is a Las Vegas for those whose craps table is an international exchange and whose commitment is to workaday grit instead of house odds.
13:30: MRT to Little India.
14:05: Lunch at a Little India food stall. Weep over deliciousness of curry, freshness of flatbread, and inability to tolerate heat level. Fingers too slippery from ghee to touch camera.
14:45: Visit Singapore National Museum. Learn many things: Singapore Airlines customers get admission discount (!), Singapore is only modern country to obtain independence against its will (sadly hilarious), the name Raffles, which is everywhere, belonged to the founder of Singapore and (likely) creator of ticket based game to win wicker baskets filled with jams.
19:45: Read up on famous chicken rice, so visit Maxwell Food Centre to eat at Tian Tian.
19:46: Discover Tian Tian Chicken Rice is closed. Visit different stall and order char kway teow. Unsure how to describe, as no adjectives are flattering. Form of noodles looks like the shard remnants you need to scrape from the bottom of a hot pan. Sauce is muddy in color with conspicuous black pepper specks. Eggs are those of the promising-omelette variety turned to fuck-it-making-scrambled. And yet…tasty.
20:47: Return to hostel to resume Suits.
23:30: Don’t feel so good. Convince myself I’m not going to be sick.
23:32: Be sick.
24:00 Commence seven hour period passing between hugging porcelain and reclining in dark common room. Forever associate Suits with vomiting. Impression of law life returns to original state.
01:12: Ignore the reception bell ringing and the banging on the entrance door. Decide I will not be the one to let in a possibly-but-probably-not-would-be-serial-killer into this hostel. Passcode was told to us all my drunk friend.
01:59: Joined in common room by insomniac who also ignores the ringing and banging. Feel justified in my decision and a tingling fraternity with this youthful vagabond of upstanding virtue.
02:00: Vomit some more.
04:23: Someone else returns to the hostel, knows passcode, and allows the johnny-come-lately to enter.
07:30: Sleep. Decide to cancel itinerary for remainder of day.
20:58: Depart on red-eye to Australia. Resolve to visit Singapore for earnest in future.
A few helpful things to know:
(1) Singapore recently allowed for the purchase of gum.
(2) The MRT tourist passes are a great deal, get one.
(3) If stopping over at Changi Airport, you can take advantage of a free city tour.
(4) I’m in no position to be giving advice on Singapore.