Saturday, November 11, 2006

Washed away........

My plans for today that is.

After finally gathering strength and sustenance I set out on an ambitious plan. Go up and down Orchard Road and search for a Swatch store. Got to Paragon shopping mall and decided to head down to the Starbucks for some java.

While I was down there sipping my coffee, reading the Straits Times, the heavens opened up. My first clue should have been the increase in the number of people in Starbucks, hovering like vultures, eyeing my seat and wondering when it would be vacated by this ang moh.

So I headed up the stairs and out the door only to find that it was raining. I mean REALLY raining-sheets of rain in fact. It was so dark out side I was wondering if the street lites would come on. That's not supposed to happen at noon!

Now as luck would have it, your's truly did not have an umbrella with him. No worry, I thought, since tropical rain showers don't last very long. I'll just wait it out here or buy an umbrella.

And therein lies the problem. The rain was not stopping. (Its still raining now some 4 hours later). Being at the Paragon Mall meant the prospect of finding an umbrella was non-existent. Unless you want a Prada umbrella. All of the shops are high end fashion type places. Not my speed at all.

I walk around some more,buy a newspaper, try to get another cup of coffee. No seats to be had. Finally, in desperation, I decide to make the dash between the Paragon and Lucky Plaza. Its STILL pouring mind you. However I steel myself and dash up the side walk, dodging people with umbrellas and girls with soaked blouses. (Which actually is kind of nice........).

At Lucky Plaza the entrepenurial spirit is alive and well. Street front merchants are scrambling to get racks of umbrellas out to the front of their stores. Found one with a S$6 price tag. Stand in line behind a whole bunch of people with the same idea.

Now properly armed, I set off on up the road. Finally gave up on the rain quitting and making it down to the Boat Quay to see the Speedboat regatta and settled into my favorite little bar for some beers and then work my way here to an internet shop.

Which is full of kids playing interactive games with each others on the banks of game computers. These kids are serious about it, saddling in for 2 hours or more-at least if what they are paying the clerk gives any indication.

I did also make it to Borders Books and bought some books for the trip back. Bought 2 books: Once a Fighter Pilot by Jerry Cook, and a George Orwell anthology with Animal Farm and 1984. I've read both Orwell books before, but in the current circumstances it seemed just the thing to read on the plane heading back to Nippon tomorrow.

I also read another book this week that has me eyeing a new career. It's called Confessions of a Bangkok Private Eye:

This looks like a job for me!

It's a pretty easy read. Sadly the majority of his stories are the same. Western guy goes to Thailand. Goes nuts with all the nookie around him. Finds a bargirl that he thinks is the "one". Tries to do a Pretty Woman kind of thing and save her from being a sex worker. Pays her a salary, goes back home, expects her not to hook till she can get a visa to enter (fill in the blank). She simply pockets the money and keeps on fuckingtrucking.

A familar drama. Still it is written in a very conversational style and the descriptions are familar to anyone who has been to Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket. He also offers some insights into Thai culture and life. (Warren Olson is fluent in Thai and Khmer). It is portrayed as fiction based on fact.

I'm really bummed, I wanted to get around a lot today. The rain just made it slightly too hard. Did meet some cool Scottish folks in the bar though. So when you have to change your plans, you can find other things to do.

And besides, it gives me a reason to have to come back. That's a great thing!

Time to pack, prepare and then head out for a few final hours of fun!



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