Saturday, August 12, 2006

(Almost) Back to School

I just woke up. I have never woken up past noon ever since I was in college, and that was after a particularly long night with friends (the good ol' days, so they say). My clock tells me it's a quarter to one in the afternoon. I suppose this does mean that I'm really back in school again.

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Went out yesterday with Chris and Kat Inton, good friends of one of my "employers," Ava. They promised to point me out the good Italian in the city, and making good on the promise, treated me out to the posh Prego restaurant just beside Raffles Hotel. Excellent, excellent meals - their linguine et scampi was simply divine (after three weeks of eating at hawker centers, getting take away or fastfood) and they didn't skimp on the seafood or the sauce either. It was my first restaurant experience in Singapore, and it simply blew my mind away.

Afterwards, we strolled down along Old Parliament Road, where the three Parliament buildings sat side by side - the old Parliament (which has been converted into the Arts Center), the current Parliament building (which will soon be turned into a theatre or museam), and new Parliament building, which has a spaceship on top for Lee Kwan Yu to escape on when the going gets tough.

No really. Seriously.

We also ran into a Singaporean soap opera team doing a bit of night shooting in the area. As with any local celebrity around the world, they also had a small coterie of curious onlookers and random passersby (that's us!) trampling through their set. Anyway, from Fullerton, we made our way down to Boat Quay along the river (yes, Singapore has a body of water larger than a swimming pool!). The river, it seemed, was clean enough because towards the middle there was this old man and a boy - perhaps his grandson? - who were fishing. There were also couples on a date, searching for something profound between the water and the nighttime sky; groups of friends who were carrying bottles of beer and snacks and sitting on the edge of the quay with the river lapping at their feet; stray cats who looked better fed than most domestic cats in Manila, slinking along the bushes or zipping across the sidewalks, searching for their next prey. This is probably the first time since I've been here in Singapore that I felt I belonged somewhere, and for that, I am extremely grateful for the company I had. ^_^

And of course, the ride home - we finished just before two in the morning, which means there are no more trains or buses, and one's only option is the cab; plus, my roommate got locked out of the flat, so I had to come to his rescue - I got an impromptu sermon from the taxi cab uncle who told me that I should go back to going to Mass, blah blah blah. Thankfully, the drive took less than 15 minutes and less than ten dollars, and he was very polite, so it was more for mere amusement than anything else.

I only wish, last night, that I had brought my camera. O_o

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I have two days of "vacation" left because on Monday, I shall lock myself up in the library to prepare for the groundwork of this week's classes. >_< Sigh.

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