The long slow wait for the long slow boat to Bintan

I admit, I’ve been spoiled. When travelling to another country by ferry, I’ve been accustomed to the speed and efficiency of the Hong Kong-Macau ferry. You’d turn up at the terminal and usually be in a boat in less than an hour. And in Singapore, the efficiency of the airport is second to none. Maybe everyone you need to run an efficient transport hub went to work at the airport, and there was nobody left to figure out the ferry port.

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Special delivery

I was out late at a work function today, which meant I didn’t get home until after eight o’clock, hardly playing the part of the dutiful son or father. My parents flew in today via Dubai, and regrettably I wasn’t around to greet them.

This was a particularly egregious failing as they’d brought with them 18 kilograms of books. That must be a new record for transporting literature through the air, at least for my family. There was also a ludicrous mound of clothes for the girls, and biscuits for us. I’m glad to say they didn’t try to refresh our stock of gin, as we still have three bottles loitering in the kitchen. I must get around to resolving to drink all my booze.

Tomorrow we all go to Bintan by ferry, a new destination for all of us. La Serpiente went to Bali last year, but this will be Destroyer’s first visit to Indonesia. I’m looking forward to a few days away from work, time to relax and recharge with three generations of my family, before getting back to the usual insanity of life.

Optimistically, I’ve packed running kit. I’m not sure how that will turn out…

Late this evening, I went to the supermarket with mu dad to buy food for Destroyer. On the way back, we stopped at a cash deposit machine, the inverse of an ATM, where trusting Singaporeans can manually insert thousands of dollars into the bank. The machine didn’t work, which after a few tries I discovered was because it was full. Two men then came along, unlocked and unloaded what was shaped like a very hefty, money-filled photocopier, and wheeled the cash away on a trolley. At 10pm. Without wearing body armour. Or being assaulted. That’s not something I imagine would ever happen where I grew up. What a very tidy country.


Tonight I went to Pollen, a fairly ludicrous restaurant in the quite-ridiculous Flower Dome at the Gardens By The Bay. There I sat, in air conditioned splendour one degree north of the equator, freezing half to death in a giant building full of tulips. It’s a good life if you don’t weaken.
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Happy Day

I had a particularly bright mood today. Maybe it was my second day without coffee. Maybe it was managing to get out for a run this morning (20 minutes, but still 20 minutes more than nothing). Or La Serpiente being fairly well behaved, and not waking me up more than three times last night. Or maybe it was all of these, and more.

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Daze without coffee – one

I have resolutely failed at my resolution to read my running book every day this month and write about it, but I did manage to not drink any coffee today. I don’t think I had any coffee yesterday either, because I was feeling as sick as a dog. Hangovers can be good for you after all, it seems.
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Stepping up

Instead of going for a couple of drinks to decompress after the comedy last night, we went to a dreadful bar in Boat Quay for some tepid beer, then to Brewerkz in Clarke Quay where we played a game or three of pool with a couple of incredibly moody Celts (an angry one from Cork and an even angrier one from Merthyr Tydfill) and then to Circular Road for more booze in a series of ever increasingly seedy joints, which culminated either in an Irish pub or doing karaoke upstairs in a smoky bar or … or I don’t know what.

An advantage of the Fitbit is that I can see I walked home and got in at a little after 3 this morning, then slept until 9, unwakable, my veins running with pure alcohol. I woke feeling dreadful, and for ten minutes panicking that I’d lost my wedding ring, and spent the whole day feeling crapulent. However, I had already got 7,000 steps in between midnight and 3 a.m., so that made me feel I’d achieved something.

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