A Night At The Races

This evening we went to watch the horse racing. The races are at the Singapore Turf Club, far north near Krangj. Unfortunately our taxi driver, breaching at least one stereotype, didn’t know where the Turf Club was and drove us erratically through rush hour traffic, lurching with every lead-footed stomp on accelerator or brake, for an hour, until we arrived tired and nauseous at the Turf Club. Hardly the most glamorous of starts.

Betting on horses makes everything more fun: do you choose based on prior form? On the horse with the silliest name? (Our pick of the night, Sir Reginald, placed, though we’d bet on him to win, a consistent mistake throughout the evening.) Or do you just choose completely at random?

Whatever and however you decide, you have to bet in cash. And there’s no cash machine onsite, a canny move by the Singaporean authorities, no doubt, to ensure nobody empties their bank account and maxes out their credit cards trying to win a fortune on Mr Ed in the final race.

That did mean that we went through all our cash (well, all my wife’s cash) in four races, not winning anything to offset our losses. Then all that remained was to eat copious dessert (sesame strudel, a dark and strange combination, beloved by my wife but revolting to me, alongside profiteroles, eclairs, sundry other cakes…) and then mosey down to the trackside to watch the final race thunder over the finish line.

After that, we took a car home to bed. I’d drunk as much beer as I could (carbohydrate loading for tomorrow’s run) so I felt a little dyspeptic, glad to be back from the wastelands of the far north, ready to sleep.

Karaoke in San Francisco

On my last night in San Francisco, I went out to a pizza restaurant with my immediate team; Delarosa is a mostly orange pizzeria near Market Street, where the only meat on pizza is pig-based, although that’s of little concern to me directly, and the crusts are just slightly thicker than I like (using Tokyo’s Pizza Strada as my gold standard). Thinking on it now, perhaps the reason they offer an orange wheat beer is to conform with their colour scheme. Even if it does come in a white and seafoam coloured can.
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Pacific Science Center

This morning we went to the Pacific Science Center, near the Space Needle in Seattle. It was a typical Seattle Saturday; grey and wet and cold, but the butterfly garden at the Center promised a bit of the warmth Singapore has accustomed me to. 
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King of New York

Today we went to Discovery Park in the morning for a walk, and I got lost before we went back and all napped. This is the right way to spend a Saturday. In the late afternoon we went down to Top Ten Toys and I dropped a bunch of cash on puzzles, toy walruses, kazoos and a copy of King of New York, the sequel to King of Tokyo, a game I played in London about two years ago.
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Elephant and Piggie

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One of La Serpiente’s favourite series of books is Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie, stories about an elephant called Gerald and his friend Piggie (who has no other name, apparently). A few months ago, my wife found out that a stage production of Elephant and Piggie was coming to Singapore. (It turns out that this was the first international production of Elephant and Piggie, so I suppose we’re somewhere ahead of the curve.)
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At the National Gallery

Last night there was a party in the flat above us. I’m not sure if it was a Chinese New Year party (it would have been a day late) or just a regular make-a-huge-bellowing-noise-every-ten-minutes-for-four-hours party. Either way, the yelling continued until about two a.m. I couldn’t sleep at all, and I was quite surprised that the din only woke La Serpiente up once, at about one o’clock. (She let out a pitiful wail, then went straight back to sleep.)

Today was a public holiday in Singapore (probably why the people upstairs had decided to have their shouting competition) but I had a phone call at 8, so I’d planned to get up at six, have my run and then be home in time for the call. My alarm went off at 6:15, I went back to sleep and woke at 7, and then, feeling exhausted but obstinate, I went out for my run anyway, a series of kilometre repeats that I wasn’t really adequate for.

Neither was my GPS, reporting that I’d done 10km in 45 minutes. I’d run 4k at about 4:30 each, but the rest of the run was very slow jogs recovering between each of the fast kilometres. Still, I knocked more than half a minute off my personal best for running around a kilometre stretch of Marina Bay (although I only discovered I had a personal best via Strava last night while looking for flat 1km segments in Singapore).

I got home, sweated, had the phone call, showered, made my wife a coffee, spilt foamed milk all over the kitchen, got dressed and then we went out to the recently opened National Gallery.
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