Inbound to Heathrow and then on

We’ve not had such an easy flight since before we had children. Maybe it was the extra boost conferred by having a wife in a wheelchair that made Changi easier, but when we got on the flight the kids didn’t go mental, we weren’t carrying so much stuff that there was no space to fit our feet under the seats (now both girls get their own seats, we have a higher ratio of cargo to space) and when the children sat down, they dutifully watched TV for a couple of hours then actually _asked_ to be allowed to stop and go to sleep. Continue reading “Inbound to Heathrow and then on”

Random injuries

Yesterday I put my back out by looking at Destroyer. She was on the floor by the fridge, doing nothing much in particular, I glanced down at her and a fist sized bit of muscle under my right shoulder blade clenched and wouldn’t release. Between that and burns and near choking, it’s been a pretty bad start to the week, so I was glad not to have anyone succumb to any injuries today.

Except I came home to find the kids both wailing, because Destroyer is now standing up, and choosing to use doors to lean on, and La Serpiente abruptly shut one such door and made her sister fall on the floor and bang her head. So the constant blundering into pain has not finished yet.

At least my toe doesn’t hurt any more. The nail has fallen off it though. One step forward…
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Dylan Moran

We went to see Dylan Moran tonight; Singapore was the last leg of a long tour for him. Maybe it showed; things were rambling and unstructured, but that’s what you’d expect anyway.

There were some great gems: an altercation with a hipster barista; the description of people into extreme sports as “a waste of rope” and pet shops as a place to buy things that will surely due just a few of the highlights. There were parts at the start of the second half that shaded into cliche, and there wasn’t as accomplished Singaporean material as Bill Bailey, his Black Books alumnus, managed in a similar set last year.
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Unwelcome to Singappre

Today I went to see about registering my daughter’s birth. Singapore is one of the very few countries in the world that issues laminated birth certificates. This is interesting because almost all forms from any country that require you to provide a birth certificate stipulate that it’s the original and not laminated. I assume Singapore laminates birth certificates to mess with everyone else’s heads. To mess with everyone else’s heads, they also print in big letters on the birth certificate THE CHILD IS NOT A CITIZEN OF SINGAPORE AT TIME OF BIRTH. Then again, having had any children born in any other country where I’m not a citizen, I don’t know if this is standard operating procedure or being super grumpy.
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The mystery of customer service

My alarm didn’t go off this morning. I had woken up at 3am and then gone back to sleep, to a confusing dream about my Gap Year story (there’s a man in it with a mobile phone holster attached to his belt, which he mistakenly thinks makes him look cool), and when I finally roused myself from my bed, it was half an hour later than I’d expected my alarm to go off. So I sprang out of bed and ran around panicked for a while, before going out to get breakfast.

Some people in the service industry in the US are oleaginously polite, insincerely solicitous. Others, around Union Square, are not. They really don’t care.
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Secondhand beds

Tonight I had to head over to a friend’s place far down the East Coast Parkway. He left Singapore a few months ago, suddenly, which meant there was a lot of surplus furniture in his apartment that he needed to dispose of. Because he had a swimming pool and we don’t, he’d given me the key to his place so that we could take La Serpiente Negra there and enjoy the water and the air conditioning when Chinatown got too much. Every debt must be repaid, and now I was going back to his place to let in a potential buyer of his spare beds.

I arrived, to find the new tenant had locked the door, so the keycard I had got me into a stuffy antechamber and no further. Eventually the tenant arrived, a strange man with patchy skin and a grumpy demeanour. More of a misdemeanour, if you wanted to make a pun. He let me in, offered me a Diet Coke (at the last moment I realized I was meant to be avoiding caffeine) and then, seemingly embarrassed to have me around, bid me farewell.

Now, the new tenant had already had some kind of contretemps with the man who was buying the furniture. Something about being annoyed that the buyer was coming at 8pm instead of 7:30, when it appeared all the tenant was doing in the enormous flat was drinking beer on his own and doing internet banking. I’d been told to stay and supervise the transaction, even though as a diffident fourth party to the whole operation there wasn’t much for me to do. So I went down to the garage level, waited for the buyer, took him up, showed him the beds, and then left with him.

He had pulled up in a brand new Mercedes. As we left, he asked me if I’d driven down. "No, I got a taxi" I said. Which was his cue to leave without offering me a lift anywhere, because it wasn’t like I’d gone out of my way to do him a favour. Honestly, the whole secondhand bed buying extravaganza seems to have been orchestrated solely for the purpose of me meeting people I won’t get on with.

Now it’s about 9 km from where I was on Upper East Coast Road, back to Chinatown. And the Fitbit was registering less than 40% achievement for the day. So I began to walk home.
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