A watery day



I had high hopes to go for a long run this morning, but as like idiots we’d stayed up until midnight last night, even though we knew La Serpiente Aquatica Negra would make an attack at silly o’clock, I didn’t get out of bed until almost eight, by which time I needed to start panicking about making it to the best scrambled eggs in Singapore in time for breakfast.

We rushed up there, met my sister and parents, got them fed and caffeinated, and then I went north with my sister to get her iPhone fixed, while everyone else went south. Our daughter suddenly became very clingy, and screamed Dadddeeeee for half an hour after I departed. We think she recognises the weekend as when she gets 48 hours of continuous attention from both parents, whereas she accepts that during the week I’ll be away in an office somewhere. So when I attempt to leave her at the weekend, it really makes her flip out.

Still, I’d made my escape. Repairing an iPhone screen in the UK can cost upwards of a hundred pounds, whereas the going rate in Singapore is about $90, or roughly half price. Clearly there’s an opportunity here for me to make a fortune arbitraging damaged Western iPhones against a poorly paid technician in Singapore, but that’s probably as practical as my plan to make a fortune shipping Big Macs from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in my carry-on.

The phone took fifteen minutes to fix, by which time I’d taken a taxi to Tiong Bahru where I had a massage booked. Where a bloke rubbed my neck for forty minutes and I felt vaguely better than before. I went down the street to the bakery where a French bloke was pointing at all the food. Not as in indicating with his finger on one side of the glass; as in lunging right over the glass top of the counter and getting his finger within an inch of every pastry on display. I wanted to point out to him that this was needlessly rude and quite possibly unhygienic, but he did have wife plus newborn child attached to her next to him, so I put it down to sleep deprivation. Although I think it was probably actually just rudeness.

I got home just as the child went to sleep for a short nap. Back out I went for my run; instead of an two hour yomp through the countryside, I ran on our building’s running track for twenty minutes, then came home and tidied and unpacked in the spare room for an hour and a half while my wife and child both slept. I couldn’t sleep because I’d had two strong coffees this morning, so I made the most of it while I could. As a result, the disassembled furniture is no longer littering the main bedroom, my toolbox is in the bomb shelter rather than under five levels of undifferentiated junk, and the spare room is still a complete mess.

Still, in the late afternoon we visited the Carlton City hotel where the rest of my family is staying, and let our daughter run amok in the pool. It’s a nice hotel, even if the cafe in the lobby is idiotically overpriced. I particularly like the soft new carpets – living in a flat with exclusively tiled or laminate floors, I’d forgotten how nice a carpet can feel underfoot.

Our daughter had a new swimsuit to wear, a very cute blue number, as pictured. It turns out she’s overcome her fear of jacuzzis, and maintained her excitement for running around the edges of the pool as fast as she can, despite admonishments to the contrary. We let her wear herself out, then went back to the Pinnacle to take my parents up to the 50th floor viewing deck.

Residents like myself have a swipe card to get in there, whereas visitors have to pay, at an office in a block right at the other end of the building complex. We went there, then traipsed back to our block and up to our floor to deposit various stuff, then went up to the fiftieth, where we couldn’t get in because the man who controls the doors wasn’t looking at his security cameras. So we went back down to the ground floor, went back to the block where we’d paid for the entry, got back in another lift, went up to the fiftieth floor, found the man was no longer answering the phone, and then it started raining.

After fifteen minutes the security door opened, as if by random, and the rains ceased. We had a good hour of our child running around like mad before we took her back downstairs and bathed her.

Finally we put her to bed, after reading to her from a book that came with a wind-up ladybird. This is the worst decision before putting a child to bed I could think of, as she was adamant she wanted to sleep with the ladybird in her bed, and it could not be pried from her fingers. I suppose some of parenting is knowing when to recognize defeat, and some of it is avoiding situations where you’ll be defeated. At least she went to sleep quickly.

We rounded off the night by feeding my family cheese, olives and homemade guacamole, before listening to a fire alarm ring in one of the neighboring apartment blocks for a good hour and a half. Ah, the joy of modern life.


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