RIP Chivalry

I am currently single. But when I think of the kind of guy I’d like to end up with, the one thing (amongst others) that pops into my head is that he should be chivalrous. Chivalrous & still very manly. Not like Singaporean men who hold their girlfriends bags (seriouslyyyy – you buy a $4,000 Chanel bag to have your man carry it for you, it’s disturbing) – but a man who’ll open doors for a woman, respect her, avoid profanities in her presence, help her carry her shopping bags, assist an old woman crossing the road – those old fashioned, almost archaic, values that Asian men have completely lost.

Points in Case (so so so many): the male in house photographer ignoring us when we were lugging cases of heavy magazines, my own brother concentrating on his laptop screen when I was walking to and fro with heavy luggage, the way men absolutely ignore you when they see a lone woman struggling with a heavy bag on a conveyor belt.

Can we please have back the olden days? Yes, we are feminists, we want to be treated equally, but come on! We cook, help you do your laundry, serve you food and drinks when you’re sitting on your ass playing scrabble, and you can’t as much as lift your finger to help us!

There’s lots and lots of fish in the sea – some sharks, some sting rays, some goldfish, some clown fish, some shrimps – and it’s scary to think that wanting someone who’s macho & chivalrous seems to be a utopia.

 

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Girl Crush

I’ve had a sartorial crush on Thandie Newton ever since, well, I can’t even remember. I have to admit, I’ve never seen her movies, but I just love the class, quiet confidence and elegance she exudes. She’s sexy without even trying, and she always, always looks well together.

Now, can I just spend one day in the closet of this woman?

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♥♥

With all the pessimism and negativity surrounding me at the end of 2010 and start of 2011, it’s been hard not to feel low. I need to remind myself why life is pretty kickass, and here’s the lowdown:

1. One week off from work end December extended to an extra day on Monday

2. Meeting my brother after 10 whole months! Yay

3. Old hindi songs – like this one

4. My blackberry, especially blackberry messenger

5. Christmas & Boxing day sales at Orchard Rd!

6. http://www.boutiques.com – What a fabulous, fabulous idea

7. Lusting over Alexander Wang’s Rocco & Proenza Schouler’s PS1

8. Yummy quadruple chocolate chip cookies from Sainsbury’s

9. Amazing pizzas from Bella Pizza at Robertson Quay – Pizza Prosciutto e Funghi & Pizza Mascarpone. Best Italian food in Singapore – by far

10. Electric atmosphere at Clarque Quay during the festive season

11. Bloody awesome set of friends who understand my quirks and give me all the space I need

12. Being single

13. The world’s greatest parents (sounds like a cheesy Hallmark card, but in my case, it’s true)

14. Plans to go to London again this year – hello H&M, British Museum, Portobello market, Camden Market, Ping Pong, Phoenix Palace, Cafe Rouge, 3 storey Topshop on Oxford St, Harrods …

15. Kate Spade’s novel box clutches – to get or not to get?

16. Anna Dello Russo, Olivia Palermo & Thandie Newton

17. Paul Rudd & Alec Baldwin

18. How I met Your mother, Outsourced, Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock, Cougar Town

19. Twitter!

20. Apps like Associated Press on my BB

21. The Big Fat Indian Wedding

22. Ethnic Indian prints

23. Funky coloured leggings

24. High waisted trousers

25. Having my own bedroom, finally!

26. Funny men like Russel Peters, Russel Howard, Dave Chappelle

27. Summer all year long in Singapore

28. Friends who sing for me

29. Not succumbing to peer pressure and getting Facebook

30. Red Wine

Here’s to a fabulous two thousand and eleven and hoping that my 2010 cynicism doesn’t spill over to the year of ones and elevens. Cheers

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Up there…

With a countless number of sky high alfresco bars mushrooming all over Singapore, the novelty could have worn off for me if it weren’t for two bars that have completely and utterly captured my heart (and pocket): Lantern & Ku De Ta. Set opposite each other across the bay, their views are vastly different, but equally captivating.

Lantern

The image was blurry cause of the lighting - but that's me & a close friend enjoying the view of Marina Bay Sands (the 3 buildings hosting a yacht on the top) and the lanterns shaped as a Christmas tree on the river.

The lift opens on the fourth floor of the extremely decadent Fullerton Bay Hotel (art deco armchairs, marble flooring, lush decor) and the first thing you see is an urban, metropolitan view of Singapore beyond a sprawling swimming pool. Dim lighting, a white marquee (that made me think of white weddings – not the tacky type, but the classy, no-green-marquees-for-me type), lanterns hanging from the wall, all make Lantern the elegant joint that it should be.

A bottle of red wine was about $80, so the prices are a little high, but worth it. Plus, you have to book way in advance to get a booking – We tried to go there on a Saturday night and it was totally booked.

4th Floor, Fullerton Bay Hotel (6597 5299.)

Ku De Ta

While mostly everyone who’d been to the Bali branch got all snotty about Singapore’s take on Ku De Ta, I, frankly, have no clue what they’re talking about. 57th floor, thumping music (trance), a view that encompasses the WHOLE of Singapore – including the river – an infinity pool that uhm, goes on forever (duh), a lush atmosphere: What more could they want?

Apparently there’s a SGD50 cover just to go up to the bar, but somehow, the charge was waived on the Monday that I went. And despite it being a weekday, the music was fantastic, ambience excellent, there was quite a rush and good looking people milling all around (yes, I’m shallow like that). Perfect.

Sky Park at Marina Bay Sands Hotel (6688 7688)

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Hello, I am Singaporean, and I am better than you

One of the first local words I learnt when I came to Singapore was Kiasu. Unlike Syesyeni (thank you) and siao (mad), Kiasu was one word I didn’t really understand. Friends translated it as “competitive, but not really, it’s just a Singaporean thing, like needing to be better than rest.” [Yep, very helpful]

Four years later, after encountering countless locals, I’ve finally grasped the concept: My friends were wrong, it does mean competitive, in all senses of the word and more, not less. Compared to its neighbours (Malaysia & Indonesia), Singapore’s a sprawling metropolis that’s more developed and much more efficient than other Asian cities in the vicinity. Good for us, but it also means that locals are proud, bordering on arrogant. They strongly believe that they’re better than the rest and spend the rest of their time proving that they are.

I’ve encountered colleagues who smirk when they tell me that I’ve made a mistake, who gloat about how close they are to my seniors, who show off their work constantly, expecting accolades I guess. It’s not just a mere boasting, but it stems from that need to tell us outsiders: “Suck on it, I am way better than you.”

Well darling, I don’t know what you’ve been sucking on, but if that thing’s making you so delusional, I don’t want any of it, Thank you very much.

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Bluffmaster

OK Kill me now, but I had no clue that there was a movie Outsourced till I stumbled upon the TV show (just 10 episodes old) a few weeks ago. Not interested in watching the movie, but the show is quickly becoming one of my favourites:

Less than 20 minutes; Check

A dapper lead character (Todd); Check

Hilarity galore; Check

Brilliant punch lines; Check

Indian & American cliches; Check

Awesome hindi music; Check, check, check

Outsourced tells the story of this American guy, Todd (or Toad, as the Indians pronounce it) who’s sent off to Bombay to run a call centre. Mainly Indians (those who don’t have their heads too far up their ass and who can take a joke) will get the humour and the satire on the Indian culture – be it paan chewing or the concept of arranged marriages. Many discrepancies (like the non believable Indian accents, the unavailability of meat in Bombay, the Indian man’s bio data), but hey, it’s TV – it doesn’t have to be a 100% real. And I have a mini crush on Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood) – So pretty.

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Birthday Surprises

I generally hate celebrating my birthday. The thought of having 50 people look at me when I’m blowing out the candles is, well, to say the least, disconcerting. So this year, I expected it to be low key – no celebrations were planned, mom was going out of town, I don’t have Facebook so I didn’t expect anyone except for close friends & family to remember. But this year was, by far, one of the best birthdays ever. Here’s why:

1. Cupcakes delivered to the office from a close friend (the singer, see next post Birthday Story) at 11 am, which my colleague saw and realised belatedly it’s my birthday 

2. Lunch with a girlfriend who gave me a gorgeous, gorgeous Happy Birthday wine glass (yes, cause wine makes me happy)

3. After lunch, greeted by the entire office (including the bosses) with a chocolate mousse birthday cake, candles & something resembling the Happy Birthday anthem

4. During the cake cutting, a set of cupcakes, bouquet & balloon delivered by another girlfriend 

5. Friday: Belated Happy Birthday bouquet from yet another girlfriend

6: Friday night: Plans to meet a friend for a quiet post birthday celebration (just the two of us) ended up in a close group of amigos surprising me at Stereolab. & Ending the night tumka-ing to Gal Mithi Mithi Bol at Rupee Room

7. Saturday daytime: Birthday gift from dad, a Marc by Marc Jacobs bag

8. Saturday night: Further celebrations with other friends at one of the most gorgeous rooftop bars in Singapore, Lantern (review coming soon). Ended the night head bopping at Yello Jello to Coldplay, Kings of Leon & more AND McD’s fries.

 

Perfection.

 

 

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