Friday, 28 June 2013

Singapore: Back to Singapore with a temporary daughter

Although we were due to leave in the morning, the manager was apparently still in bed with a hangover. Over an hour after the allotted time, with passengers, boat men and drivers in Tanjong Leman waiting, he strolled into the office and a confrontation with Mrs M. It was not pretty. We paid. We departed. No more was said.

We had an extra member of the family on the way back to Singapore. One of the members of staff, Jess, had decided to quit and do something else. Due to the vagueness of this plan, Mrs M decided to adopt Jess for an unknown period of time to make sure she was safe. Relaxed in her new family environment, Little Miss Chatterbox entertained for three hours with stories of her previous job as an air stewardess with BA and Etihad, her Egyptian father and his pride in his British passport and dislike of fish and chips, poor conditions for the staff at Rimba Resort, her ‘more stable’ sister who is going to be a baby-making machine, being a ski rep, her dislike of loud music from headphones, tattoos and ear pearcings, her offer to take Jamie and Duncan to the ‘four floors of whores’ on Orchard Road, how she lost her car door in one of her car accidents and how she purchased a cat and took it back the next day effectively renting the animal for £70 a day.

The extended family arrived back in Singapore in the early hours of the afternoon. The washing machine took a bit of a hammering while Mrs M prepared accommodation for her temporary daughter.

In the evening, and now with seven people in a Volkswagen Golf, we headed to East Coast Parkway Lagoon for some al fresco artificial-beach-front dining. There was a slight whiff of burning in the air that did not come from Sumatra but a recent fire in one group of stalls. While the Other Ms experimented with the local cuisine, Jess resorted to chicken and chips and dainty swigs from a large bottle of beer.

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