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Forget the Singapore Sling, Soppy gets sloshed in the island state

by Soppy

The problem with underfunded short trips to Singapore is they reinforce just how many bars there are that need to be added and after 19 were added on this trip, plenty more supping options presented themselves for future visits.

So a board meeting was called, a budget allocated low on dollars, nil on sense, and Soppy packed his toothbrush and sent on his way with the explicit instruction of get drinking. Which commences in Surabaya where the not so discerning one gets so ratted in a bout of rapid fire elbow bending he gets home late from Jatim Club and in the rush to the airport forgets to take his contact numbers for the city state...

He does manage to take his plane tix and passport so we can be grateful for that and Saturday afternoon sees him in Seah Street entering the Lot Stock and Barrel where the punters are transfixed by the egg chasers on the wall mounted TV. Mostly English fans in watching the game, Soppy finds a quiet corner and nurses his beer and fading hangover, talk of hookers goes over his head and he refrains from commenting about the Leeds United memorobillia on the walls.

Next up is the uninspiring SportzBallz a couple of doors down. The LSB is your Sporting Life, a packet of Woodbines, flat caps, fish n chips with fart enducing mushy peas and lashings of ginger pop while SportzBallz is a glitzy Tatler wannabee where even the punters seemed embarrassed and wished they were elsewhere. The neon lit, back lit bar seemed incongrous on what is effectively the tradesmans entrance to the plush Raffles and sits apologetically among the admittedly tastefully renovated, but decidely low key, shop houses on this narrow street.

It had been a good while since Soppy had last darkened the door of Muddy Murphys,and given the number of cyber suppers visiting the bar on this site it was high time another visit was in order. It was from here that all started to go down hill.

The MRT to Orchard was fine, super effecient, clean, all the cliches you want about Singapore but Soppy managed to misread the signs on the way out and got himself lost in the interminable alleyways of these multi story souks that act as a magnet to credit cards around the world. The exit signs seemed to lead to yet more shoe shops and pokey little outlets selling handphone accessories...how many different press on pads can you buy for one model?

He began feeling positively claustrophibic as his frantic efforts to escape came to naught and the humiliation was too great to seek assistance. As he contemplated a life within the confines of shite piped music and bawling brats yelling 'ai yah' he was finally vomitted out into an Orchard Road that prided itself on it's non Asianess.

Singapore of course is a small island hanging off the sole of the South East Asian peninsula and within easy reach of the Indonesian archipeligo stretching across the ocean out to the Pacific.

The people in the main in this area are Muslim, trading links with Arabia got back a mighty long time, but Singapore, a state built on trade bucks the trend. The vast majority of the population are Chinese. An island in a sea of Islam, Soppy's visit coincided with the final weekend of the fasting season of Ramadhan with the eid ul Fitri festival up coming, a holiday on a par with the Christian Christmas - a time to be with the family etc...

A time of fasting and donating zakat, a kind of charity for the poor, has great significance in the Muslim calander but all is suspended on Orchard Road as Mammon replaces Allah and the Prophet Mohammed is usurped by image consultants and advertising agents dreaming up novel ways of extracting the plastic from your back pocket.

This was the world Soppy, gagging for an ale, found himself, buffeted back and forth like a small dhow in a tempest as people of all hues and shapes elbowed past without so much as a by your leave, intent only in their own little sms world...one little begger propped against a wall, arms outstretched seeking alms but receiving just the cooling draught of thousand shoppers with eyes elsewhere.

Humanity had gone on vacation, the last thing Soppy really wanted was 3 Monkeys on the ground floor of the 4 floors, where ladies of the nite conspire to empty a man's gonads and open his purse strings in a sleazy cocktail of dark lights, cold beer and loud music.

With relief, he stumbled down the steps into Muddy Murphys. Straight into a battlefield! The game long over, England victorious, a few bedraggled stragglers told the tale...mucho chest chest thumping, swing low sweet chariots rent the humid night as beer gathered in cracks on the ground. The tables smelt of stale ale but the Barmy Army cared not one iota. And Soppy did not begrudge them their moment. Having done his bit for England's football and cricket teams on overseas tours, it was nice to actually see a team bloody win something.

Thus ended the aperetif if you will. A few hours later and the research would begin in ernest. For now, it was time for somezzz's...

This story was offered by pissedupasia.com, the lifestyle website for the discerning drinker... in other words, your guide to drinking yourself silly across Asia.

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