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    This week in paradise
    Sometime between late March and early April, I was recommended as a contact for Singapore and that was how Chad and Hadi came to contact me. We corresponded a few times, to let them know what is allowed and not allowed in Singapore, culminating in the arrival of Chad and Hadi's first visit to Singapore on 23 May.

    Despite the correspondences, Hadi deleted some of his children's pictures off his laptop, because he was concerned it would be considered paedophilia, as his children were naked in some of them and Chad didn't bring along a book by Bruce Schneier.

    Monday - Reached Terminal 2 around 1pm, and despatched my auction item using Speedpost. Wonderful manager they had there at Singpost. At 1.30pm, began eating lunch at Popeye's. Went to Terminal 1 around 2pm, and waited for the dynamic duo, Chad and Hadi. Chad arrived around around 3.20pm from Amsterdam, and Hadi an hour later, from Frankfurt. We then took a cab to their hotel at Pan Pacific, and after dropping off their items, we went to Sim Lim Square immediately, to get what they needed. Hadi's opinion of himself was like "men and women would fall at my feet..." and Chad completed it with "laughing...". I had remarked to Chad that if Hadi and he were to retire, they could be stand-up comedians. One of the best thing was, Hadi had asked me if it's okay to haggle when at Sim Lim Square, and I answered him affirmatively. One of the best techniques he had used when haggling was "You think about it... I come back later." when trying to cut off, say $5-$7, at every store and saying that the other store offered a better price. Went to Sakad Sushi at Bugis Junction and had dinner with Chad and Hadi there.

    Tuesday - Chad and Hadi had dinner with the organizer, so I wasn't required and I turned up unsuspectedly at the Bookcrossing meeting un-organized by Ivan and while they were chatting, I secretly enjoyed the food and drinks. What was discussed (of which I remembered), were the Time Traveller's Wife, Nicholas Sparks, Preetam holding a book a foot (or two) away, and saying that was how he viewed them at 16 (referring to literotica), and Ivan talking about Flowers for Algernon (here's my Introduction to Flowers for Algernon).

    Wednesday - Again, Chad and Hadi had dinner with the organizer again, so I had noodles and went about my business.

    Thursday - Reached the lobby around 6.30pm. Called xx-01 and xx-02. Unfortunately, I had actually remembered the wrong information. Chad was in xx-03 and Hadi in xx-02, and they were both waiting in xx-03 for me. I wasn't able to go up, since I didn't have a guest card, so I messaged Chad. I hadn't realized at that time that I didn't press the Send button. Damn blur like Anna huh? Fortunately, they came down just as I was about to call them again. Had dinner at a Japanese restarant (Shima Aji) at the Esplanade. One of the funniest thing was, after finishing one of the salmon dishes, I had actually tried to eat the salmon skin, and halfway chewing, I made an ugly face and rushed out. Turned out that the salmon skin wasn't descaled, and Chad and Hadi were laughing at me. Dinner was followed by a quick drink somewhere there. Around 10pm, walked back to Pan Pacific, since Chad had a call scheduled around 10pm, and I went to Hadi's room to chat. There, I introduced him to CPF, and Chad came in about that time. Shortly, we went to the bar at the lobby, and I ordered a cappucino (yeah, I'm kinda pussyfoot that way), while Chad and Hadi had other stuff. Ingo and Clemens then dropped by, and I was introduced to them. I had to leave around 12am, and I took a cab home.

    Friday - Met up with Chad and Hadi at the Esplanade, and it was Hadi's last day in Singapore. We went to (I believe) the Japanese Ichiban Boshi restaurant. Again, we finished dinner around 8pm, and Hadi rushed back to his room after dinner to pack. He was quite fast in leaving Singapore, as if he felt uncomfortable being here (kinda like what I felt when I was in Jakarta, Indonesia around 9/11 in 2001 and one year later). He left Chad's room around 8.50pm.

    Saturday - Originally had a briefing to attend, and on Friday night, actually called up Chad to tell him so. However, I finally decided to accompany Chad, and I reached the lobby around 2.15pm, and I was told that he was entertaining this guy (who was supposed to be talking to Hadi) for two hours, but had no idea what that guy was talking about. So, we went for lunch at Sakae Sushi at Marina Square Shopping Centre, after which, I brought him to Chinese Gardens. We reached there around 3.20-3.30pm, and left there around 6pm. Surprisingly, while I was there, one of the kids camping there called out to me, "Hello Uncle!", and I gamely offered "Hi" in response. Reached City Hall around 7pm, and had the Natural New Zealand ice cream there for 3 scoops (macademia, cappucino and I can't remember what) at $5, and Chad had the same as mine! That was followed by dinner, again, at Ichiban Boshi at the Esplanade, and after dinner, Chad collected his luggage and I accompanied him to the airport. I had originally wanted to buy him a pack of 1kg of dried pork (I described it as something like beef jerky but it's made of pork). On the way to the airport, I told Chad I was late because I was watching Desperate Housewives, and we drifted to scifi, and he mentioned about the return of Battlestar Galactica on TV. Man, that was a show that was shown more than 20 years ago, but he said this is a new one, built on the same premise. So, we reached the airport, and I wanted to have a coffee with Chad before he left, but I guess he was quite anxious to get back home, so, he went through the departure gate around 10pm and that was the last I saw of the dynamic duo. I hope they'll come back again.

    Sunday (today) - Spent the morning helping out some people. Afternoon, had sushi with my sister at Hanabi Japanese Restaurant at King's Arcade.

    All in all, a great week in this side of paradise!

    Published Sun, 29 May 2005, 10:14 PM by frove

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