Champagne rooftop nights in Singapore
I know Las Vegas is traditionally called the "bright light city" but I am going to put in a vote for Singapore to be, at the least, a very close second.
Every year my whole industry descends on Singapore for its second biggest annual event. So last week I packed up my case with two suits and a couple of items of eveningwear and headed for the East. This time, though, S was coming along for the ride too. In my head this meant she would get to see that I do actually do some work at these international events. In practice she managed to do a bit of day-tripping, spend some time by the pool and join me for a couple of the more glamorous nights out.
I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure at some point when she was stood with a glass of champagne on the roof of a five-star hotel looking out over the Singapore skyline, she decided my pleas of hard work are nonsense.
But, one of the beauties of having S there with me was that I got to steal the odd moment's down-time and see a little bit of the city with her. This was usually in those short gaps between conference centre days and champagne rooftop nights, which are usually lost in a tired haze.
Singapore really is beautiful. But it is beautiful in a slightly odd way. It is so clean, so put together, it almost feels like you are walking through a film set creation of what an opulent city should look like. One night S and I did head off the main drag and out (in search of vegan food) and ended up in a conclave of restaurants where local eaters were nestled round tables scattered out in front of restaurants. We got funny looks as we walked through, but it was as close to the "real" Singapore as I think I've felt.
The city itself does not disappoint. We got to visit the Gardens by the Bay and take a walk through the beautifully scented greenhouse. I've never been to the RHS flower show but I did enjoy that. I mean, take a look.
We also spent an evening atop a hotel, beside a pool, where there were massages and food. But there was also a gem bar where you could get your chakra read and be given the stones you need to bring balance to your life (I think). Apparently I have a green and yellow chakra, based around my solar plexus. I think. Apparently. I wasn't completely clear.
But the real joy of having S there was the chance to take a look at the city as a place to be visiting, not just an over-sized workplace with a hell of a commute and a strange office kitchen.
Much of the land in Singapore has been created by man, which gives you an idea of how expensive real estate is there. So when people get land, they use it and as a result much of Singapore is big and grand and opulent.
Like this. It is, quite literally, the Fountain of Wealth.
Not a bad place to work for a few days I guess.