Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Singapore Diary Day Three

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July 27, 2009
As I got out of the hotel, I smelled the scent of rain to come. The first thing I thought of was, “Thank God it didn’t rain yesterday.” That would have been a total disaster.

I was a couple of hundred meters away when the rain fell so I ducked into an internet cafĂ©. No sense in charging up Canal Road to get to the mall. I’d be soaked not even ten paces.

I deliberated whether I should go somewhere else but I didn’t have much time. So I stayed in the area. After an hour of checking mail and answering some, I headed over to Bugis Junction. The downpour had weakened to a light drizzle.
I dressed more comfortably… football short, a Flash shirt, and sneakers. I didn’t bring my shoulder bag and chose to put my passport alongside my wallet in one pocket. The keys and a small towel in the other. I carried my digicam.

As I cut through the Albert Market Centre, Hassan, one of the cooks at the Indian resto I frequented greeted me. “Morning!”

We slapped palms. “I’ll drop by later, man. I’m leaving today so I’ll make sure I drop by and get something to eat.”

“Back to Manila?” he asked wanting to be sure.

“Yep.”

Some of my friends were having lunch at the Marina but I decided to walk around the Indian quarter by myself.

I had been going back and forth at all adidas stores looking at the black Liverpool jersey. It cost $69. I could but it just wasn’t a priority. “Besides,” I reasoned out to myself. “Red is the color of Liverpool.”

With that comfortable thought dispelling all notions of spending, I just got a small pouch and a few more shirts.

One shop owner was selling me Indian cigarettes that I politely declined. From the Indian quarter, I went to Bugis Junction where I whiled the time away at Absolute Comics and Kinokuniya.

I have this rule when I shop – if I can purchase it in the Philippines, then I won’t get it overseas unless it was a bargain.

So from here on its pretty much looking around. Lunchtime saw the place packed with those from the nearby offices.

My flight back is at 530pm so I was planned on being at the airport by 3pm. I have lunch at the Albert Centre then high-tail it back to the hotel. I have like 30 minutes to shower and pack the remainder of my belongings.

I just have a gym bag and a shoulder bag and both are now stuffed. I just pay for the extra hour (check out time is at 12 noon with a 1 hour grace period) so it’s not bad.

While at the Green Line to Tanah Merah, I was taking pictures of these guys wearing Liverpool gear when one of them turned around and said, “Rick!”

It was my pal from Indonesia Val Simanjuntak who is also a sportswriter and LFC fan. Of all the places to meet – in the train! He intros me to his friends and we exchange notes and numbers. The contingent from Indonesia is about 160-people strong and nearly the entire Tiger Airways jet to Jakarta is filled with Liverpool fans. Now their flight (1 hour and 20 minutes from Singapore) will be bouncing with joyous fans.

We take some photos. By the time we arrive at Changi, some of them head for Terminal 2 to shop. One of them joins me on the shuttle ride to Terminal 3. We all meet up later at the lounge while waiting for our respective flights.

The cool thing about Terminal 3 is they provide free usage of computers (with ports for laptops) and wifi. People can use them for 15 minutes before it automatically reboots. That prevents people from hawking all the internet time.

We chat for a while more before they depart for their gate. I’m clutching my book U2 by U2 then me and Carl Ng head for Gate 6.

It was a great experience but we both couldn’t wait to get home. Yet somehow, I got nervous I wouldn’t make it back home as the plane kept bouncing around because of the turbulence. I do recall saying a novena. Bwahahaha. Funny how people find religion during times like this. But c’mon, I’d say that 75% of the flight back home we were buffeted around like a cowboy on a bronco.

When the plane touched down at NAIA, I wanted to kneel down and kiss the ground. Man, to have my feet back on good ole terra firma. Nothing like it. But then again, so was watching my fave football club in the world.




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My music on the way back to Manila: Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism * Velocity Girl - Copacetic! * Dave Matthews Band - Live in Central Park * Pete Yorn - musicforthemorningafter * Helmet - Unsung * Joe Jackson - Body and Soul * Kula Shaker - K * Tears For Fears - The Seeds of Love * Oasis - Heathen Chemistry * Thievery Corporation - The Mirror Conspiracy * Up Dharma Down - Fragmented

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