Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Celebrating Singapore: Of Cream Sauces & Saucy Games

** Warning: this post is rated NC16. Parents - consider yourselves warned **

The week before my birthday, the husband had been raving deliriously on his Facebook status about how much he was looking forward to the "dirty weekend".

And no, he wasn't referring to the lack of showers (think, people, think!)

So much so that our friend Jeremy commented that Dan seemed more excited over the hotel stay than his birthday wife did. Tsk. Down, boy, down!

However, we were definitely both equally excited about one aspect of the weekend celebration - dinner with friends, from what we call our Social Events group. I'm guessing the nomenclature arose because we kinda started going out together when Mandy, Zen and I were working in MAS on the Singapore 2006 IMF-World Bank meetings a few years back. I was part of the team organising the social events for the delegates and their spouses, and we somehow must have agreed to continue coordinating "meetings" and social gatherings amongst ourselves, together with our other halves and friends like Jeremy, Grace and Shirley.

Every week or so, we get together to just Do Stuff. Any Stuff.

The ones with good hand-eye-ball coordination play a round of tennis every Tuesday. But not me and Dan, cos I am terrible in any sport that involves small balls and having my right arm extended by way of a racquet, golf club or pool cue. It makes me feel unbalanced. Plus, I hate bending down to place or pick up ball after ball after ball. Makes me grumpy.

Sometimes we go watch a movie. Sometimes we check out free events in the city. Sometimes, we just hang out over dinner and drinks. Or head over to someone's house for chips, ice-cream and DVD movies. Or play board games like Settlers, Munchkins and Dilbert. Or on the rare occasion, a bout of tone-deaf karaoke where we torture one another with our so-called singing (except for Miss Mandy "MAS Idol" Loh, who sings beautifully.)

The more complicated (and expensive) activities are stuff like wakeboarding and scuba-diving trips.

But we kept things simple for my birthday. Everybody came over to where we were - Changi Village Hotel - to La Cantina de Venezia for Italian rooftop dining. Well, everyone except for Mandy and Tim who were blissfully honeymooning and shopping for gifts for us in Greece. Heee.

So on a sticky, humid night in Changi, I was surrounded by:

Zen & Rob, long-time friends of Dannie and then me, AND fresh out of the wedding chapel in June!

Shirley, Mandy's Senior Best Friend (yes, there really is such a designation) and dedicated teacher (to secondary school kids, not to Mandy. Well, maybe Mandy too - we could all do with some home econs lessons.)

Jeremy and Grace, our future neighbours in Dream Home 2015 (Naked Wing)

Zen again! She gets double mention cos besides being Dannie's friend since forever, she and I were colleagues in MAS and then later again in URA

And of course, the man I'm stuck with for the rest of my life. But I'm not complaining.

And there was one more guy named Evan, who likes salsa, fast cars and Shirley (not necessarily in that order), especially the combination of Shirley and salsa (as in the Latin dance, not the spicy dip.... but then, who knows right? :P) It turned out that I didn't get a sufficiently clear picture of him because HE KEPT MOVING when his picture was being taken! And I didn't want to introduce him in my blog as The Blur Named Evan. That's not the way to treat new friends...

MOVING ON to the food (yes, only I can move, Evan cannot)...

We ordered a whole host of starters (fried calamari, buffalo mozzarella, garlic bread), pizza, pasta and meats. The portions were HUGE. Talk about a hearty Italian meal. The chef turned out to be unmistakably Chinese, but as Jeremy said, she looked like she was capable of frying up zhi char dishes large enough to feed ten people at a pop, thus the big portions.

That said, I realised only after downloading my pictures from my camera that we took only took ONE photo of the food the entire night. Here's the precious photo of me and the first dish served to our table:

Fried calamari and me!

And if you stare hard enough, you can just about make out the remains of my pasta carbonara...

Well, dinner went really well - lots of chitchat, laughter and passing of food around to share. Then Dannie had to spoil it all by REFUSING TO LET ME ORDER DESSERT!

What the....?! Which man actually dares stop his wife from ordering her dessert?! Especially if it's in an Italian restaurant. Especially if it's cake. Especially if it's tiramisu..... Raawwrrrrr!!!

I was just about to stick the dessert menu up his.... oh, wait... a cake? For me? Yaaaaaay! *BEAM*

The waiters brought me a cake! The husband had quietly placed an order for a birthday cake from The Patisserie (read: there goes $70) and Zen and Rob had just as quietly picked it up en route to dinner and asked the restaurant staff to hide it in the kitchen.

I wasn't the only one who got to blow out the candles. It was a surprise belated birthday celebration for Jeremy too - and I gladly shared the candles and birthday wishes with him (as long as he wished for Dream Home 2015... but now I know he wished for a nice new car cos it has been ordered and is arriving in February 2011.... JEM!!!!)

The face of a proud owner of a brand-new-coming-soon VW Tiguan

Half of Dream Home 2015. Applications are still open. Just bring money. Lots of it.

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel room for games. Dan and I had brought Party Scrabble with us, along with a deck of playing cards (designed by FHM, which Dan specially selected amongst all the other decks we had at home because "I think Jeremy would like them". I see. How thoughtful.)

But Jeremy had other plans, it seems. Plans that were worth more fun than a bunch of FHM girls in hand. He and Grace gave me a new party game called Saucy Charades! I suspect Jeremy was thinking of Dannie too when they picked out this game. Their thoughtfulness is immensely touching. Warms the cockles of my heart *wipes tear from eye*

(And for the record, when we met Tim and Mandy a week later, they presented Dannie with another deck of playing cards - this time with naked Greek couples (and more) in very interesting poses.... What kind of vibes has my husband been emitting?! Scary.)

But back to Saucy Charades...

Reading out the game instructions, which nobody ever listens to anyway and we all end up confused halfway through the game

Jeremy listening to the instructions and getting into the mood

Practicing his first charade already!

Saucy Charades is played like normal charades where people basically just have to act out a clue for their team mates to guess. Just that the clues here need a leeeetle more imagination, creativity and courage to act out. It also helps to have a very thick skin and lots of alcohol before you attempt to play the game.

No, putting on spectacles does not help you play any better. And there's no need to look smart for this game either!

That said, Saucy Charades is quite an intellectual game. You need to interpret the clues, figure out the best way to act them out, and think of how to silently prompt your team mates to arrive at the correct answer.

How would you act out phrases like:

- Rhythm method
- An enormous cock-up
- Never mind the quality, feel the width
- Lady Godiva
- A sperm whale count
- Get your hands off my plums
- Naked flames
- Physical jerks
- Getting your juices flowing

We played in teams of three mixed couples. We learned that it really helps to have your husband/wife play the game too. Unless you have absolutely no qualms about running over to your male friend and gesturing frantically with your hands at his crotch in response to the above mentioned sperm whale clue.

We also learned that some of us don't quite think straight. Jeremy spent the longest two minutes ever repeating an incredibly obscene hand gesture in the vicinity of his nether regions, and seemed very antagonised that none of us could understand what he was trying to get at (besides his crotch.)

It turned out that he was acting out the word BANANA.

Whatever happened to the more normal gesture of peeling an imaginary banana?!?! I made a mental note there and then not to let Jem get too near our children. Sicko.

In his defence, Jem claimed that he thought Saucy Charades meant that all his gestures had to be saucy! I told you nobody ever listens when the rules of the game are read out.

We kinda assumed that Dan and I would ace this game, with our lethal combination of our telepathy skills and his dirty thoughts. We were quite appalled when Jem and Grace kept getting winning streaks (not of the naked kind) and pulled right ahead. We finally managed to get our act together (no pun intended) towards the end and eventually tied with them for first place.

As a tie-breaker, we got Robert to act out the final clue for us to guess. After spending most of the precious two minutes guessing time gawking at Robert's unintelligible actions, Jem and Grace deciphered the charade and won the game. Darn!

Zen didn't know whether to laugh or cry or act blur when it was revealed that the strange moves that Robert put on her to act out his charade was "getting your juices flowing".

And so ends My Singapore (yes, I'm very up to date with STB's branding exercises) celebration, as well as my series of birthday posts.

Yes, I know I said in the beginning that there would be five entries. Apparently, I miscounted *blush* My math and in particular, mental sums, is really bad. As in zero-upon-ten type of BAD. Well, that's one thing that hasn't quite seemed to have improved with age!

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