I've finally had enough sleep that I'm coherent enough to write this. Yes, I was too tired --- too tired --- to write a journal entry, even though I spent most of the day asleep. (Note: I said 'day'. This will become important later.) I was also too tired to check e-mail. This proves not so much that we did a lot over the weekend as it does that while I'm not the thirty-year-old, I feel pretty much like the one who's over the hill.

Friday was fairly relaxing, if only because I put off all necessary preparations till evening, at which point I had to zip about town in rush hour traffic. If I've learned anything from this birthday-planning experience, it's that I really ought to start earlier. For instance, if I'd worked on decor earlier, I wouldn't've been scrabbling around for ideas on Friday morning --- I wouldn't've found out on Friday evening that the store where everyone assured me they would have awesome (and cheap) decoration fodder has devoted its entire selection to Christmas decor --- I wouldn't've wound up decorating at 11 pm because various friends whose talents and apartment were involved were all delayed (by work, through no fault of their own) till that late hour. And so on, and so forth.

We also decided at the eleventh hour (see previous paragraph, I mean it quite literally) to rearrange some of the party plans, moving all evening festivities to the apartment in question. That, again, involved a good bit of last-minute SMSing (thank goodness for free messages, since that allowed me to plan even when Terz was around, and I hope Virgin Mobile caves in to reality soon and realizes that SMSing is part of local mobile phone culture and it shouldn't be such a prig about it) and last-minute shopping, chiefly by the absolutely fabulous X-Man --- who deserves a mention here in full because he really threw the party together at the very last minute. If you ever need someone to throw you a party in less than twenty-four hours (and you mustn't be on a tight budget, by the way), call this man. Not that he was the only one who did anything --- kudos also to the Miffy and partner, and the Deyi Trio --- but he was, pretty much, the man.

So where was I? Friday night. It basically went like this:
5:30 pm Cold Storage, buy snacks and drinks
6:30 pm Leave Cold Storage and battle vicious evening town traffic
7:00 pm Bugis Village, find out that aforementioned decor store is now purely Xmas-oriented
8:00 pm Leave for home to pick Terz
8:30 pm Pick Terz, drive down to Brewerkz to hang out with friends who were kind enough to amuse him all evening while I was otherwise engaged --- the amusement included a lot of beer and some karaoke that went on till three am or so.
9:45 pm Leave to go do decor and stuff.
1:00 am Finish decor and stuff, find out that Terz is out singing, hang out at X-Man's apartment watching bits of Survivor, Crocodile Hunter and other things.
3:00 am Give up waiting for Terz, head home, but he got there shortly after anyway, startling me since I had been double-checking his presents just a few minutes before, thinking he wouldn't be back yet.

Thanks to NCC commitments, Terz had to be up at 7 but he overslept, then panicked, then puttered around looking for stuff he needed -- all the while, still clearly a little tipsy. That was pretty funny, even to my sleeping self.

Oh, and happy birthday to him.

The highlight of Saturday afternoon was paintball. We'd booked the place for two hours, but thanks to various delays and such, we didn't quite get people together and the game started till the second of those two hours. On hindsight, it was just as well because as expensive as paintball is, I don't think we could've afforded to play for more than the one hour we did play. We had ten people, a lot of bullets and Terz shot me between the eyes. Bah. (We were all wearing masks, so I'm not permanently scarred or anything.) X-Man tried to rig a head-cam for the first game, but that failed --- so he ran with the camera during the second game, which provided us with a lot of amusing footage of grass and cursing when we watched it later --- but eventually he gave up and handed his camera to one of the paintball guys to film the last two games. Paintball doesn't look too strenuous, but it really is. As someone who never exercises, I was pretty beat at the end of it and I think I spent most of yesterday sleeping as a result. My legs are still achy today, two days after the fact. Yes, I am woefully out of shape.

Post-paintball, we went to Bishan to grab a bite to eat. Terz and I headed home after that and slept for about an hour before we got ready to go out again. On hindsight (I keep saying that in this entry), it's just as well we didn't have an elaborate surprise planned and that Terz guessed the party was at X-Man's because a tropical thunderstorm was in full swing around the time people were supposed to be at the party and a lot of them/us were late as a result.

Oh, and hey, it just started drizzling now. I love the monsoon season, but I don't like it when it makes it difficult for people to get to a party.

So, um, the party. Food aplenty, drinks galore, and lots of balloon animals as well. I had to make a run for beer at about 10:30 pm because someone suggested doing 'depth charges' --- a shot of JD's in a pint of beer or something. They also wanted me to get cigars, but the 7-Eleven cashier had a very amused look on her face when I asked her if they had any. Then there was cake and presents and watching the paintball video (as well as some of X-Man's other videos, because they tend to be unintentionally funny) and finally, clearing up. We cleared out at about three am --- leaving a heap of forlorn balloons that we couldn't shove down the rubbish chute, so we weren't sure how to dispose of them without popping them all, and without having incurred the wrath of any sleepless neighbors or bored policemen.

So Terz is thirty and what's the first thing we do? Sleep in till almost noon. We got up and out of the apartment for a brief lunch with his family, then came home and slept some more till evening. Then dinner with his family, followed by --- no, not more sleep --- but an almost-all-night drive around Singapore to take pictures. Terz has been bitten by the photography bug again lately, so we picked up a friend with her digital camera and headed out.
10:30 pm Changi Village, where the beach has been neatly rearranged with little changing rooms, lots of lights, paved paths and everything.
12:20 am Bidadari Christian cemetery --- what's left of it, since Upper Serangoon Road is being extensively widened and a MRT station has been built there. It was very surreal since my family used to visit various forebears' graves there and not only does the cemetery look different by night, it's also got a lot more empty patches of ground (where graves have been exhumed) than it used to.
1:15 am Chinatown, which I discovered has been incredibly gentrified, including the erection of some really ugly canopy over, I assume, the future MRT station at Pagoda Street.
2:30 am Food break --- roti prata at Jalan Kayu, since the Casuarina outlets turned out not to be open twenty-four hours.
4:00 am Senoko Fishing Port --- except that there was a security entrance and everything, so we thought we'd do some research on what you need to get into the fishing port and come back another time.
5:00 am Home.

Rereading the above list, it's starkly apparent how quickly everything changes in Singapore and how ugly most of the new stuff is. We weren't intentionally searching for historical places or soon-to-be-demolished places to take pictures, but this sort of upgrading, remodelling and refurbishment is really everywhere. And people wonder why I don't like living here.

We saw lots of cats last night, too, and not one dog. I wonder if the local animal catchers are selective that way --- but I think the cats are just better at dodging and hiding.

Writing all this has really tired me out. I don't think I've done justice to the weekend, 'cause it sounds really prosaic in this recount, but it really was a lot of fun. Alas --- the inadequacy of the written word.


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