I told you about that one time in Bangkok. Here’s the Singapore story.
Back in 2006 when i was working with Soundbuzz, i was sent to the head office in Singapore for a while, to meet the team there, meet the big boss and the main guys, get to know the business etc.
My only instructions from the team in S’pore was to pick up Absolut vodka and Jack Daniels from duty free. I found Absolut Peach on exhibit and thought it would be a good idea.
Reached my hotel around 8 pm, and barely had time to freshen up, when there was a knock on the hotel door, and the guys were already there. Let’s call them Stephen, Harry, Ravi for courtesy’s sake, since they’re all married and have kids and ‘settled down’ in life, you know.
I was in my boxers lazing in bed, the JD popped, and Harry called room service for mugs. Not glasses, not coke, we got big-ass coffee mugs. And at the tender age we were all in, we were in a hurry to swipe the alcohol so we could go out and swipe more alcohol. JD got poured in 4 coffee mugs, and shot down. Soon as that was over, a second round. Shots. In coffee mugs. Not 60 ml shot-sized shots, but 200 ml up to the brim shots. Mug shots, we called it. After the second one, i was pretty sick. But i never stop when i have to.
I thought we’d step out then, but they were completely convinced we had to finish the Absolut too. Harry, the married man of the lot, was most enthusiastic. He was Indian and he was only a little extra excited to drink with visiting Indians and show us a good time.
So the vodka got opened, poured out in coffee mugs, and mug shots again. Repeat for second dosage. By then i was cock-eyed.
After this, i only remember waking up in a bed soaked with puke in the hotel room the next afternoon, already 5 hours late for my meeting with the CEO, washing the sheet in the swanky shower, and calling in late at work because ‘headache’ happened. I didn’t remember a single thing from the previous night.
But my camera had all the pictures to lay down the storyline for me.
As it turned out, they covered up my limp carcass in denims and a shirt, boots, and dragged me out of the room. Of course my legs were lifeless, so carrying me with my arms over their shoulders was out of the question. They carried me over their heads. Three guys carried my limp body over their heads across the hotel restaurant and reception and into the streets and into a cab. Back then there were these joints called K-TV bars in Singapore. This was the equivalent of Hooters in the US, except they put you in a huge room with a karaoke machine and a bottle of Chivas, and every 10 minutes, a swarm of women were ushered in and and the patrons could choose who stayed and who left. That was the negotiation point.
I was too wasted to say my name, let alone negotiate for a burger.
I remember vague horrible off-pitch 80s hits being sung and looking around and telling them to shut the fuck up, but nobody would listen. After a few hours, i was picked up again like a rag doll, dumped in another cab, and taken to a street close to the hotel, a seedy lane with titty bars. It was at this point that they’d had enough of my weight. The JD, Absolut, and Chivas had to take a toll on them at some point. So they slipped my wallet off my pockets, dumped me half on the pavement, and half on the road, and walked into the bar. They took a picture of that, incase my body disappeared, they needed proof to show the cops. That’s still the most horrible pic of mine i’ve ever seen. By then these apes had torn my shirt up too. Half naked Indian dude on the streets of Singapore is not a good impression on our wonderful nation, you know.
They came back a few hours later, and picked me up again. This time they dragged me till the hotel, and asked the reception to carry me up to the room. So the receptionist got the security to do the needful. Of course they wanted to come along to the room to have another shot of JD they’d picked up from the wine shop next to the titty bar. The security dude dropped me outside my door, my back against the wall, chin resting on my chest, and Ravi looked for the keys in my pocket. No keys. Each of them searched their pockets. No keys. Fuck. During their search and various attempts to open the door with credit cards and shoe laces, Stephen had a brilliant idea. He lit up a cigarette right there in the corridor and shoved it into my mouth, and then lit one for himself to keep busy.
I thought the horrific ringing sounds were in my head, but at 5 am, the hotel fire alarm went off.
Next thing i know, there are a dozen tourists wrapped in sheets and towels running down the corridor to escape the early morning fire. Only there were three other guys who seemed very calm about the fire, trying to open a door, and one guy sprawled across the floor.
As i mentioned earlier, i only remember waking up in a puke-soaked sheet. Apparently Stephen passed out in the same room but screamed and ran soon as i started projectile-ing. And this had become news even before i reached office.
This was just the first night.
Those pics are still up on some server in Singapore. I have not touched Absolut Peach since that night.
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