Sunday, June 17, 2007
The Good Life
Ah, the pleasures of a weekend getaway right in the heart of the city.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, this is a pretty commonplace thing in Singapore. Check yourself into a five-star hotel for the weeekend, spoil yourself silly, cram in a week's worth of relaxation into an overnighter, and voila! you're ready for the onslaught of work on Monday!
D and I have done just that this weekend, courtesy of my fabulous mum who bought us the Feed At Raffles card for our joint birthdays this year. It entitles the holder to a free night's stay at the plush Raffles The Plaza, and an epicurean's paradise of complimentary meals at the many restaurants found within the hotel chain. We love it basically.
So I'm writing this now in our luxurious room which looks exactly like in the picture. Rather amazing. Last night, we watch a most entertaining Singapore Arts Festival offering, called Pluck. A trio of string musicians (violin, viola and cello) who ham it up and play famous classical pieces while undertaking the most ridiculous tasks - like swapping shoes, eating a full afternoon tea replete with scones and tea, and doing a mid-western hoe-down!
Now this trio make comedy seem effortless, but you have to be pretty extraordinarily talented in order to put on the show that these three musicians did. One item they put on, a rendition of Mozart's Turkish March, which gradually got faster and faster, ended off with an amazing feat of pyrotechnics! Set off by the violinist himself! Now I've played the piano since I was six and trying to play the piece sans frills is tough enough, but here the violinist was talking, walking, moving around and fiddling with what must've been a switch to launch a mini gunpowder explosion! Amazing.
Our next foray into the arts will be to catch Ian McKellen in the Royal Shakespeare Company's performance of King Lear next month! To hear Gandalf himself (ok Magneto, for those more into X-Men than LOTR) utter the words of the bard will be sweet, sweet heaven. And speaking of sweet heaven, I'm utterly impatient to hear Sir Ian's booming voice resonating in Singapore's Esplanade Theatres. Erk, the moment for me of pure pathos in King Lear is when, in a moment of lucidity, he utters:
O! let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven;
Keep me in temper; I would not be mad!
King Lear should be compulsory viewing/reading as we all progress into an ageing, greying world methinks. Anyway, shan't wax lyrical anymore. I have an hour before I'm due to check out of this little shard of decadent reality, and head back into the frenetic energy of the typical Singaporean weekend. Adieu for now.