Midnight and no one out
The few cool party people
Shu’ai has a driver just like me
As I travel around the globe, I on occasion, follow this
article I tore out of a magazine listing the club capitals of the world.
It was wrong before, listing Beijing as an emerging club scene, when only
the foreigners were out past midnight, and all at the same three clubs. It
never even mentioned Kuala Lumpur, where I’ve had the best nights out of
this entire journey, and it listed Singapore as an Asian club capital.
I have to completely disagree that Singapore is a club
capital. Okay, it does have three or four mega-clubs,
pumping out the nest in new techno tunes, but this does not make a good
night out. It takes a special mixture of bars, clubs, and scenes that does
not just appear outside a mega-club. The scene must be built over time,
with just the right ingredients, which Singapore lacks.
First, Singaporeans themselves are so busy trying to
achieve the five C’s of success, they do not take
time out to relax, much less party. During the week, unlike KL, Bangkok,
or even Hong Kong, the bars are empty, closing around midnight. Midnight!
When I am usually rolling out onto town, Singaporeans
are getting home to go to work the next day, and they work six days a
week! Fridays are sad, with not a fun club-kid to be seen at Boat Quay or
Sultan Mohammed bar strips past 1am.
Second, if the Singaporeans actually went out to party
they would find some of the highest drink prices in the world. Shocking to
a guy used to $1 bottles of vodka from Russia to Shanghai, or $1 for a
liter of beer in Beijing or Bangkok, the $15 mixed drinks and $10 beers
(yes, $10 USD! and we’re talking pints, not liters), intimidate all but
the well funded or well intoxicated from drinking much past tipsy.
Personally, I was insulted that the Singaporean
government felt it should tell me how to live my life through alcohol
taxes, and understood why so many Singaporeans took busses to KL for a
Finally, once you found someone actually out and
drinking, they usually were so annoying that you’d prefer to be in an
empty bar. I never met so many materialistic and shallow people! Concerned
only with were one works, makes, or drives; I had to resort to outright
antagonism to enjoy the evening.
Faced with a woman talking for 30 minutes straight about
how cool her new BMW was (‘Just like the one James Bond
drove!’), I had to tell her I never drove, since I had a driver who
did such menial tasks for me. Impressed, she asked where my wheels were so
she could admire my wealth. I pointed to a line of taxis and said,
‘pick one.’ Her moan of anguish in being fooled so effortlessly
made me laugh and was worth listening to her boring monologue.
With such a sad nightlife, I almost changed my ticket to
leave Singapore after one night, but gave it a chance and spent five
nights bored. Next time, I will not be so lenient, skipping the Singapore
nightlife, and I recommend you do the same.