Esplanade, Singapore

We were greeted at the car park by a squinty-eyed sycophant, who identified himself as our guide for the night. From the star dressing rooms in B1 (discrimination between big stars and small stars apparent, as about 30 starlets are crammed into a single room!), we progressed to the mezzanine level, with its ticket booths. I was disappointed—I was hoping for better views.

The otherwise superb back-stage tour was ruined by banning cameras and the terrible accent of our guide. Both theatre and concert hall look so huge—and I can help but feel sorry for poor creatures on the top-most tiers!!!–with three decks.

The glass covering outside the building is impressive, but a larger part of it faces the city, not the waterfront. The rest of the evening was spent at a snack bar in Jendela art hall, and inside the concert hall, where a disappointing half-filled theatre greeted us, who were privileged enough to sit near the stage. The show was made up of boring Chinese operas and instruments, and I slept through almost half of it.

At 11:00, the show ended thankfully, and I spend another forty five minutes on the roof terrace (the view outside the stairs of balcony three, concert hall was superb!!!!) putting on a very false smile, grinning at my father’s business partners. 2008 began for me with a forlorn glance at the Marina Day, where assorted people celebrated new year more jovially and in more uninhibited manner than the wax dolls beside me who call themselves Singapore’s elite. Tight regulations of Esplanade Mall also prevented us from imbibing more than champagne and sparkling wine.

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