Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Suddenly Singapore II: Orchard Lights & Casino Lights
After work, we loitered at the hotel lounge helping ourselves to some finger food and drinks. Went out to Orchard after that to look at the decorations. Not so impressive any more. Used to go ooh-ahhh when I was younger. Big and flashy, but lacking in details. My funny colleagues tried so hard to find the dodgy plaza where they saw a whole bunch of Pinoy prostitutes the last they were there. Finally found it-- Cuppage Plaza. Sex workers in short dresses and industrial strength make-up were standing around the higher floors. Seeing how some of my more 'desperate' colleagues were walking up and down the corridor and stealing glances, they actually took notice and waved at them. What a waste of time! Show me the Chinatown PRC gigolos instead!
Being our last night in Singapore, we went to Marina Bay Sands (my boss was itching for Baccarat). Alighted at Marina Bay MRT station and took the scenic route to MBS. Inside, finally say the whirlpool inverted fountain in action. The last I was there, it was still under construction. Really ugly actually, like a bad case of the runs. Wonder if it has some feng shui symbolism-- empty all your pockets in the casino! Saw my boss throw SGD1,000 on the table. His minimum bet was SGD100. I just loitered around, trying to avoid the ciggie smoke. Observed the gamblers. Some were so seasoned that they stood between tables, putting a bet here, taking their winnings there.. without losing a beat. Luck wasn't quite on my boss' side. No big winnings. He was looking for that elusive banker / player winning streak. Hadn't found it yet. And whenever the dealer refills its tray with chips, the players all leave, believing that the players' luck would end. And its fun seeing how the casino staff operate. Like what Ace Rothstein says in the movie "Casino":
"In Vegas, everybody's gotta watch everybody else. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The box men are watching the dealers. The floor men are watching the box men. The pit bosses are watching the floor men. The shift bosses are watching the pit bosses. The casino manager is watching the shift bosses. I'm watching the casino manager. And the eye-in-the-sky is watching us all."
Had enough of roulette, card tables, crap tables, dice tables and slot machines. Made a move at 11:00 pm and left my boss to continue his battle. Stopped by at a 24 hour McDonalds to have a Happy Meal. Our Pinoy colleague had earlier issued each of us a voucher for Christmas. That was my dinner. Nuggets, corn and Milo. The next morning, my boss looked al groggy but happy. He gambled till 1:30 am and left with and 600% winnings! I smell a free dinner.... :D