And today I am a very happy girl. I caught that throat thing that's going around, and my throat is so very raw. Thank you, Dequadin.
I couldn't figure out where it came from, but there were some Chinese-looking characters on the tube. Turns out that it came from Singapore, which makes total sense. I have rarely been as sick as I was there. And when you're working sick, you just get some local stuff to take and just tough it out. I never need to go back there, by the way.
I had no preconceived notions going to Singapore. There were things that I thought I could like about it, but after the first few days I found this sinister vibe that I couldn't quite shake. Despite the ban on gum on the streets there were malls I went to where there were bloody red splats of Betelnut juice everywhere. Men followed my friend and I down the street and catcalled us in the night, which was made all the more scary by the fact that taxis didn't seem to stop for Westerners. For real. Occasionally one would roll past and apologize for not being able to stop for us. Quite eye-opening.
Over the next few days my health declined. Must have picked up a bug. And when my neti pot finally removed a multicolored clog I realized that I had an outrageous sinus infection. Ewwww.
On the way to work the last day in Singapore I stopped by our hotel's concierge desk to ask what I should do about seeing a doctor. It would cost $300 to have a doctor come to the hotel. Or I could go to the doctor at the mall. Our tour host had given an alternate suggestion -- that I go to the doctor at the hawker's market across from the museum. The same grubby hawker's market whose food stalls made food out of the frogs and turtles that bobbed about unhappily in Rubbermaid tubs until they met their gruesome ends. Admittedly, I did eat things that came from those stalls and they were DELICIOUS, but they were vegetable-based.
I had all of this to consider while I finished my last morning of condition reporting. Released from my duties at half-day, I had two desires: to go to the used goods store at the hawker's market, and to go to the doctor. I voted for the one at the mall. The thrift store was worse than it looked from the outside. Half vials of 1970s cologne, old American popcorn poppers, some cheesy new Dollar Store kinda housewares. I was determined to buy something, so I looked hard. Over my shoulder I saw a sign that gave the price for records. Whaaaaat? Holy Grail. Singles were 50 cents apiece!
On our first evening in Singapore I had gone to a museum exhibition that explored the year 1960 in Singapore. 1960 was the year that the various constituents who were embroiled in civil war decided to hang it all up and wage peace. In one display there was a gorgeous display of 45rpm picture sleeves and music clips playing. The music was amazing. I had looked for record stores that week but came up empty-handed. At the thrift store, however, there were easily three linear feet of these things lined up. All super thrashed, but I had to have them. I came home with at least 20 singles, picked entirely for their covers.
I took my 45s to the mall, and found the doctor's office. She was amazing. Had seen the forklift exhibition. Asked great questions about the scientific aspects of forklifts. I explained my malady and she fixed me right up, with Western medicine (thank you!) and a special consideration for the fact that I was going to be on a plane in less than 24 hours.
I went into the mall, found food that could sustain me overnight, came back to the hotel, ordered a taxi for the next morning, packed my bag, put out my clothes, set the alarm and went to bed. I spent the afternoon in bed looking up my 45s on Youtube (a lot of them had been digitized) and realized the tremendous payoff for getting these records. If you ever see a Stylers record, fork over whatever you need to. It will not let you down. Imagine if The Ventures or The Shadows came from Singapore. They made 1000 recordings, some instrumental and some with vocalists.
Does the Dequadin make it sound better? Perhaps!