Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Oops, I did it again

Yes yes, another Hotel 81 run. I promise I won’t make it a habit. Yawn. One more time and they might even give me their loyalty card. (Although I have it on good authority that their card doesn't get you additional discounts on the room rate, it just helps you check in faster - oh, not to mention you can use it to impress all your friends.)

It was 4 a.m. on a Friday night - actually early Saturday morning - and I had become friendly with a very cute, clean-cut, funny but also, relatively self-effacing diplomat. Let's call him Jake. We were both reasonably drunk and were now looking for a suitable location to spend the night. Somewhere that would guarantee the greatest degree of anonymity. Or at least incredulity. ("What? No. Jake would never go somewhere like that.")

Naturally, Hotel 81 was top-of-mind. And personally, I thought it would also be fun to see what manner of colourful characters staggered through its doors at 4 a.m. So, in the name of research, we went.

"Sorry, there's no available rooms right now. We have a booking for 6 a.m., now already 4:30," said the woman sourly at the Hotel 81 desk, checking her watch.

We stood there, almost dumbfounded. Somebody had a booking for Hotel 81 - at 6 a.m.? And they say Singaporeans have no spontaneity.

So there we were, feeling like we had not just been turned away from the inn, but from the manger as well. It hurt. And there was absolutely nothing we could do about it.

I looked at Jake with mock-disapproval - what good was it that he could disrupt bilateral free trade and breach international security protocol with a snap of his fingers but he couldn't get us a room in Hotel 81. (“Can’t you get your people to talk to their people?”) Maybe he should fire his secretary.

Still, the irony was too delicious to pass up and it was all I could do to keep myself from bursting into a fit of uncontrollable laughter in the lobby. I know I know, you really can’t take me anywhere. We were just about to leave when the woman at reception called out to us, probably in pity after witnessing our abject disappointment. After all, we did make a cute pair. We deserved to fuck, even if only for the sake of attempting to boost the world's gene pool. (And world peace.)

“Ok sir? Sir? You can get the room, but just for 1 hour. We call your room at 5:30 a.m. 10 minutes and then you get out.”

We got the key to Room 209 and embarked on our permitted hour of sexual release. But it was not to be. Mid-orgasm - mid-screech, to be exact - we were interrupted by a continuous loud banging on the adjacent wall. We stopped. The banging stopped.

Sighs. I must be behind the times. Apparently, people now came to Hotel 81 and expect a good night’s sleep. Thankfully, aside from the temporary interruption, Jake and I still managed to have a relatively good time, albeit quietly.

Evidently, Hotel 81 is coming up in the world. It might even be 5-star in a few years. Buy stock now. And don't enter the premises if you're in flip-flops. Even if that means you have to resort to a hotel along Balestier Road. But save that for the really classy chicks.

P.S. Balestier’s still a bargain at $15 plus GST for 2 hours, so you might even be able to pay for her cab fare at the end of the night. Don’t even ask how I know this.