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Fifty Years of My Life (1939 - 1990)
A Memoir by Jeff R. Noordermeer

Singapore Nightlife

One night Pete told his family that he was going to show me some of Singapore nightlife. Whenever we went out Pete never wanted me to pay for anything. I told Pete this time it would be my night to pay for everything. He agreed and took me to one of his favorite night clubs. It was a private club. As we walked into the club, Pete told me that he had to leave me by myself for a little while. He said not to worry as I wouldn't be left alone. Inside the club were dim colored lights all around. As I took a seat in one of the fancy club chairs, in no time I had six of the best looking women around me. I didn't know what to do. I am sure it was one of Pete's tricks, that's why he left for a little while. The girls asked me what I wanted to drink and I told them: why don't we have a drink together? So, one of the girls ordered a large bottle of brandy. I sat there like a king with his harem and just ordered what I wanted. As the evening went on and the drinks relaxed us, I found out that most of the girls were Chinese and came from Thailand. They lived in the hotels around the city. They were entertaining girls. Every one who sat at my table was very good looking. One of the girls asked me to go with her to her hotel room. I suppose the large tip I gave to her for the table service made me attractive bait for her room service also. I have been in particular circumstances like that before, but then I wasn't married. Most of the girls came from poor families; they were all very good looking and knew that they could make some easy money that way.

Singapore souvenir 

Pete, after a little while, came in with a beautiful girl. She looked a lot younger than Pete. It looked to me they were no strangers to each other. Pete introduced her as his girlfriend. Pete noticed that I looked a little surprised. He said to me, "I know what you're thinking. She knows that I'm married and have children". He said he would never leave his wife and children for her. Pete told me that was one of the ways to unwind after a busy day at the office — to go out with one of the pretty girls. I noticed many of his business associates did the same thing. I guess it was part of their way of life.

Most of the time, we took Lu Lu out for sightseeing in the morning hours. In the morning hours it was still cool, as later on during the day it became too hot for her to walk around. We went to the top of a hill where there was a cable car. Lu Lu wouldn't take a ride in the cable car, she was too scared. The view on top of the hill was marvelous. You could see the whole city of Singapore. This was just the perfect place to take a picture of the city.

Pete had his office in a very modern building downtown. From his office which was on the 22nd floor I could see a very nice view of the city. In the background I could see many oil-ships waiting to get loaded. On a smaller island of the bay was an oil refinery of the Shell Company.

During the day it was always very hot, so Pete and I would always go out for a drink. Sometimes we would meet one of Pete's business associates. The places Pete took me to were all first class. Especially at night time they had very good music bands. There were always cards on the table to write down song requests. I was really having a good time, and it felt so good to be waited on.

Pete's mother was a very devout Buddhist. She had a very large Buddhist altar in her house. Very early in the morning she would put fresh flowers on the altar and bow down and meditate for a while. She was a very nice lady and we liked her very much. She wanted us to stay much longer, but as with every trip, you can only stay so long. Pete's mother never wanted to go out and was very happy around her house and in the garden with all her flowers.

Several times we went out with the whole family and ate in those many fine Chinese restaurants in Singapore. At those times Pete's mother always came along. One of my favorite restaurants was close to the bay. We all sat outside and ordered a hot pot. A hot pot is like a soup pot in the middle of the table with a small gas fire underneath. Then each of us would get all kinds of small uncooked vegetables, meat and seafood dishes. When the broth in the hot pot started to boil each of us with our own chopsticks had to cook our own meal by putting all the items from your small dishes little by little in the hot pot. It was a funny sight to me, to see all of us eating out of the same hot pot. But those are some of their customs and you just have to get used to it. I really enjoyed the food but I had trouble handling those chopsticks. If it hadn't been for my friends who were very helpful, most of the food in the hot pot would never have gotten back on my plate.

CONTINUED: Meeting a friend away from home
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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora

- Foreword
- Old Rotterdam
- World War II
- After the War
- Coming to America
- Washington, D.C.
- Southeast Asia
- Philosophy of Life

- Book Index