If only all working trips are like this one..
HBO is a great host - we were treated like VIPs and pampered with luxurious accommodation and splendid food among other things.
We stayed at The Scarlet - a rather unique boutique hotel that I can't find proper adjectives to describe it. Vivacious, trendy, bold and passionate just come to mind. It has lots of scarlet red, black and gold. And gosh, we were fed so well! From fusion to Italian and almost fine-dining throughout, not to mention no shortage of refreshment in between..
The work was kinda relaxing too - involved watching a few episodes of the new second (final) season of ROME and a group interview with one of its lead cast - Kevin McKidd. There were four of us representing four newspaper publications from Malaysia, and we were led by our gracious host Paulin from HBO.
Anyway.. here is what I did over the three days - with the help of some photos. Overall, I enjoyed myself very much - the trip was fun and fufilling! And the best thing of all - I didn't get to do any shopping, thus didn't spend money! :)
With Paulin and Jessabell when we arrived at Changi airport.
Since we took a noon flight, we were all starving by then when we were taken to our hotel. So the first thing we did was to have lunch at its restaurant with a seductive name - `Desire'. It has a cosy and warm decor and the food was excellent! I've had the best bread ever!!
After a satisfying and sumptuous late lunch, we started our program by watching ROME at the hotel - including `The Making of', recaps of season one and also the 1st episode of the new season. I find the new season is getting more interesting than the previous one. In case you're interested, the first episode will be aired on HBO at 11pm on May 7.
My room is quite small but cosy and comfortable, and comes with a balcony too!
Just before dinner, this camwhore took some photos at the lobby..
The Malaysian gang - with Jessabell, Liz, Anansa and Paulin.
With lunch not digested yet, we were taken for dinner at an Italian restaurant on Club Street just nearby the hotel. Again the food was very good and we had the company of the other press as well as our HBO hosts in Singapore..
Earlier in the afternoon, I managed to get in touch with an old friend from church who's now working in S'pore. The timing was pretty good as he was to fly off (he's a pilot) the following day! It was great catching up as I think the last time we met was more than a year ago.. Eugen didn't seem to know any good watering holes at Club Street so we ended up going back to The Scarlet's lobby lounge.
Again, this camwhore made Eugen pose for a photo.. and this was the best out of the four we took!
It's the official `work day'. We spent almost the whole day at the HBO Asia headquarter - previewing more of Rome 2 and interviewed the lead actor. And we got a tour of the very hi-tech office!
How fun it is to work at HBO - each of the cubicle has a television!
And the recreation room was cool too - besides a theatre system with karaoke, there is a pool table, darts and lots of cosy and comfy sofas to relax in.
After the group interview which went pretty well, it was photograph time with the `star'! Here is the Malaysian gang again with Kevin McKidd, who is a really chatty and affable chap - quite a contrast to the dark and stern character Vorenus he played in ROME. And we also took personal pix with him of course..
So work is officially finished! Just like in Chiang Mai when we had a fun cook-out competition, the HBO people had put some thoughts into our group activity - we were taken to do pottery! It was pretty fun and the first time for many.
We were taught the basic technique of pinching a bowl - although all our bowls turend out to be different shape and sizes.. And yep, we even tried to do it on the rotating table ala Ghost. :p Oh, Kevin McKidd and his wife Jane also joined us in the pottery session, and also for dinner after that!
Paulin making her bowl on the rotator and me `showing off' the first bowl that I attempted..
There were many beautiful and colourful products that were on display.
It was makan-time again after this. Again, we were treated to another fine dining - a four course Western dinner at a cosy restaurant at Brown Sugar, River Valley Road. We had nice free-flowing white wine that Kevin McKidd recommended!
I had to leave a little earlier to go to a friend's place off Orchard Road, but not before I ate the absolutely delicious Molten Chocolate Cake with warm and moist filling.. I had planned to just take a few bite but ended up eating the whole thing.. yumm.
Was really glad I managed to get hold of Su Yin on the day itself as she just got back from Perth! I had stayed with her a few times in my past visits to Singapore but haven't seen her for two years and not since she gave birth to her baby daughter!
But when I reached her place, all her kids were fast asleep already. We spent about an hour plus chatting as she attempted to feed me cakes and ice-cream!
And before they sent me back to the hotel, I made sure I got a pix of us! :p
It is basically free-and-easy till we left the hotel at noon to catch our flight home.
I had one more friend to meet up! Earlier, I have already contacted Li Ming, who was also one of our boarding school gang, to arrange to meet up. We were supposed to meet at Vivo City - a new huge shopping mall - but I'm glad she decided to take me to have breakfast at her beautiful new home at Sentosa instead! It has a huge patio with a swimming pool overlooking the sea. And the interior was very chic and modern.. hmm.. just like a dream house.
I got a tour of the house and little Leonard - Li Ming's younger son - was really friendly to me.. took him 3 minutes to warm up to me and held my hand! :)
Li Ming then dropped me back to the hotel and came up to see the hotel room as well. And soon after saying bye to her, it was time to leave too..
With our friendly Singapore HBO hosts - Angela and Karen
A parting shot in front of The Scarlet