One night I felt very hungry after recording sounds all day around Singapore River. My strength seemed as if it was sucked dry by the blazing sunlight of this Lion country. Inside the room, air conditioner could still ‘protected’ me, but recording in the field for hours was a struggle. Finally I decided to go back to the lodge in Chinatown and then tried to find some food at the People’s Park complex.
People’s park, a business complex, trades and residents that was built by the Singapore government in 1967, was always busy even to this day. I decided to go to a really crowded restaurant which was packed by several groups of men and women. I didn’t really know their background. A waiter handed me a menu list. I read them all one by one with a feeling of unease. The tables in this restaurant were big with several chairs for one table. The other tables were full, I was the only one on my table. I felt like I went to the wrong restaurant. It seemed like the restaurant was more like a bar because the main menu was beer.
The group of women and gentlemen on each table was busy conversing and quite loudly I may add. It seemed like their gathering was so exciting that night. I looked closely and in front of them were beer bottles and huge glasses along with some food from the menu like seafood and Chinese food. It was no surprise, I felt even more alone and isolated. Awkward would be the best word to describe my situation that night.
But on the other hand I didn’t want all these hustle and bustle to just pass me by. Because I felt that the clamor here was so exciting. My research instinct kicked in, hahaha. I then quickly pulled out my handy recorder from my bag, put it on the table and pressed the record button. So I wouldn’t look suspicious, I pretended to keep going through the menu list and looked at my hand phone once in a while. After a few minutes later I then packed my recorder and sneaked out of the restaurant, fastly. I ended up not eating there and chose to eat fried kwetiau at the hawker center. However, I felt very happy to had been able to record these sounds.