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“Draw up your chair to the edge of the precipice and I’ll tell you a story.”

“F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Crack Up. I wouldn’t have pegged you for a literary man…’

‘But it’s quarter to three, there’s no one in the place except you and me…”

It’s not the green lights winking at him from  Orchard Gateway Building that has taken on any  Great Gatsby meaning. That’s been appropriated by  a disco ball hovering five feet in his garden. It does more than wink. It’s a portal to his dead mother. It’s where he gets access to a cheat card.

With the start of a new Inspector Tay book, there’s always a fresh start with unlimited possibilities.

With the start of each Tay book, and I’m onto the fourth, but the third in the series, The Dead American, there’s the resolution to give up smoking.

Fuck it. I’ll have another one. 

It pained me to see Tay trying to salvage a cigarette after the shoot out in the brothel. It’s okay to smoke a broken cigarette, filters aren’t necessary.

Tay is by all accounts weird.

Weird in the way that he expresses those weird thoughts that most usually suppress for fear of being labelled weird. He’s a true independent  man of his age. He has issues with authority but doesn’t mind wielding it when he can. It’s usually a spoof on those who actually take the power trip seriously.

Tay is an anomaly. And you got to love him for not quoting Shakespeare, that would be so cliche. And who the fuck drinks Earl Grey tea these days? Tay certainly doesn’t.

The Big 50 has arrived. Far from out of the game, and very far from looking good in a pair of lycra, Inspector Samuel Tay  is going to take me places I’ve never been before.

Geylang of The Umbrella Man just upset  my moral compass. Even on Google Maps I had issues. It looked like one of those nocturnal species who slept in the day. None of the satellite images taken during the day did the place justice.

A Red Light District without hookers, that’s what was bugging me. Four Floors of Whores, I got it, immediately. But Geylang, seemed like a place for octogenarian Chinese intent on finding their marbles in ‘Karma’ tagged Buddhist shrines. Even the hotels didn’t promise the usual sleaze you’d expect in a naughty Singapore area.

The uneasiness of the area dawned on me when  I zoomed into a brothel. A CCTV camera was set up outside it next to the  Buddhist Meditating Center. ‘POLICE SUPERVISED CAMERA,’ said a sign mounted on the all seeing eye. Now what kind of a Red Light District is it if the police are monitoring it?

Wait, this is Singapore.

New seedy dives  to discover,  come on Singapura, flower for me.

 

 

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