In every area except music (where Phuture holds its own), Coco Latte is my new hip-hop venue of choice. Compared to Phuture, Coco Latte has a lower cover charge, better decor, more seats, fewer people, and all-importantly, quality music – a good mix between lesser-known hip-hop and party favourites, and some dancehall at the end to reward those of us who were still gamely shaking boo-tay. The crowd was about the same – some inevitable SPGs,¹ some hip-hop heads, and us three girls, who as later events indicated, must have resembled China prostitutes.² Read on.
On the way home, our cab was pulled over at a police roadblock and we were asked to get out of the car. Given that there was no question of drunk driving, we were fairly insistent on being told what we were being pulled over for. The police seemed to think that saying “This is a roadblock” was adequate explanation. When Fay asked again, they said “You mean you’ve never seen a roadblock before?” Finally they said something vague about investigating crimes. Well, duh.
We gave them our identity cards as asked, and stood there waiting as our taxi meter ticked on and our midnight surcharge steadily increased. We were eventually allowed to continue on our way, and had some fun asking our taxi driver which of us looked the most like a China prostitute, but it occurred to me that if I’d gone clubbing the same way I used to in England, with nothing more than cash and keys, I might have run into problems. It amused me later on to wonder how I’d prove I wasn’t a China prostitute without any identification to back me up.
“I can hardly even speak the language!”
“I’m wearing minimal makeup!”
“My Levi’s are authentic!”
¹ Sarong Party Girls, defined here.
² There is increasing concern here about women from the region who come to Singapore, sometimes on no more than a holiday visa, to work in the sex trade. Many, though not all, are from China.