The Choir of Clare

College sang with

great and

subdued beauty.

Tomas Boot - artshub.com

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Asia Tour Blog - Day 5

Date: Wednesday 07 September 2016 5.00pm

Reviews

Often Leo and I, as Can Basses, have been known to have a somewhat loose concept of deadlines, punctuality, and indeed timing; but our love of the 'danger change' or the 'danger pack' was taken to something of an extreme on the morning of the 6th. Having stayed at the bar mentioned in Henny's blog until 3:30 due to negotiations over a rather large bill -after which, in a manner typical of their national stereotypes, the Greek organ scholar Michael 'Clemens non' Papadopopopodopolos had to be bailed out by Caroline 'stehlen' Meinhart - the group wearily strolled back to the hotel. Unfortunately for me, my fellow Can('t) Bass and room mate Leo Benedict was nowhere to be found. Having mustered a search party, led by unflappable veteran Laurence Booth-Clibborn, we set out into the dark Hong Kong night to find Leo.

 

This rather drunken sense of obligation however proved to be ill-placed, since Leo was eventually found peacefully sleeping in the Hotel's 7th floor showers (having misremembered the number or even the correct floor of our room).  Once he had been led back to an actual bed at around 5:30 am, he proceeded to fall asleep without making any preparations for the coach journey to the airport the next morning. After abruptly sobering up from the panicked search attempt, I endeavoured to pack as much as possible before succumbing to exhaustion, not before setting an alarm for 7:20, which I thought would give myself and Leo ample time to complete our packing and have a leisurely breakfast. Upon waking however, I wearily decided that only Leo needed rousing as my earlier packing had afforded me the luxury of 20 minutes more sleep. But rather than being woken by Leo assiduously preparing for our imminent flight to Singapore, instead, I was stirred out of bed by Laurence Booth-Clibborn frantically knocking on our bedroom door. As it transpired, Leo had fallen asleep immediately after my waking him, and both of us had slept until 8:15: the time when Alice had scheduled the coach to depart. And then, whilst I unhelpfully complained about the situation, Laurence quite manically performed the greatest ‘danger pack’ of all time. All Leo’s clothes, thitherto scattered around the room, were thrown into his suitcase in a veritable frenzy of movement, and we were dragged down to the coach with only minutes to spare before it would depart. But unfortunately for both Leo and the our beloved choir administrator Alice, that was not to be the end of Leo’s misfortunes. Upon attempting to check in his baggage, it turned out that not only was his suitcase overweight, but also his shaving foam had exploded within it. Dutifully, Alice agreed to take some of his soap-sodden clothes in her own bag.An comparatively uneventful flight to Singapore followed, after which another coach took us to our hotel. Whilst many in the choir had admired the quiet functionality of our hotel in Hong Kong, only the most ardent utilitarians within our number were not persuaded that the Singapore hotel represented something of an upgrade; boasting a roof-top infinity pool and bar, as well as non-communal showers. Following a swim, or rather a running race, in the pool, many of the choir ventured out into town to find some food. Our resident expert on Singapore, Rosie Taylor, insisted that we go to the Newton Food Centre, and that in order to get the full Singaporean experience, it was necessary that we hire a fleet of taxis to take us there. ‘Everyone around here gets driven rather than drives,’ she remarked. When we arrived, Rosie took charge and ordered for the choir; neglecting, in her enthusiasm, to ask for the exact prices for everything we had asked for. And thus Tuesday finished in quite the same in started: with a dispute over the bill. It seems that I whilst Clare college choir may be the 'fittest choir in Cambridge' we are not the most financially savvy.