Our 5th Anniversary: Day 1 of our Staycation at Studio M!

The Bear and Rabbit turn 5! No, not this blog – our history goes way back to the good old days of junior college! I wish this blog started back then though – all the memories we failed to capture in finer detail! Hopefully, though, this blog will see us through the next 5 years and beyond!

It was also my birthday, so Clara booked us a staycation at Studio M – a hotel on our list for a while! In fact, I would have gone ahead and booked it for her 21st birthday had a deal on Oasia not popped up. Studio M specialises in lofts, so we had a unique experience indeed!

We met up at Junction 8 shopping centre, where we had our first meeting (to study), and had lunch at its food court, where we had our first meal together! We ordered Chicken Katsu Curry Rice from Washoku Goen, which to us was one of the better value-for-money dishes around (we have never seen someone finish a plate all by his or herself)! Actually, we did not manage to finish even one plate with our joint efforts, and packed a slice of katsu into a lunch box.

We then headed down to the rooftop garden, where we sat down and had our first pair of vanilla cones from McDonalds’ together. Clara took out an activity booklet (which must have taken a lot of time and effort to prepare) and asked me to complete it! There were sections on connect-the-dots, spot the difference and mad libs (which turned out quite funny). At the end, I had to answer questions about the previous sections, and that gave me a random six-digit number. I tried to cover the bottom half to see if it was a hidden message, but nothing materialised! Clara kindly reminded me that I could give it a Google search, and that was when I realised it was the postal code for Studio M!

Now our staycation is truly up and running!

To get there, we took bus 64 from Dhoby Ghaut to somewhere along the Singapore River. We alighted and crossed an overhead bridge, then the colourful Alkaff bridge, to arrive at an open plaza. A few more hundred metres, and we were at the lobby! The first thing that hit me was the strong fragrance wafting through the air. It was, even to a fragrance enthusiast, a little too much! We were directed to a queue waiting to check in. I spent a great deal of time staring at the installation hanging above the reception!

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We took the lift up to the fifth floor, made a right turn, crossed a panoramic walkway, made another right turn and arrived at the door! In went the card, and there in front of us was our loft! A spacious work area greeted us, and an expansive floor-to-ceiling window spanned both floors. Stairs led up to the bed, which I must say was oh-so-soft!

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I was made to vacate the room while Clara put the decorations up. I went down to the second floor, where there was a swimming pool, a gym, a buffet area and two Mac terminals. There were also a lot of places to just sit down and relax!

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I plonked myself down on a couch and started working on our Korean assignment script for about thirty minutes, while Clara got to work. After some time, I was called back into the room! Clara did an amazing job of transforming the room into something nice! So much better than what I did to the room at Oasia, really! I did a video walkthrough and was constantly surprised by the next decoration I came across, from an Instagram-style collection of our photos, to the three gifts neatly arranged on the table, to the lights leading up the stairs, to the black letters spelling out “Happy Birthday Hui Jun!” on the glass partition and finally the photos of me arranged to form “22” on the bed!

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I was, needless to say, duly impressed and touched! I loved it all!

We looked at the script for our Korean assignment together and edited it as we saw fit. Then, it was time to record! We set up the camera on the tripod and placed it on the chair. It took umpteen tries before we manage to get it right, but then again, we were prepared for the worst! Praying that all our efforts translate into marks!

By the time we were done, it was evening time and our stomachs started to grumble. Fortunately, I cooked some fusilli pasta that morning in anticipation of such a situation. It was doused with cheese sauce and bacon bits, and was a tribute to the pasta we used to eat in junior college. Sadly, that stall has closed since, but this version was quite close! There were also packets of Milo because that was what we used to buy for each other! Talking about the days past makes me miss them so much!

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While eating, we completed some more mad libs on the computer, and a few of them turned out completely nonsensical but hilarious! I would totally fill more up when I have the time!

Clara made a list of plans we could embark on, which included iLight at Marina Bay, which we didn’t go to in the end (but did days later, as will be covered in a separate post), dinner at Bliss House (where we had lunch the day I ORD-ed), or Fun Fest Asia. Since the pasta was doing a really good job of keeping us full, we decided to head straight to Clarke Quay for Fun Fest!

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Within the immediate vicinity of Studio M was Robertson Quay, which seemed like a more refined and isolated version of Clarke Quay. We walked past diners sipping wine – beer would be a more common sight at Clarke Quay instead. Alkaff Bridge was shrouded in darkness but we crossed it again, and followed the illuminated river bank until it led us to Central! We realised that the Fun Fest was happening over at Clarke Quay itself, where all the bars and clubs were, so we crossed the bridge to the opposite side of the river. When we arrived at the centre, a duo calling themselves the Kamikaze Fireflies were midway into their show. At one point they were dressed up as a dinosaur and hotdog running around the stage; at another, they brandished swinging clubs to the soundtrack of Disney movies! The lights emitting from the clubs looked unremarkable until I saw the photo I snapped below:

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Woah. That was when Let It Go played.

Up next was Bruce Airhead, and for the first half of his show he got a cute little boy called Jeffrey on the stage to help his inflate his balloons. Apparently the vacuum cleaner used was voice-activated, so Jeffrey was asked to shout “ON!” and “OFF!” at it to turn it on or off haha. It was also unreliable at times, and disobeyed commands a number of times. I was left wondering about the significance of his last name until the second half of the show saw him plunging his entire head into a giant green balloon.

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Not only that, he proceeded to fit his upper torso, then a leg, then the other leg until only a  foot was left sticking out. That promptly went in as well. The balloon-man hybrid started bouncing up and down to music before his head resurfaced. A countdown started and at the end of it, the balloon exploded and – the audience gasped – Bruce emerged as Elvis Presley! It was quite the weird show and unlike anything we’ve seen before – but we agreed it was the best of the three we watched!

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Last act of the day was Rob-Roy Collins, an escape artist, who relied a lot on his humour and wit to lead up to his 4 minutes-long main act. He singled me out as the “guy with the expensive camera” and gave a few poses, even whipping out a comb to brush his non-existent hair. He directed three members of the audience to lock him up in chains and lead him up a ladder, from which he wriggled himself free! It seemed a rather easy feat (maybe he made it look easy) so we were not as impressed!

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and made our way towards Liang Court, where there were a lot of Japanese shops. Even though it was barely 9pm, a lot of them were shuttering their doors already. We went down to the Meidi-Ya Supermarket, where they had Japanese snacks galore and giant red and white strawberries!

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Tracing the river bank back to Studio M, we stopped by the cafe on the first floor to get a slice of rainbow cake, before heading back to our room! Finally, we got to sit down!

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We set up the tripod in the same configuration as earlier in the day, and began snapping away! Clara bought some heart-shaped balloons and cut out eyes and mouths to give them faces, and a “Love” shaped balloon as well! And there were our heart-shaped sunglasses from Daiso! We got hungry after that and devoured the cake. It was not that nice, but we were seriously hungry so anything would have seemed delicious!

After that we went up to the bed to take some more photos! Except the lighting there was insufficient. Luckily, the television provided a good source of diffuse lighting – if there is a will, there is a way!

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We rolled around on the bed and fatigue was setting in. We had to rise at 6am the next day because of a course Clara had to attend! Thus we decided to call it a day and drifted to sleep on the comfy bed.

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