Looking for a friend in a luxury hotel I somehow ended up crashing a exclusive F1 Afterparty
It’s approaching midnight in Singapore post Lewis Hamilton’s win in the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix. The air is still warm and an vibe of celebration is in the air as Jennifer Lopez is shaking her butt on stage. That’s no exaggeration either. She’s literally bent over shaking her ass at the crowd.
I’m hanging out at the Bikini Bar (where else!) when my phone rings. My Aussie friend Ian is 77 floors up the in the Swissotel The Stanford, looking down at all the F1 action below. He’s at a corporate event and has convinced the host to let me in.
“Brilliant” I say, “I’ll meet you their shortly!”. Just one problem. Leaving an highly crowded area in highly regulated Singapore is not so easy. Crowd control has set up barricades that only open every 5 – 10 minutes to ensure the nearby MRT stations are not overcrowded. A 5 minute walk becomes 25. I go to call Ian to let him know I’ll be late, press on my phone’s power button only to see that it’s lifeless. The battery is gone and the screen remains blank.
“No Problem” I tell myself in my semi inebriated state. If he’s not in the foyer, I know who is hosting this party, and I know where it is, I’ll just walk my way up there and pretend I know where I’m going and walk right in, surprising Ian when I arrive. Never mind the fact that I’m wearing shorts and a RedBull Racing T-shirt into a semi-formal high class environment.
After making it to the hotel I do a quick dash around the foyer and Ian is no where to be found. Given it’s almost 30min since we’ve spoken, I’m guessing he has headed back upstairs. I find the lift needed to go up to “New Asia” on the top floor and I’m met by a bouncer. I explain where I’m going and who I’m meeting. He is not so comfortable in letting me up given my scrubby dress. I’m just about to turn away and look for another way in when he calls me back. He is happy to let me up to the top floor in exchange I give him my F1 ticket lanyard that I’m wearing around my neck. Done Deal!
My ear’s pop as the lift accelerates to a height of over 230m to the New Asia nightclub. It’s possible to see three different countries form this height. – Singapore plus neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia. I wasn’t so concerned with the view though. I was more interested in meeting up with my mate.
Another bouncer, another story to tell. He is actually quiet sympathetic to my cause and consults with two other bouncers about letting me in. But after a couple of minutes of consultation they say it’s a no go. So head back down in the lift with some other people who are leaving the function. Actually amazed that I managed to get so far, then an a really obvious idea comes to my mind.
“Excuse me, are you leaving?” I ask one of the people leaving with a guest pass around his neck. A thick Scandinavian accent replies.
“Yes, I am, it’s been a long day”
“Do you mind if I have your pass?” He ponder’s this for a long time. I get the feeling he is of an engineering / accounting background and has a very cautious mindset. I give him another smile and that pushes him over the line.
“Sure, have fun”
I take the pass, try to contain my excitement and press the button back for the 77th floor. The doors open, I show my pass to the bouncer who gives me a knowing wink . The velvet rope is unhooked and off I go to find Ian….. Instead I find the champagne bar. The barman is pouring me a glass of Moet as soon as he sees me step in his direction and it’s ready to drink by the time I reach the bar. Next to him is a ceiling to floor window and it’s now I take in the view of where I actually am. I’ve spent this long looking for Ian, I’m sure I can spend another 5 minutes here taking in the view and enjoying the champagne.
This searching is thirsty work. I head to the main bar for a beer. Next to me, a man orders 4 shots of Patron and a bottle of Moet. His crew down the shots and he walks away with the bottle minus the flutes. No money was exchanged for the drinks, it’s all included. At this point I noticed about half a dozen other people in the room holding bottles of Champagne while they are dancing. Sharing them around now and then with those they are dancing with. Everyone is drinking from the bottle. This is actually quite a wild party.
Chilling on my own it wasn’t long before someone starts up a conversation with me, again his accent is thick and German.
“So what office are you from?”
“The Sydney one”, I reply
“Oh? But I thought our Australian office is Melbourne?”.
“Yeah, but I work remotely, as a consultant”, is the best bullshit I can come up with at the time. He seems a bit confused, but then pours champagne down my throat and with that action we are now best mates.
Given the high proportion of German people here I’d say I’m actually in the wrong place. As I understood Ian’s party to be hosted by an Australian company and there are no Aussies here. I really wanted to stay here. And why not? Free premium drinks, friendly people and a the most of cute German girls I’ve seen in the one place since I was in Munich. But I must continue to find my mate, and I have promised to appear at The Poolside Pitstop at the Pan Pacific with Clarissa who partied with me at The Podium Lounge.
5:30am the next morning I stumble into my accommodation and charge my up my phone. A flood of text messages come int telling me Ian and Clarissa were in the foyer bar waiting for me that whole time while I was upstairs necking champagne. It turns out Ian’s party was actually in one of the hotel’s suites and not in the New Asia nightclub. Sorry guys!
The moral of this story – When meeting friend’s keep your phone charged as best you can, or have a back up meeting point. Secondary moral. If you find yourself somewhere you shouldn’t be.. .make the most of it!