We thought we would do something special to celebrate Shannon's sixteenth birthday. Sandy was traveling on business on her birthday, but we made plans to go out for dinner on the weekend. We picked the Equinox Restaurant. It is in the Swisshotel in Raffles City, a seventy story hotel tower. It stands pretty much by itself, with nothing near it's height close to it. So I figured the view would be spectacular.
The restaurant itself is quite nice. It occupies three floors at the top of the tower. The three floors are arranged in a rising stairstep fashion so that everyone gets a good view. Besides the restaurant, there are also two bars on the top floors. One is a fairly quiet lounge. It was almost empty even on a Saturday night. The other was a disco. Not empty. Definitely not quiet.
We got there about 6:30. It usually gets dark about 7:30. That's one thing about being on the equator. It gets light and gets dark at pretty much the same time all year. When we got there it was light. Soon it turned to dusk. As we ate dinner, it got dark and we were able to watch the lights come on in the city. And the view is quite spectacular. The Central Business District is very prominent, with a few buildings there being even taller than the one we were in. To the south across the straits were islands of Indonesia. The straits themselves, as always, looked like a huge parking lot for ships. There were probably close to a hundred visible. To the north and west you could see over most of the island of Singapore. And that means lots of buildings. It is a pretty densely built up city. We could even see our apartment building clearly. That is unusual, because it is hard to see from just about any place in Singapore (on the ground, that is). From our balcony, we have a clear view of the Swisshotel tower so I figured that I could find our apartment building from up there.
I was a little worried that the place would be too fancy. But it wasn't so bad. I have gotten very used to Singapore being very informal. Informal probably isn't the right word. Tolerant is probably more accurate. Their are so many different types of people here, from so many different cultures (all of whom dress differently) that everyone just kind of wears their own thing. I think if a storm trooper from Star Wars walked down Orchard Road in full uniform, no one would even blink. I can't even tell if some people are dressed up or slumming. Who knows, people might think I am wearing my "fancy tshirts".
For this place though the dress code was "fancy casual". When I pressed them on what that meant, it basically turned out to mean no shorts, no t-shirts and no sandals. Not too bad, although it did eliminate 98% of my wardrobe. This was only the second time I had worn long pants since the night that I arrived in Singapore. But I survived. And dinner was good. So was dessert. And even with wine, dinner for three was reasonable. We will probably make this one of the standard items on our tour of Singapore when we get visitors.