I learnt many lessons last night. I was out in town. I was broke. That's right. Penniless. Firstly, why I became penniless, the lessons learnt:

1. Fun is paramount. It don't matter if you blow five hundred or just fifty. The night must net fun. This includes sending other tables jugs just cos you wanna show off superiority and take a jab at their penniless pussy pawing ways.

2. Debit cards are a double edged sword. Valid, legitimate transactions are A-OK as long as you got the dough. The bitch ass part is void transaction slips. This is when some motherfucker who hasn't touched a credit card machine before attempts to swipe your card, not once not twice but 4 times, each time incurring a 20-30 dollar bill and then after finally experimenting and learning, voids the previous 3 attempts. Void, yes, not much harm done. Except, it totally deflates your ledger balance and the bank takes 7 working days to process this void slip and return aforementioned money back to you.

3. Complacency. 3 months under a paymaster and I've got complacent. Nowhere near the hardworking bloke I was a few months back, scrounging and penny pinching and taking public transport [read MRT not Comforts]. It's high time I got back in the groove. Watch this space for new makeup, perfumes and bags for the ladies.

Now, continuing on. Lessons learnt when you are out in town but penniless:

1. Never rely on anyone totally. Always, always have a backup plan.

2. A handphone is all but useless if you can't flip to the first name and hear the ringing tone. Waiting for people to call is such a bitch, you try it.

3. 10 cent coin phones are not THAT easy to find in all connected, refurbished, spick and span Singapore.

Then, proceeding, I learnt some more valuable lessons. These apply to when you are out of the scene for a while and return back.

1. You kinda realize that only some people will hold you in the old high regard and for the rest, it's back to square one motherfucker. But, it's cool, square one or not.

2. Never trust anyone's assurances over YOUR safety. You are the only one who can take care of yourself. Especially don't take sober words to mean the same when alcohol is imbibed later.

3. It's pretty hard to be a freelance cliquer. I don't really know how I managed it all these years, but the strain is getting to me. It showed quite clearly last night, when some random conflict that occurred when I wasn't even around was attributed to "Shanker's friends".

4. It's pretty hard to put across to people when they have downed a lot of stout, bourbon and vodka that the venn diagram that encompasses "my friends" is pretty large indeed.

5. When you sense danger, just leave. Don't play the percentages. It won't work your way all the time. This is exactly why I departed at 1.30 am last night and on Wednesday when we did our yearly post-7th month auction pub expedition.

6. I'm getting too old and too tired for this shit. And I'm gonna take a break. A long one, I hope.

I take this excerpt out from Sun Tzu's Art of War, the Introduction:

Warfare is the Way of deception. Therefore,
if able, appear unable,
if active, appear not active,
if near, appear far,
if far, appear near
If they have advantage, entice them;
if they are confused, take them,
if they are substantial, prepare for them,
if they are strong, avoid them,
if they are angry, disturb them,
if they are humble, make them haughty,
if they are relaxed, toil them,
if they are united, separate them.

If you vaguely even know the kind of person I am. You'll understand why I've put this here.


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