The Night of Lit Up Books


So like, I got invited to the Singapore Writers Festival 2009 opening cause I was hot since I’m part of the programme for this year. Part of the prograaaamme, part of the prograaaamme. Sounds like some Matrix thingy but right, anyway, invites yay! It was lovely of them to invite us and all. FYI, the opening was on the 23rd, the Friday evening before everything started on Saturday. Naturally, it was at the Arts House.


Raven Silvers and Jo (formerly known as Raven Azure) was there even though I wasn’t late at all. They were totally beyond the valley of the doubt early or at least earlier than me. The whole thing mingling guests thingy started at 6.30pm and I was there around then anywho. I totally went ooh at the layout there.


It kinda felt Alice in Wonderland at the tea party or very Pride and Prejudice with chairs and tables all over the lawn. Made me wonder what would happen if it rained though.

It didn’t.

So that was a hurrah for everyone all around, I’m sure.


Pretty, pretty. There were carnation puffs on the ceiling in front of the doors. They’re still there and probably will be until the end of the festival. They looked like flowers that happened to float up cause gravity didn’t affect them or something.


Somehow in the middle of getting a cranberry something sour juice thingy, I met Count Dooku. Well, okay that’s not his name but he cosplayed as Count Dooku and Magneto before. He tends to be on the Malay literary arts scene more though while I stick to English anyway. Bla bla bla, we concluded that their lime juice was a bit too sweet or at least not that sour and that didn’t have anything to do with the festival at all. Oh and we met Wena too since we did ask her if she was coming to it (she was wearing a lovely white dress with red flowers on it by the way).

6.55pm and it was to start, the speeches and everything. Nora Samosir was the emcee of the evening which was very fitting really considering her background (very arty and such) plus you should always get fitting emcees who know what they’re talking about anyway. (Yes, I’m talking with experience seeing some emcees having no idea of what ever they’re hosting about.)

Speeches were had by Emeritus Professor Edwin Thumboo (very amusing yet inspiring speech), Philip Jeyaretnam aka chairman of the SWF steering committee (his speech had a little shout out to NaNoWriMo! Yay!) and Acting Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts, RADM (NS) Lui Tuck Yew (I admit, I copied that whole name from Raven Silver’s blog since I was too tired to type it out, his speech was pretty um, okay, I forgot at the moment but I remembered going “Oooh” at it) and then all of them were invited to go to the other side to do the opening of the SWF to reveal a whatsits!


Yes, you can still see it lit up at night if you’re staying late at the Arts house for some reason. Rather lovely though.


And then we hit the dessert shelves. Literally, since they were all in bookshelves and at the top of it was a cooking book as a decoration to it.


Chocolate cake with almond. The other almond there was given by Jo since she was kinda allergic to it so YAY FOR ME. The caterer, I noticed, was Kriston. Rather posh and pretty with professional servers included.


Freaking Salmon Wellington. This was one of the three stations of food (besides the canape things that the waiters brought on trays and the dessert shelves) that was there with multitudes of people lining up. Which was one reason we ate dessert first since it was easier to get to.


I really, really like Salmon Wellington that it merits being typed with capital letters. You can note the toothpick there though. There is no freaking way to look posh while eating it or even the cakes with a freaking toothpick. You can poke at it but it crumbles anyway.


The Hainanese chicken rice was cute since it looked like little sushi rolls with the chicken placed on top and then you had free reign of the sauces to pour on it. I didn’t have anything except SALMON WELLINGTON and dessert and uh some potato canape thing because I really, really wanted to eat a potato.

That and I always am wary on any meat products at buffets since um, I kinda freak out if it’s like medium rare or whatever and my default buffet food choices is either vegetarian or fish. I’m totally cool with meat as long as I can shove it somewhere else if it isn’t nice though. Oh yeah, not pictured here, the other last “stall” was the peking duck rolls station. I still stuck to my SALMON WELLINGTON BECAUSE I LIKE SALMON A LOT, DARN IT!

Clearly I need the recipe to it.


We hit upstairs on the second floor after sitting around and having another round of drinks (since the SALMON WELLINGTON was gone… forever… aka it was finished) to see if Wena was there. AND SHE WAS. Actually, we were just wanting to see what was upstairs but that works too since we got to talk to her and buy the Biophilia Omnibus at the book store there. Books Actually was the official book store for the festival and it’s cool that they had NETS there since we totally don’t have cash to buy a whole bunch of books on hand.

Much laughter was had and eventually we said goodbye to her and went down, plotting of hitting up at KFC because trying to eat posh-ily with toothpicks was an abject fail on our part (I kept dropping my toothpicks and had to get a new one each time).


Picture blurred because it was an eat and run, without the running. Oh FINE, there wasn’t enough light there.

And promptly passed the table filled with chocolate mousse instead. So we passed it, turned back and ate a cup each because it’s totally a waste if one doesn’t eat chocolate mousse. It was there for us, like one of those tables of isotonic drinks for runners, only we weren’t runners but writers and chocolate was kinda like our isotonic drink anyway.

If that ever made sense.

THEN we hit up KFC, ate properly and that was the end of the opening for the SWF! We were gonna attend the talks on the next day anywho.

Published by


Well, this is seriously Sarah and that's all you need to know for now.

One thought on “The Night of Lit Up Books”

  1. Your photos are much better than mine so I have sent your link to my friends back in the States for an extremely good reportage of that evening, almonds included! GREAT writeup.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.