30.11.2010 - 03.12.2010
The train journey to Singapore was comfortable. We had a quick hop off to get stamped in and clear customs, fortunately Niamh didn’t get caught smuggling. My wife didn’t realise she was a smuggler as it didn’t occur to her that chewing gum importation was illegal. Many things in Singapore seem to be against the law so perhaps we should have guessed. The rules are plentiful and the punishments harsh but the city runs like clockwork.
We bought ourselves topless bus tickets and spent the next couple of days seeing the sights to the soundtrack of a 45 second jazz clip on repeat changing only to the music from your local curry house for the short stint through Little India. The only other respite from the jazz being the recorded tour guide voice that was that annoying, patronising sing song voice that is common on US tv which can make any subject matter sound like a children’s bed time story. The bus was really a good way to get around and see everything and we soon learnt to filter out the background noise.
A highlight was the Botanic Gardens but we also enjoyed the high end shopping malls and associated underground networks along Orchard Road. We saw parts of the F1 track, the Singapore Flier (which they delight on telling you is 5 metres bigger than the London Eye) and the brand new Marina Sands Resort hotel complete with 150m inifinity pool on the roof. We visited the night zoo where I saw the flying squirrel fly.
I was particularly excited when we found M&S where the presence of mince pies, Christmas puddings and festive tunes filled my heart with childlike joy as did the Singapore Slings served up where they were created in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel – a snip at $25 each. Niamh took me to Hooters for chicken wings and beer. We even got to the cinema to check in with Harry.
Singapore is our last stop in Asia and with a slight twinge of both regret and relief we board our fight to Australia. Next stop Cairns.