"Tropical cleanliness" - anywhere else an oxymoron, but perfectly apt for Singapore; this highly efficient, ultra modern city-state, scrubbed gleaming and spotless with a dazzling citadel on what would otherwise be a tiny overgrown jungle island...
These were my thoughts as we sped along the beautifully manicured six lane Pan Island Expressway (or PIE for short) in an icy cold taxi with a distracted driver who seemed little interested in his passengers.
With 6hrs to kill before our next flight we took a vote on how to spend our time which I quickly vetoed by hailing a taxi and heading for the only place I could think of - an open air night market cum hawker stalls where we could grab an authentic Simgaporean meal. I had visited the place with my parents in the early 1980's and had vivid memories of the hustle bustle, noise, energy and exotic smells and tastes of Asia...but the march of progress across the island had erased all of the spontaneity and mess, replaced by a car park and paved orderly food court where touts barely lifted from their stupor.
The boys carefully selected the best chicken wing stall and demolished two serves each...
To bring some style and substance to the evening we retired to the Raffles Hotel for three Virgin Slings (thanks to Adam for keeping us off the bottle before the long flight to London).
Topped off the evening with a crushing foot massage (I cried) and a bizarre foot cleansing ceremony where they have schools of little fishes nibble at the dead skin on your feet...I couldn't watch (think pirañas) and had to be peeled off the ceiling but Felix thought it hilarious.
They're calling our flight now...14hrs in a little armchair ahead of us.