I think maybe the roof offered to us yesterday was a good idea. We are not having a huge amount of luck with our accomodation in this part of the world. We found a new place to stay yesterday morning, and when we initially looked at the room thought that it may suffice. I'm not quite sure how we came to this conclusion - perhaps our vision was obscured by the cheaper price, or perhaps it was the mould spores in the air that clouded what we could see. Whatever it was, we made a big mistake and have had to find somewhere else to stay tonight.
Fortunately the room did have an air conditioning unit, so we left that on to combat the smell - it worked well too. But there was no window ao no natural light. Even prisoners get something - albeit barred and high up. We couldn't tell what time of day it was when we were in there. If we hadn't had a watch with us I honestly don't know what might have happened. We could have been in that room for days without even realising it.
It was sold to us as a double room. You'd expect it to be a reasonable size - and have two beds. Well, it was tiny. You could stand with your arms outstretched and touch both sides of the walls easily - not that you would want to for fear that a chunk might come away in your hands! And the beds - well there were two - on top of each other. Whoever heard of a double room that provided bunk beds - unless of course you were a couple of five year olds travelling together. (Don't say anything Dan!) It's a good job we were not hoping to get intimate, or I might have had to complain to the man at reception. To be fair, we should have known something was amiss when we initially enquired, and the guy on the phone tried to put us off staying, surprised we even got in touch. He was really not that keen to have us!
Anyway, we have checked the next place, and it was recommended by friends, so for the next few nights we should be relatively happy, our problems in this department finally over!
So, yesterday we spent exploring part of the city. It is nice to be able to stroll around on our own again without being herded back onto a bus. We took our time, and spent most of the day out, meandering through backstreets, and weaving past the locals. We first made our way to the waterfront to take obligatory pictures of the concrete jungle. There are skyscrapers everywhere, looming over you like big concrete bullies ready to steal your lunch money, and they could make the city seem claustrophobic. But instead the opposite happens. The streets are so wide and well laid out, that you hardly notice these bullies at all, instead managing to brush pass them nonchalantly and find get to where you want to go unobstructed.
Once we negotiated through this part of town, we headed to one of the money smaller districts Singapore offers - Chinatown. I have previously been to Chinatown in London and wondered quite how authentic it was - I think now I can safely say it might not be that accurate. Here there seems to be a more unique atmosphere - probably because the residents are actually Chinese, and not Oriental cockneys!! Food stalls line one ride offering food cooked up fresh before your eyes, although when we were there it was not all open so couldn't get the full experience. (We are going back tomorrow night!) The markets are all under awning, a stark contrast to the wide streets previously mentioned - you are under a yellow and red cover sucking you into the stalls, and increasing the previously just bearable temperature to fiery extremes.
But the atmosphere was electric - I think at night it will be even better.
Dinner last night was another first. We went to a seafood restaurant, and I got some revenge for the untimely death of Steve Irwin. His nemesis - the less than dangerous killer of the crocodile hunter - found itself cooked up on chilli sauce and served on my plate. It was delicious, tasting all the better knowing that the vicious beast could no longer do any harm to anyone(!)
That was for you Steve.
We are soon to move to another hostel just outside another district - Little India, our main point of exploration today.
I wonder how it will compare to the real thing?