.... Heading for the shops yet again
Well if Kuala Lumpur was an exciting brush with civilisation, Singapore was Utopia..... I loved it!
So clean, so orderly, so many places to eat and shop (both of which activities are becoming the theme of my travels I think...)
Lots of great hostels there too, and my pal from Melaka recommended a place too new to be in the Lonely Planet. It was really cool, very sociable, good dorms and communal areas, free internet access and free brekkie... I know these details really shouldn't be so exciting but when I have been so starved of proper hostelling action it's such a welcome relief.
Wierd weather throughout my four days however, very humid and hot but rain every day which is apparently normal and not, on occasion, brought about by my presence in the country.
Obviously there is loads to see and do in Singapore and I tried to cram it all in: the colonial area; the quays; Botanic Gardens; Chinatown; Little India, Fort Canning Park; erm - shopping on Orchard Road....
And by night we did Singpore Slings at Raffles (had to happen), the Night Safari at Singapore Zoo (ditto), and more randomly, a food tour of the local area around the hostel with the owner and tourguide supremo Tony - a rather fun character who in the past has lived in London, Manchester and Aberdeen working in IT but gave it up for the life of a hostel owner in his native Singapore.... Anyway, he walked us round the streets for 6 hours telling us all about the history of the suburb, about how Singaporeans live, the political situation etc etc, all the while stopping at local eateries and sampling their specialities until we were absolutely stuffed. Was really good fun and good to have all the food explained to us and try stuff we wouldn't have done normally.
The night ended in what can only be described as the working mens club of (sorry have forgotten the name of the district) where, among other things, I witnessed 20 Euraisan women line dancing to a band covering everything from country and western faves to heavy metal anthems. The lead singer was obviously a bit of a rock and roll legend because when Tony was talking through the political system in Singapore I asked him what the strangest law he could think of was, and he said men weren't allowed to have hair past their shoulders... well this dude had a ponytail down to his waist - rebel or what?
I also did something rather random in Singapore which goes against my better judgement - and had my palm read by Master Khor (of TV and newspaper fame) Stumbled across this big alternative healing exhibition when I was trying to find a restaurant and was having a look around for the hell of it when I was just drawn to the Master... I thought being away travelling was as good a time as any to give hocus pocus a whirl for the first time (I know most people do things like bungey jumping and scuba diving, but never mind). Well he told me lots of interesting things about myself - some good, some a little blunt! But to sum up what will make me happy and successful in my career and love-life he said I need to be a predator in the office and a pussycat in the home.... he he he!!
This was my favourite place yet and I could go on, but suffice to say, Singapore was busy and fun and a good time was had by all.
* Change of itinery - While in Singapore I also tweaked the old flight schedule a tad. For lots of reasons I won't bore you with I'm cutting SE Asia short and will head to Oz two weeks early. I booked a flight from Singapore to Bali, and after a week there will fly on to Darwin, as planned, but two weeks ahead of schedule - can't wait!
** Random elephant photo - You may notice a photo of some random elephants on this blog page; I haven't uploaded any of my pics yet and there were none in the photo library of Singapore whatsoever, so I thought I'd stick in a couple of nellys cos I did see some at the night safari but it was too dark to take any pictures....