Thursday, 19 October 2006

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Asia in my pocket

In the Lion City (Singapore). I ran out of Malaysia to visit after having a 'shenanigan' or two (well just the one at those prices, and I didn't even pay for that) to say farewell to Borneo, whilst being deeply amused by the dance moves of the 'live band' and the cool guy we saw on the telly earlier. By the way, I think Singapore's brilliant, is clean and air-conned and easy to get around and would be cheap if I had just come from somewhere very expensive, like, erm, the moon.

Naturally the first thing I did was get lost, I walked around in a lot of circles and as it turns out covered every stretch of road in the area apart from the corner where my hostel was, duh. It's very warm in Singapore, a very humid kind of dry, cue buckets of sweat, nice. My initial plan was to do 'stuff' whilst here. I did some stuff indeed. Went for a wonder around the colonial district (wasn't even allowed to have a peek in Raffles hotel on account of my 'scruffy attire'), which was, well like every other colonial place I've looked round since I left England, it was like England, only 100 years ago in the 'golden age'. Spent far too long in the Asian Civilisations Museum, astonishingly all about the many varied civilisations of asia - though I wouldn't be able to tell you much about that because I was too busy playing on the interactive games that I suspect were there merely to entertain the kiddies - and entertain they did! I got to do a drumming jam with the coolest muslim hippy in the world and also succeeded in building the Taj Mahal (jigsaw puzzle). Felt a twinge in my neck muscles in anticipation of the eponymous head wobble as I walked through Little India and indulged in one more curry.
Next day I went SHOPPING!!!! Aargh! And spent far too long doing it. On Orchard Rd there's about a million shopping malls the size of, erm, big shopping malls. Yikes! On the way back took a detour to Chinatown, which having not been to China, was erm, perhaps Chinese I wouldn't know... Why is it never Little China and Indiatown - who decides these things?

On that thought I went to the bizarrest museum place in the world, a park devoted to telling many Chinese myths through odd statues and displays. Went through the 10 stages of hell (another bizzare 'exhibit'), which has confirmed a long held belief of mine that hell probably isn't somewhere I'd like to end up. Had enough of that so hopped in a cable car (which was quite high up) over to plastic fantastic land of Sentosa Island - Singapore's 'beach resort'. Being the cheapskate I am I went to all the free places (i.e. the beach), though also popped into Underwater World and went through the tunnel of many sharks and I found Nemo, again! Saw some pink dolphins (apparently a rare asian species, though I suspect they'd just got sunburnt) jumping through hoops and petted a parrot, as you do. Rounded off my visit being entertained by a laser/light show and the most magnificent and fantastic man in the world (I've reserved judgement on that one).

Had one last trip to the fantastic hawkers centre where I ate about 5 times a day and then headed off to the airport, apparently the best airport in the world - though I wouldn't know anything about that because it was 2am and everything was closed, grrrrr. And so I caught my flight to my next destination, here in fact, which is... (drum roll please)....