What time is it ???? TIGER BEER TIME :D

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Sep 29, 2006

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Sunday, July 30, 2006

sometimes, ya know, you go to a place with really high expectations...then you end up totally disappointed cos you dont see what you hoped to. We went to singapore with pretty low expectations. It is afterall just a big developed and utterly orderly city state. Expensive and largely predictable. However, weve ended up having a bloody GREAT time here :D
Its nearly Adams birthday and as a special birthday treat, we were going to try to blag a tour of the tiger beer brewery. We'd emailed them a week or so ago but got no reply :( Not put off by this we thought we'd just turn up at the door and ask to be let in :D You never know your luck,right?!!! We arrived at about 12.30 ish lunch time. After leaving the hostel with not the slightest idea where the factory was, we asked train staff, bus staff and complete strangers and eventually there we were. Singaporeans are the most helpful and friendly people weve ever experienced (in a developed country). We strode up to the security guard all smiles and hopeful, and announced that 'no' we didnt have an appointment but we'd love to have a look around...please,please,please (fingers crossed!) He made a call and within 15 mins we were being shown around the brewery by a member of staff named Damian. GREAT!! He explained that we couldnt do the formal tour at 2pm cos it was all VIP'S and, well...we just didnt look the part! :D After a quick tour he took us to the on site bar :D This is where it got really GOOD!! You can drink as much as you like for $5 (singapore dollars):D :D :D!!!! AND its the freshest and tastiest tiger you will ever get! After several beers, Damian said...'if you like you can hang around til 4pm when theres another tour you can join....you can just stay in the bar til then'!!!Oh LORDY!! All the beer we can drink in 3 HOURS for $5! WE got utterly HAMMERED! Ther was some early protesting that we should be sensible and try to slow down,...but that turned in to drunken fantasy within 8 pints :D BY the time the tour started we could barely stand up straight. We tried to not look utterly wasted, as a load of sensible sober people wandered round looking interested in the plant. We were just waiting to get back to the bar! :D
During the tour, we met a local guy, named TK. He was just curious about the brewery so went along for a look, to be honest he was more interested in the tasting bit too. After the trip, (and after TK'd had about 4 or 5 glasses )he drove us back to town, picked up his girlfriend from work and took us all out for dinner and a sight seeing trip of the red light district :D Turned out he owned a tropical fish export company and as Adam is quite 'fish-mad', we arranged a guided tour of the company the next day. TK collected us from the subway and spent the whole rest of the day with us, showing us the company, the sights of singapore, like the parks, reservoirs, the sentosa resort island and loads of other stuff! WHAT A GREAT GUY! its sooo unusual to meet someone who has no ulterior motive to being just 'NICE'. After months traveling with people who usually have an eye on your 'stuff' and are nice only to 'get' something, it made a pleasant change. TK took us to eat at a totally 'local' chinese food court, the food was great. WE all ate like pigs for about $20 (singapore).
Our last day in Singapore today, had to go see some of the 'touristy' stuff. We took the subway to clark quay and then walked through the colonial district, past raffles hotel and the old parliament building, the supreme courts etc. Singapore is a wierd mix of ultra modern architecture and massively restored old buildings. So everything looks brand new. There are few reasons to not like it here. Its clean, ordered and safe. If a little 'sterile'. There are laws about EVERYTHING! Warnings about 'fines' all over the streets...you cant smoke, cant eat or drink on the subway, cant eat chewing gum anywhere, its TOTALLY banned! BIG fines for offenders. But no one seems to want to offend..in England we'd all be out there protesting, just cos we wanted to rock the boat. There isnt the sense of 'demanding rights' that we have back home. Im not drawing any conclusions from that, its just an observation. But we like singapore, at least for a short visit :D
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