So fresh and so clean clean!

Trip Start May 06, 2006
Trip End Mar 23, 2009

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Friday, July 21, 2006

I've arrived! I've only been here a few hours and I love it here already! Okay, so it might be 100% due to the fact that it's clean and people don't stare at you everywhere you go (or at least if they do then it's a lot more subtle than before!). I feel like a total tramp 'cos my white top is brown but a shower and some washing will soon sort out that problem!

I was brought to my guest house by a taxi driver called Andy Ho (which I had to contain my immature laughing at when I realised his mail would be addressed to A Ho!) who was very friendly and didn't try to take me to his friends guesthouse 'cos it was cheaper, knew where he was going and didn't try to get me to use him for everything - a refreshing and welcome change! And a metered cab so no haggling either! Yey!

I was very sad to leave Sri Lanka, especially as I was just getting to know my elephant and mahout but I also felt like it was the right time to move on. I was getting sick of certain things and the days were beginning to get a little monotonous. There was hardly anything to do in the afternoons which worked great if you wanted to go somewhere but it got boring just sitting around - especially for me who doesn't enjoy just sitting on my arse doing nothing!

My last two days were very good ones and I got so many photos and videos. I also managed to go to town to get a copy of the programme on ITV about the place I was at so that'll be a brilliant reminder of how it all was!

As it was my last day I got an elephant shower after I washed Gune and got suitably drenched! Gina's mahout, Chandana, had already drenched me anyway 'cos we had a water fight! It was so much fun though and Beth did a video and took some pictures for me. I then went back and had a shower and got changed to go on my elephant safari. You'll see when I manage to put my pictures up that Gune is a very bony elephant so sitting on his spine wasn't the most comfortable of things and I'm still feeling the effects now but it was totally worth it! Afterwards my mahout asked if I wanted another elephant shower. At first I said no 'cos I'd already showered and changed and then I realised that I was saying no to an experience I'd probably never get with my elephant again, slapped myself in the face and jumped back on! The vet took pictures and videos for me this time and got some amazing ones!

We took photos of the kids in the afternoon and then I tried the mild stimulant the Sri Lankan men use which I think is called Beetnut or something. It's a fruit of somekind (I think) that I think is dried. They put this pink paste on a leaf and wrap a section of it inside and then chew on it for ages! It makes their mouth go totally red and when they spit it looks like blood (sounds attractive huh?!). It was really surprising how hard it was... it was also absolutely foul and tasted like the smell of elephant dung! I made a good attempt and managed to spit red stuff but I definitely didn't get to their stage and it only turned my lips bright red and not my teeth! It tasted a bit like pesto towards the end but then I don't like that either so I wasn't really onto a winner! I was still finding bits of it hours later though! It had no effect though - at least none that I was vaguely aware of but I'm very glad I tried it!

We chilled out in the evening and I packed ready to get up and go at 4am! I woke Beth and Gina up to say goodbye and one of the staff took me to the airport (it was a little pricey but saved a lot of hassle and a nights accommodation so it probably evened out in the end!). I sat forever in the airport but it was lucky I'd got there early 'cos the flight time had changed.

I was one of the first to check in and, to my surprise, I boarded the plane to find I'd been given an emergency exit seat which was so much nicer! I'll have to remember that in the future! The flight was good, shortest one yet which was nice!

Landed in Singapore airport which, by the way, is amazing! Had free internet access where I found my hostel hadn't been booked 'cos they wanted me to do it online or call and it said it was full online so a mini-panic followed. I then went to change my rupees to Singpore dollars to find that they don't accept them there and I needed to go downtown. Another panic (slightly larger this time) ensued until I realised I still had a small amount of travellers cheques left so I used some of those! I then found that the phone was free to use so I called the hostel to find they had one room left - it's a single with a/c so a little more pricey than the dorm but I can move tomorrow and it'll be quite nice to have a/c just for tonight so I'll suck it up and deal with it!

Went for a little walk this evening and I really am liking it more here. Going to buy some Lonely Planet guides tomorrow with my birthday money so I can get around easily so I'm looking forward to reading them!

I've not put all my pictures onto cd yet so can't upload them but will do so as soon as possible and will try to add some to my Adam's Peak entry tonight but my faith of uploading is low after previous experiences!

Again, if anyone has any recommendations of places to go here or Kuala Lumpur then please let me know asap so I can get on it! I like to move away from the lonely planet sometimes! Hope everyone's well and please keep emailing - I should be able to catch up a bit over the next few days!
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