Singapore - Did I Mention it's Free?

Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Friday, November 10, 2006

We had a seven hour layover in Singapore on the way to New Zealand. Picture if you can a modern Eaton's Centre in Toronto. That's sort of like what Singapore airport is. But so much of everything is free. They have free hi-speed Internet, free foot massage machines and the cleanest toilets I've seen anywhere. I damned near bought a sandwich and a coffee with the idea of having lunch while sitting on the toilet, just to say I'd done it. And just for signing up they offer free city tours. One tour does the cultural area, while another takes you through the old colonial neighbourhood. Then if you can believe it, they take you on a bleeding boat cruise through the downtown area. And again, it's all free. One of the downsides of Singapore is that they frown on spitting and chewing gum. And they like to cane those who misbehave.

Back in Hanoi I'd gone into a drug store and bought a package of 10mg Valium tablets, no questions asked, to help me sleep through the long flights. When we reached Singapore, I realized I had far too many left over so I thought of perhaps swapping them for a Singapore Sling or two; after all Singapore is probably the greatest trading port in the world. Ellen put a damper on that by showing me a customs pamphlet that read "Trading drugs in Singapore is punishable by death".
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