Singapore Sling!

Trip Start Aug 21, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Asia at last! After 15 hours of flight and a stopover in Tokyo we finally arrived...slept in Singapore's Changi airport which we must tell you about. Supreme facilities - bamboo and cactus gardens, among others, movie lounge, rooftop pool, health spa, and a great viewing/resting area that served us very well. A tourist destination in itself!

Singapore is a great introduction to SE Asia as it is a conglomeration of several different cultures - composed primarily of Malays, Tamil (southern) Indians, and Chinese. Everyone speaks English but all signs (subway, road, advertisements) are in English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. Very modern city, awesome subway system, diverse and delicious food. They drive on the left here and it follows that when walking around you stay on the left hand side of the sidewalk and when entering doors, etc. This is hard to remember. Taoists burn piles of paper all over the sidewalk so that they will be reunited with their deceased relatives in the afterlife. In Little India, where we are staying, there are flower garlands everywhere and burning incense wafting out of all the shops, women in beautiful saris roam the streets. We entered our first mosque yesterday, they provided Lauren with a robe to cover her womanly skin. You have to take your shoes off to enter any temples, mosques, and our hostel, and should always walk in a clockwise direction in order to not offend the gods. Instead of sunless tanning lotions being the rage, here things with names like "white essence" are advertised everywhere - products that block melanin production in the skin. All sunscreens are SPF 50 and women walk with umbrellas on sunny days. The Muslim women wear headscarves but remain stylish otherwise - makeup, jeans and high heels.

Mostly we have done a ton of walking and eating but today we went to the Singapore zoo. Extremely open and interactive. You are basically walking among the animals and monkeys are swinging above your head. 3 foot lizards sun on the walkways.

Singapore is an interesting clash of the old and the new. We like it here but tomorrow a.m. we depart for Malaysia.
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