Singapore Slingin' it
Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
30Trip End Mar 01, 2010
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The second half of the epic honeymoon had officially begun and the happy couple were looking forward to the Asian part of of the trip starting with Singapore.
The first night was rather uneventful since they were pretty jet lagged. Their hostel in the centre was not as nice as they had hoped and so they set off on yet another hostel hunt which led them to an area called Little India where they found a friendly hostel to their liking. "They only have dorms for the first night but private rooms for the remainder of our stay, do you think that would be OK?" Duncan checked with Nadine before confirming the booking. "Well, we have managed to avoid dorms for the last four months so I guess we ought to give it a go at some point." Nadine replied.
It was thus that they spent their first night on the entire trip in a dormitory with 12 or so other farting and snoring travellers who seemed to come and go about every half an hour all throughout the entire night. Unsurprisingly, they were very relieved when they were able to move their stuff to a room which they didn't have to share with anyone else. "I think I really am more of a Flashpacker than a Backpacker." Duncan mused as he was quite visibly enjoying the lack of noise and other people's body odours in their private room.
The following day it was raining rather hard but undeterred, the intrepid travellers explored the so called 'Arab Quarter' where they decided to stop for a spot of lunch. "I wonder where this food is from, could be anything from Malay to Indonesian here I suppose." Nadine wondered out aloud. "Excuse me." Nadine said to the lady behind the counter at their chosen eatery. "Where is this cuisine from, please?" "Ah, yes, we are open from eight 'till eight" the lady helpfully responded. "Erm, no, I meant, where is this food from?" Nadine tried again. "Water is over here." the lady said pointing behind herself. "She wants to know where you are from" Duncan eventually butted in. "From Indonesia!" the lady proudly smiled. It was then that Nadine realised that she had perhaps spent too much time in England....
Chapter 2: Slinging it
After sampling Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines at the various hawkers markets such as Lau Pa Sat in the few days they had been in Singapore (which were all without exception absolutely delicious) they thought it was time to don their glad rags (meaning flip flops and some summery shorts) and go for the obligatory Singapore Sling at Raffles. So off they went to throw those peanut shells on the floor under the (ever so slightly tacky) faux colonial ceiling fans.
Sipping his syrupy sweet pink cocktail (thanks to Jo for sponsoring them!) Duncan said "Not quite what I expected" meaning he would have much rather spent the 20 dollars or so that the pink concoction cost on a beer. He was, however, rewarded for his patience later on in the evening when he discovered that the Singapore University Jazz Orchestra was playing for free at the modern outdoor amphitheatre by the harbour and promptly steered them towards the stage. The orchestra was actually really good and played a whole serious of songs from 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' to 'Car Wash' with the Singapore Harbour at night as a rather stunning backdrop.
Chapter 3: A bit of home (Duncan takes over writing...)
One of the things that had been recommended to the intrepid couple as a must-see in Singapore (both by the Singaporean girl who they shared a hot tub with on the Great Barrier Reef cruise and also by the much-travelled retired CEO of an Australian insurance company who they sat next to on the flight over) was the botanical gardens and so off they duly trotted to see the sights.
The gardens were very nice as promised and there was a taste of home with Christmas trees dotted all around the gardens which had been decorated by the various embassies. There was also a swan lake and stage surrounded by a lily pond!
As the strolled through the gardens Duncan was studying the map of the gardens and suggested they take a route through the Ginger Garden so he could take many humorous photos of Nadine posing by "Ginger" signs. Never knew there were so many types of Ginger but there were certainly hundreds of different signs here.
After a hard session of photographing the pair sat down to relax by Swan Lake in the sun. It turned out they had picked the favourite spot of wedding photographers to bring their subjects down to for some arty snaps and so after the second happy couple came to sit next to them they decided to move on. With that, they hailed a taxi back to town and up to Sammy's restaurant where they had arranged to have dinner with Sarah and Simon, Sarah being an old school friend of Duncan's who had moved out to Singapore with her husband a few months earlier.
The fish head curry arrived at about this point and by the time it was finished looked like the above! The food was served out onto huge banana leaves and waiters came around with big cauldrons of rice to add to the various curries.
After eating they moved a couple of doors down to a microbrewery and had a couple of extra beers for good measure. Nadine and Duncan were enjoying themselves so much by this time that by the time they left they were talking about becoming expats in Singapore themselves!
Chapter 4: Dr Fish (Nadine's turn again...)
The pair decided the finish their stay in Singapore a stroll on the main shopping street, Orchard Road, to admire the glorious Christmas decorations. "I haven't felt christmassy at all until now, it was simply too hot in Asutralia but these decorations are truly impressive!" Duncan exclaimed excitedly before spending an hour or so trying to take the perfect night picture of the said decorations using Nadine's head as a tripod.
"This is great!" Duncan shouted at a slightly bored looking Nadine after the 97th attempt at the perfect photo. "Is it?" Nadine asked on autopilot. "Yes, they have snow cannons outside the Tanglin Shopping Mall and they are going to go off at 7pm, I am gonna go!". Nadine conceded that this did sound pretty cool and off the went in search for some snow in Singapore.
They arrived a few minutes early to make sure they got a good spot. Duncan looked around himself, slightly puzzled:"We appear to be surrounded by a hundred or so kids and many of them are wearing wet suits." It soon became apparent that the snow cannons doubled as foam machines and started producing fake snow just as the pair thought they were only going to see a kiddies foam party.
Pretty happy with having seen at least some snow this Christmas they went off for to visit to the much recommended Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo (sponsored by Anita and Henning). After a bit of a cab drive they arrived at the zoo and opted for the ticket including the tram ride around areas you can't walk in. "Ooops, I think this may possibly be the most touristy thing we have done on this trip so far" Nadine observed as they were forced to let a group of about fifty Indian tourists go in front of them at the queue for the animal skin themed tram milk float things. There is no photo evidence of the trip but all in all it was a pretty enjoyable sojourn finished off nicely with Dr Fishies nibbling the dry skin off their feet.