Day 155

Trip Start Sep 14, 2006
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Saturday, February 17, 2007

I set out on foot from Little India to go on an ad-hoc tour of the city and hopefully visit a museum. The heat was the first thing that hit me. Wow it's toasty here! I crossed roads in search of shade and made my way into the central areas of the city. I really like this place, nice buildings, clean streets and no crazy traffic jams. The Asian Civilizations Museum was not where it was supposed to be and I learned that it had moved temporarily (three years!) for renovation. Oh well, I'll get to that later.

I looked around and saw a sight I'd read about. The Esplanade  is a new building housing concert halls and theatres. It's striking design has been described as "Two upturned durians" I'd read in a guide book so I knew what I was looking at and headed for it.

Durian, incidentally, is a large spiky fruit that absolutely stinks. Anthony Burgess said dining on durian is like eating vanilla custard in a latrine. While travel writer Richard Sterling went further: "... its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia."

So, I went inside the buildings and looked at the shows on at the moment but nothing was worth watching. Only The Annabel Chong Story caught my attention but that stage show doesn't start until March. (Annabel Chong was the Singaporean porn actress who bedded a world record 251 men in one 10 hour session)

After the Durian buildings I saw the Merlion  (mermaid and lion combined) statue and the enormous skyscrapers behind it. Nearby was a cricket pitch which was wonderfully situated amongst the city buildings. I walked through Raffles Square and into Chinatown where I had a very tasty salad and soup meal. I walked a huge distance back to Little India and back to the Inn Crowd hostel.

In the evening I went out again with a New Yorker, Barbara and a New Zealander, Charlie. We went to a free concert at a book-shop/cafe in a big arts centre and it felt good to be off to see some live music. We got early and I flicked through some books including one about a team of Oxford graduates who drove overland in Land-Rovers from England to Singapore during the 50s. The band had come from Jakarta and from what I could hear they should go straight back to Indonesia! Charlie and Barbara agreed and we left early. Back at the hostel I met a few more people for drinks and got some good food at one of the many local Indian restaurants.
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