Day 156

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

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Sunday, February 18, 2007

The beds at the Inn Crowd are really good. The best bunk beds I've slept in yet no less. Even with all the comings and goings in the dormitory I've had a couple of good night's sleep so far.

Today I went to the Asian Civilizations Museum. Not the building being renovated this time but the proper thing. I rushed around it a bit, it seemed huge and I didn't want to spend all day there. It was nice looking around but I didn't really feel in the museum mood. It was almost like I had something else on my mind but I couldn't put my finger on it.

I went to the famous shopping street in Singapore - Orchard Road. It has many shopping malls and I headed for a bookshop. If I'm going to be at sea for 6 days then I would like a book or two to keep me busy. I also bought sun-screen and changed some money into US Dollars - the boat's de facto currency (food is included so that will go on beer no doubt).

In the evening I met up with Andy, he'd been at Daniel's in the Cameron Highlands and also my dorm in Kuala Lumpur. We watched some FA Cup football before heading out to enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities. I must admit to being carried along with the CNY hype. Everywhere you go people are preparing and you can't help but get excited about the prospect of a new year. We headed down to the Esplanade at about 10 minutes to midnight. There was already a big crowd and we looked around for one of those countdown clocks but didn't see one anywhere. A single firework marked midnight and a cheer went up from the crowd. That firework was followed by another six minutes worth but it was a bit anti climatic. There were no big hugs or well wishing, the Singaporean Chinese crowd just watched the display and then dispersed! I wanted to shout out "come on guys it's the new year! let's be having you! woo hoo!" but it was all too civilized for that. No one was drinking alcohol (except Andy and I) and they all seemed perfectly content with the level of celebration.

We crossed the busy street and headed to Chinatown. There we were packed in tight as sardines through the streets and finally it did feel like a special kind of atmosphere. Market stalls were everywhere and as the time went on the prices reduced to renewed hoots of joy from frenzied shoppers. They were buying normal stuff - fruit, chocolate, and flowers. Andy and I found a table and sat down to take it all in. It was a manic atmosphere and we had missed the last MRT train home. We walked the whole way back but it was good to be out on such a night.
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