I set off this morning to wander through Singapore and head down towards the Marina. I checked out the free included breakfast and decided I could find better. Sure enough I found a place just around the corner offering “Toast Set A”. There did not seem to be much choice so I ordered “Toast Set A” and got a really nice coffee, two eggs and some toast. All up it cost $S2.80 (A bit over $2 Australian). There was a catch though, the eggs were soft boiled and not the hard boiled I preferred. Probably why I was given a teaspoon! Also it turns out the locals like coconut jam on their toast. Its actually quite nice, if not a bit sweet.
I then wandered the streets of Kampong Glam (Aka Arab area of Singapore), found the gold domed Masjid Sultan mosque. When you’ve seen 100 mosques in Central Asia, a single golden domed mosque hold little appeal, but worthy of a photo. I then stumbled apon the famous Raffles Hotel. I didn’t stop for a Singapore Sling though, The hotel itself most underwhelming at first. It used to be a few beach huts, but had grown to be an exclusive hotel, no where near the beach due to the reclaimed land. In fact beach road i was walking along was several hundred metres from the ocean let alone anything describable as a beach.
I was wandering down around the marina and the Singapore river, when I was accosted by a monk. he gave me something and asked for me to sign a book, then he asked for a donation…… I had $S10 on me. He was disgusted by my offering to Buddha, but accepted it anyway. I used to like buddhists, but Buddha always seems to want a lot of money.
It didn’t take me long to be conned into buying a suit in Singapore, when I declined the offer of a suit, the salesman went to shirts and trousers. So I went along with them and they measured me and then gave me a price. $S800 had me choking, seriously I might be able to get tailored shirts in Australia for that much… I eventually escaped to the safety of a brewery (www.brewerkz.com), is there anything breweries can’t do? The beer was great, shame the food was western. I keep hearing about the famous Singapore chicken rice, but have yet to find it anywhere. Just as I was all beered out the downfall of rain started. As it turns out Singapore always gets an afternoon storm. There really isn’t a dry season. just a less wet season it seems.
This evening I had a date with the Singapore Zoo’s night safari. Little did I realise so did an intimate gathering of thousands. I mean there were not that many people about town today, so where did they all come from? I’m funnelled into a queue which after 15 minutes has gone nowhere fast and it turns out to be for the fake tram/train that goes around the park. I asked someone did I have to stay in queue or could I actually walk. Yes sir we have many walking trails as well and off I went. Walking around a zoo at night is eerie until you hear the noise of dare I say a loud mouth Aussie tourist. A few Americans also, but mostly Australians. It was cool to see some of the animals at night but most were hardly doing anything and they knew people were there.
I can tell you now I’m knackered and glad I have a late morning flight to Phnom Penh tomorrow. Singapore, in a nutshell is interesting, clearly its cuisine is the best thing though partially due to the melting pot of cultures here also. Although with everyone speaking english, you’d be hard pressed to know who was from where.