Friday, January 18, 2013

Feels great to be back in Singapore

Well after months of dreaming and scheming here I am!!!  All very exciting.  My flights over were good - but long...I watched a few movies, read and tried to sleep without too much success.  I finally fell asleep looking out at Singapore as we were landing!!!  My flights leaving Regina and Vancouver were 45 minutes late each.  Leaving Hong Kong bang on time..Singapore airlines I do love you even if your entertainment system is a bit dated.....  the food was good however it was good on Air Canada.  The difference...the service.  Singapore airlines employees seem to care...maybe they don't but they sure make you feel like they do. 

Luggage arrived (whew!) and off I went in a taxi that only cost me $23 SD.  I expected it to be much more being as it was past midnight and there is a 50% surcharge from midnight to 6 a.m.  On the expressway into the city centre I noticed a few signs saying "Be considerate, signal early".  Singapore is not a typical Asian city by any means - but I will talk on that more in another post.  More good news....the V Hotel Lavender upgraded my room for free which means my room is quite large (for Singapore standards) and I have a view.  I was thrilled. 

I slept pretty well only waking at 4 a.m. to use the loo and I headed off about 9:30 this morning.  First stop was the food court around the corner.  I was on the prowl for some kaya toast which is a typical Singaporian breakfast.  This is just toast with sweet jam made from coconut milk and egg.  It came with two soft boiled eggs and a coffee.  I had forgotten the word for coffee with milk so ended up with black coffee with sugar...oh well.  I drank it anyway. 

 Then off on the metro to Little India MRT.  The metro is very clean and efficient.  They even say "mind the gap"!!!  I got off the metro and walked over to the Sri Veeramakaliamman  Temple.  I removed my shoes as is the tradition/requirement and walked around - walking clockwise as you do in all Hindu temples.  I seemed to be the only tourist - so I had to ask someone if I could take photos and they said use.  I used my small camera so as not to be intrusive.  It was very interesting.  I don't know much about the Hindu religion so I won't comment but there were many faithful and it means a lot to them.  I then walked on to the next temple - Sri Srinvasa Perumal Temple which was much quieter but was not quite as ornate.   I then went back the way I had come and wandered off onto side streets.  I should add here it was hot and humid.  Well it was 26C when I arrived last night!!  Thanks goodness for air conditioning in my hotel room!!!  I found the restaurant Bismallah Biryani which the Lonely Planet recommended.  It was a very simple place but the food was good - I ordered a vegetable biryani with a coke on ice.  Sometimes you just need a coke to quench a thirst!  From there I did a bit more exploration of the side streets and found the Wanderlust hotel which is where I will be staying when I am back in Singapore next month.  It is in the heart of Little India which will be exciting.  From there I finally managed to find my way over to the Kampong Glam area which is the Malay area of Singapore.  Lots of construction going on as a new metro station is being built so it was not the route I had planned on walking - thank goodness I had a good map!!! They were calling for prayer at the Sultan Mosque - beautiful!!!  From there I walked over to the Malay Heritage Centre - I needed a bathroom (hey I had lasted four and a half hours and wasn't even desparate but I was sweating it all out!!!!) and some air conditioning.  The musuem served it's purpose and I had some much needed sitting down time watching bits of old Malay movies.  I was going to walk back to the hotel but decided to walk over to the back of the mosque and take some photos.  I stopped and had a mango and peach sorbet that hit the spot.  Just as I finished up the heavens opened up so I decided maybe I should find the nearest metro which was Bugis.  A young fellow showed me where it was.  I am finding people here very friendly and helpful.  A smile goes a long way with anybody I think, 
Back here on the metro and then off to the pool for a short swim or should I say splashing around and floating.  I wouldn't call what I do swimming  but it's enough for me.  It cooled me off and luckily I went when I did as the pool was soon invaded by some young children with much shrieking.  I sat and read my ereader for a while then headed up here where I have been since.  I had to make a cup of tea as I was so chilly - that soak worked wonders.  It will be my only chance to use it as tomorrow is a busy day then it's off to Cambodia on Sunday.  (and I don't want to pack a wet bathing suit!)

No shopping - that will have to wait until next month. 

I was thinking of heading over to Chinatown when the heavens opened up again.  Just as well as I am still tired and I think I will grab supper from the food court around the corner.  Food courts here have good food unlike at home.  Many of these were formerly street food but Singapore forced most of them them to clean up their act and move indoors. 

Quiet evening in the room tonight and an early night to bed - only one I plan to have in Singapore however I am still pretty tired.  I had to come back as I was starting to feel a bit spaced out - not good when you are traveling!!!

I will try to put some photos on here later. 

A very exciting day tomorrow - I can't wait!!!  I am going to have a hairy time is all I will say!!!

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