All our Photo’s of the trip so far are now uploaded. 😉 Playing catch up with the diary, so 2 posts in 2 days !
We have just spent the weekend here having left Bali last Friday, and are now on one of those big luxury air conditioned coaches with huge recliner seats en route to Malaka. Je Suis un Rock n Roll Star. We have just passed the border and entered the south of Malaysia as I sit and type this, and we should arrive in about 3 hours. I’m really excited about getting back to Malaysia, things are just so laid back and friendly, with good transport, diverse and tasty food, and lovely budget hotels. We are picking up from where we left off 2 months ago, pushing up the west coast of Malaysia before we hit Thailand in a few weeks time. Hopefully we will get the chance to hook up with Lyndon again before he heads home at the end of the month. The east coast of Malaysia should be in monsoon season, but we’ll get there in a few months just at the right time for gorgeous weather.
Singapore was out of this world. What a shock to get off the plane, and get on a spotlessly clean monorail sprinting at full pelt towards the city centre. The streets are spotless too, and the city is ultra modern, with huge skyscrapers, designer shops and malls everywhere. It’s also very expensive, especially for booze and cigs. The Bintang weight-loss programme has been going well, but it looks like it may get a further boost and added health kick. 🙂 Well not really, as usual, I’ve managed to sniff out a great deal at the Seven Eleven’s, but bar prices are well over the top and on par with Sydney.
We managed to get a room at the CosyBackPackers Inn for about $50/night – that’s an absolute bargain here, and thankfully, the room is air conditioned. Whats been great for us, is the chance to get our gear in order again. We’ve managed to pick up some good quality T’s and shorts at bargain prices. We absolutely hate shopping as a rule, but this was a needs must mission and there was no rush or pressure…..or bargaining !
We have been eating Indian Curry all weekend. 🙂 The first one was in a food court and was quite bliss, the second one was in little India, and was absolutely magic. We hopped on the metro for Little India and you could tell straight away we were on the right train. I actually thought we had got on the train to Mumbai itself. This one was packed, not like Indians on the roof and hanging out of windows and such, but you get the idea. 🙂 When we arrived in Little India, I thought I was right the first time, and we must be in Mumbai. Turns out this was a day off, and the streets were jammed solid full of Indian men of all ages, just chatting away with friends in the street. We seemed to be the only 2 people without brown coloured skin. The waiter tried to explain all the diffferant dishes to me, Dhupiasa, Bhuna, Madras, Vindaloo, Rogan Josh, etc. I told him I’d try the Lamb Bhuna with extra chilli’s and some of that Pilau rice he had been raving about – it would be nice try some of this exotic food, as back home in Scotland, all we get is Haggis or Stovies. 🙂
Singapore reminds us both of both Kuala Lumpur and Sydney – the Architecture of the skyline makes you think of some alien other world. There is a recently constructed hotel, called the Marine Bay Sands. It dominates the skyline, with 3 huge towers of shimmering glass, and on the top, spanning the 3 blocks, is what can only be described as a huge concrete ocean liner. We went into the hotel, and there was a live Chinese Classical ensemble dressed in traditional formal clothing and playing oriental music.
The ceiling must have been 7 storeys high, and there was marble, steel and glass everywhere. It’s the sort of place Rob and Jo would stay in when slumming it. 🙂
The first language here is English, which is surprising as 75% of the population are Chinese, but I was told by an American expat on the flight, that the young kids use a modern slang called Singlish – Singapore English, it’s a fusion of both languages and gives the kids their own Singaporean identity – must remember to google it. The kidz looked ultra hip and cool.
This was the cleanest Chinatown we have seen anywhere – it all reminded me of Disney Epcot in Florida – you know, kinda manufactured? There should always beat least a couple of sewer rats scurrying through the streets in any Chinatown. Right?
We are both sorry to leave Singapore, we both really really liked it, but the wallet was squealing. And it let it be known, at 8.30pm on Saturday night, I was in an Irish bar drinking a coke. On a point of principle, one just had to draw a line at beer costing 7 quid a pint.
I feel so proud of myself. 🙂