the next stop on our trip is indonesia, but as there weren’t any direct flights there, we had to make a connection in singapore. it seemed lame to fly through singapore and see nothing but the airport, so we set up our flights so that we could spend 2 days there. i was pretty interested to see what singapore had in store for us. i didnt know too much about it other than that it is really clean, has super strict laws (spitting is illegal, chewing gum is illegal), and that it is really famous for its shopping. we get off the plane, and the first thing i see is a huge sign pretty much urging people to get drunk before they take their flights. that’s unusual! then, inside the airport, there was free internet and free telephones. what an odd place…
singapore, a tiny island off the coast of malaysia, is a huge city filled w/ gigantic skyscrapers surrounded by lush jungles. the population here is mostly originally chinese, which was evident by the large chinatown area right in the center of town. this area has cool shiny red temples, chinese eateries selling bizarre foods that i can not even begin to comprehend, and bars. yes, lots and lots of bars. you would look across the street and see a bar next to a bar which is under another bar and across the street from 4 bars. no really, i’m not exaggerating. sometimes it would seem that whole city blocks are filled w/ nothing but bars. it must be really tough being a bar around here, i can’t imagine how they deal w/ all the competition.
the one thing that i noticed about chinatown right away (besides the bars.. did i mention that there are a lot of them?) was that it was *clean*. very very clean. this is probably cause littering is punished very strictly, but it’s not just that there isn’t any litter… the buildings themselves seem clean. in fact, the whole town seems to have this weird antiseptic quality to it. almost sterile… but it still is pleasant. seeing a chinatown like this is pretty weird for me. every other city’s chinatowns that i’ve seen are usually fairly gritty, and loud w/ lots of commotion. here, it’s really chill and relaxed, which is an odd change.
after a quick lunch, we decided to stop by the Raffles hotel. to get there, we passed by the riverside which is a pleasant area w/ lots of outdoor restaurants. on the way, we stared at singapores many many skyscrapers. they are everywhere. huge gleaming shiny buildings. lots of glass and metal. luckily though, singapore also has lots of greenery in between all this. it’s actually very proud of the fact that the town is very green despite the concrete jungle. everywhere you look there are palm trees swaying in front of the highrises.
the raffles hotel is famous because that’s where the drink “singapore sling” was invented. we walked over there to try one. it was a pretty decent drink even though i’m not really a huge fan of gin. the bar where the drink was invented was pretty cool. each table has a huge bowl of peanuts which are constantly being refilled. as you eat, you just throw the shells on the floor. i dunno what it is about that, but i just love it when bars let you throw peanut shells all over the floor. maybe it’s because normally you are never allowed to do such a thing and it just seems wrong… so it’s always fun to get to do it.
we finished the night off w/ an incredible dinner… which was really expensive. that’s the other thing about singapore. it’s pricey. really really pricey!! after getting used to paying like 8$ for a room in bangkok, it’s painful to shell out about 35$ here!! ouch! and food’s expensive, drinks are wayyyy expensive, cabs.. everything. good thing we’re only staying here for 2 days!!
oh, here’s a picture of a little guy we saw when we were eating lunch. luckily he wasn’t on the menu!!