Touched down in Singapore, we hopped onto a bus to Joo Chiat Rd, it took about 40 minutes to get there. First thing we noticed is how clean and organised this place was, not only compared to where we had recently been but compared to anywhere either of us had been, even the motorways were disguised with flowers. Miss Wrigleys couldn’t even get a packet of chewing gum to fuel her addiction as they don’t sell it here with the aim to keep the streets clean, so had to settle for mints as the alternative, cold turkey, was out of the question (damn girl must have the strongest jaw muscles 2nd only to Sir Alex Ferguson).
We found or hostel and got checked into our room at Betel Box which we shared with 6 other strangers, first time we have opted for the dorm hostels on our trip but after researching we discovered that Singapore was not going to be the cheapest. We were a few miles out of the city centre but I was pretty happy as the district we were in composed of a food shop, then a gym…then a food shop and another gym, there were fitness centres and boxing clubs everywhere so I was pretty content and signed up to use the local boxing club for a free trial and advised an Irishman and staff that I had just moved to the area and was looking to sign up long term (I was of course telling pork pies) the Irishman even followed me out to the car park to exchange numbers to come back as he had just signed up and moved to Singapore on his own and tried out for the first time. He asked where I was staying in the area, I had no idea so picked the closest street in eye line “I live there too” he said, “I’ll come round and we can walk round together” I had made a complete arse of that so I told him to stay put and I’ll come grab him knowing full well I’d be gone the day before (felt bad but could not very well tell the staff, with him listening in, that I’m here only for the free trial). It was at Spartans boxing club and would recommend them to anyone staying in that area.
The metro system is pretty efficient as you can imagine as is every other mode of transport on this tiny country just beyond the furthermost tip of Malaysia, we took a wander in the sunshine south to the beach at East coast Park and hired Rollerblades to check out the boulevard and the gardens that lay a half hour skate away….we also wanted to relived the days when you could get away with blading around the streets as I think you would likely get close lined if we tried a stunt like that back home nowadays. We were flying until the blisters kicked in but the views of Gardens by the Bay were awesome from the park and the sun was shining. We were crawling back to the shop to return the skates as the feet felt as if someone was trying to forcibly remove them with a spoon, we nearly made it until calamity Jane took a header and I was left in the awkward, do I laugh because it was pretty bloody funny or get the sympathy vote ready in case she actually hurt herself, luckily she was fine so laughter and pointing it was. We retuned the blades and the owner advised we could keep the socks, wise choice and seemed more like a favour to him. The heavens then opened (wouldn’t be the same if not) and down came the rain again, you would hardly believe we were petty much on the equator in the dry season…….there is definitely something funny going on with our planet as these raincoats were never off our backs.
We never spent a lot of time on the beaches here as did not have a lot of luck with the weather but we still got out and managed to see as much as we could, the gardens by the bay offer a free light show at 8.30 pm which was pretty awesome, you just sit or lye back on the garden floor and let these 30ft high artificial palm trees do their thing to Asian orchestrated music, its pretty impressive to be fair. We took a trip to the harbour front where we got to see all the sea otters messing around by the wooden pylons and you get a great view over the harbour (its beside the F1 racing circuit) and you get a nice view of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel where you can pop up to the roof garden for $30 Singapore dollars, and possibly throw yourself off when you see the prices.
Miss Gow fell in love with this city which seemed as close to a utopian society as you can get in this day and age, it is a very expensive, new but has a endearing and cosmopolitan charm. We also learned that a gathering of 4 or more people can be treated as an illegal gathering which goes to show how serious the authorities take their roles here although I would believe this when I see it.
3 days is not nearly enough time to explore this city but when on a budget..it’s 3 days too many. We will definitely be back after we mug some people and hold up a few banks to finance the expedition but we are glad we came and would highly recommend it.
6am flight to Jakarta in the morning….