“There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't sit still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and rove the flood, And they climb the mountain's crest; Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don't know how to rest.”
- Robert Service

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Singapore (this is my blog now)

It's been a while since my last post.  Our laptop wasn't charging and I was procrastinating typing out a whole post on my phone... procrastinating as in didn't do it.  Good news is the laptop is back now.  I don't know why it wasn't recharging the last week, but it may have had something to do with the vibration that appeared on the laptop shell whenever I plugged it in in India.

We've been in Singapore now three days.  Tonight is our last here.  Tomorrow morning we're leaving for Perth.  Singapore is an amazing city.  It was a bit of culture shock coming from India.  It's so incredibly clean and modern and generally comfortable.  If Disney were to build a city it would be Singapore.  It has massive buildings with interesting architecture, excellent public transport, lots of man-made tourist attractions, bright lights, it's spacious, clean, and has a twice-nightly water laser show.

Sarah with the Merlion, Singapore's mascot.  There's no history behind it -- it's recent,
tourism oriented and designed by committee.
 We spent a couple days wandering around the city.  Everyone we talked to recommended Chinatown and Little India.  Having just come from big China and India we weren't sure if it would be too interesting, but ended up there in our wandering anyway.  China town here is really neat.  It's currently decked out in red and gold lanterns and horse decorations for the Chinese new year.  "Have a Horse-picious New Year".  Did I mention it's remarkably clean?  From Chinatown you can walk a few streets over and end up in a neighbourhood reminiscent of colonial Cuba with it's brightly painted homes, then through a downtown that rivals Manhattan in height, past the most expensive shopping district I've seen, through the Arabic neighbourhood Kampong Glam, to the bustling (and, in keeping in character, slightly less clean) streets of little India, and finally circle back to Clarke Quay with a mesmerizing tourist bar scene.  It feels very much like walking from fantasyland through frontierland to tomorrowland.  Also the beer prices are probably the same.  Beer prices here make hockey arena concessions seem like a good deal.

Kampong Glam neighbourhood
 We also went a bit out of town to see the night safari last night.  It's a zoo full of nocturnal animals, lit by artificial moonlight, with some walking trails and a tram ride (the safari part, I think).  I really enjoyed staring at the sloth bear staring at me, and seeing the hyenas pace back and forth, with all this prey just out of reach.  Sarah liked walking through the bat enclosure best.  I took a lot of photos.  They're mostly all black.

I updated our photo album with pictures from India.  I'll add Singapore soon.

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