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Published: June 26th 2010
Today was purely a day of lazing around and transport. As Martin wasn’t feeling well (a bad head cold started the night before), we took our time getting up in the morning and opted for the easiest breakfast in Asia- McDonalds. It was already hot at only 10am in Melaka, squelching any desire we might have had to walk around the town some more for exploration. With the heat and Martin’s cold, we spent the morning in our fan-only room, just reading and relaxing until checkout at noon. At that point, we moved downstairs for another hour of reading until a taxi driver (arranged by our guesthouse) picked us up and took us to Melaka Sentral, the same bus depot as the day before. We both quickly got lunch to eat and hopped on our even NICER air-conditioned, seriously luxury bus that would take us to Singapore. Hey China, where are YOUR nice buses, huh? Or Vietnam and Laos, for that matter? Oh well…after our 10 hour cabbage bus ride through Laos, I think we deserve some nice buses.
We both slept, read and listened to iPods the entire 4 hour journey to Singapore (though I guess I should say Martin read and I listened to music—what I wouldn’t give for the ability to read in a moving vehicle!), completely sailing through customs and arriving in downtown with no problems whatsoever.
An important thing to know about Singapore- their official languages are English and Mandarin, though they also have high Malaysian and Indian populations, so lots of things are printed in 4 languages. EVERYTHING is in English. It was harder to find something that was even written in Chinese! Everyone (save for a few, of course) speaks English. Singapore is cleaner than any other Asian city we’ve been to, probably because of their incredibly strict laws surrounding littering and…well, everything. It’s sort of a big joke (to Singaporeans as well) how many things you can officially get ‘fined’ for in Singapore. It’s illegal to not flush a public toilet. If you get caught littering three times, you have to do community service.
Anyway, it took us a bit to get our bearings straight and find the metro, but when we did, we were rewarded with a restaurant across the street that simply said “Komalas- YOUR Vegetarian Restaurant”. Yes, ladies and gentleman, this place was a FAST-FOOD, INDIAN, VEGETARIAN place. Need I say more? Need I describe the drool that immediately came out of both of our mouths? We went in and both ordered ‘combo meals’, not having any idea what they would have in them. It was apparent that we were the only white people around, but unlike in China—nobody noticed. Nobody cared. This place was authentic, and the grub was just that—seriously delicious fast food.
After a filling meal, we easily navigated the metro from where we were (Little India) to where our hostel was (Chinatown). Again, everything in Singapore is in English. All the metro announcements are even primarily ONLY in English. We checked into “The Beary Good Hostel”, a cozy newer hostel smack in the middle of Chinatown that has only dorm beds—luckily, we were given a bunkbed in the very corner of a room that sleeps about 15 people. It’s one of the nicest dorms we’ve seen, but it’s still a dorm. Sadly, that’s all we felt we could afford in Singapore. With an exchange rate of about 1USD-1.70 Singapore Dollars and everything costing just about the same, we were feeling pretty poor. The cost for each dorm bed? 20 SGD. And we had two! AND that was literally the cheapest place we could find…that wasn’t down some seedy alleyway and likely to have bedbugs. ☺
We ended the evening with a quick walk around Chinatown and watching ‘Youth in Revolt’ on the laptop, knowing that sleep would be the best thing for poor little Martin.
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