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Published: January 4th 2010
Asian Civilizations Museum.
When we were planning this trip back and July/August, we wondered if we'd ever have a day when we would "hit the wall". Today was that day.
Despite staying in an elegant hotel in a buzzing, clean metropolis, we are both really, really tired. Neither of us have a fever, so it's unlikely that we are on the cusp of an outbreak of any one of the nasty bugs that may be romping around our bodies at low levels (malaria, dengue fever, or the trendy H1N1). We are just tired. Tired of packing and unpacking. Tired of filling out immigration forms. Tired of moving from one city to another. Tired of converting currencies. Tired of the language barrier (although there is not much of a language barrier in Singapore). And tired of not being able to find a really good salad anywhere.
But not tired enough to change our red-eye flight to Sydney tomorrow night.
So we got off to a slow start this morning. But, since it's Singapore, we soon found something quirky and weird enough to improve our mood: the post office.
We did a bit of shopping in Burma and need to ship some
of our little treasures back to the States. Our concierge directed us to a nearby mall where, among Chanel, Dior and Gucci, we found the Singapore Post.
It really is the most incredible Post Office. Within 30 seconds of our arriving, one of the postal ladies had sized up our stack of goodies, ushered us over to an empty counter, and provided us with exactly the right box, all of the required postal forms, tape, and bubble wrap. After assembling and completing the forms, we popped back into line and had a minute to read up on other services provided at the Post Office. If we lived in Singapore, we could pay any number of bills here: utilities, healthcare, even our Readers Digest subscription. We could also purchase any number of small appliances (toasters, rice cookers, even small computers) and wrap them in a variety of different bows and boxes. And, of course, we could send gifts home to our friends and family and purchase stamps. By the time we left the Post Office, the line was understandably out the door.
After a disappointing lunch at a nearby food court (we're even tired of noodles and rice now
The Esplanade Theaters
- not a good thing when one is in Asia), we rallied and made our way to the Asian Civilizations Museum.
This Asian Civilizations Museum is excellent and well worth your time (and $8 SGD) if you find yourself in Singapore. One exhibit traces the history of Singapore. We especially liked the well-preserved pair of denim pants worn by a dock worker back in the 1800s. The pants reminded us of old Levis worn by the gold miners in California's gold rush.
The museum also has excellent interactive multi-media exhibits for each of the countries of SE Asia and China. There are 1,000-year-old statues of Buddhist dieties from Cambodia, enormous wooden totem poles from Borneo and exquisitely carved swords from Malaysia. There is also a very interesting exhibit regarding Islam (interesting to us at least since we know so little about the Islamic faith).
Near the museum is the famous Esplande Theatres on the Bay, a large, unusual-looking concert hall/theatre. It's been likened to a durian (a prickly, stinky Southeast Asian fruit), the eyes of a fly and many other things. We walked around the waterfront lining the Singapore River for a while and then headed back to the hotel.
A quiet evening for us- grabbing dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant and then browsing through our Australia guidebook at the hotel.
After a nice afternoon and evening here, it may be more accurate to say that we're just tired of traveling in Southeast Asia (maybe it is the heat and humidity). Tomorrow night we leave for Australia which promises to be a very different experience - we're looking forward to it.
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