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Published: April 20th 2010
The time had come to say goodbye to South Africa. We got up at 5am for the drive to Joburg. But we we'ren't done yet. We'd drop off the campervan then fly to Singapore, and after a day there, carry on to NZ.
My old best friend Gary Smith met us in Singapore. He did well because our plane arrived at 6 in the morning and he was there. Not bad for a guy who used to plan lectures at Varsity so that he had nothing before 10am. Anyway Gaz and Donna looked after us for the day and it was great. If Gaz ever decided on a career change he'd be a superb tour guide. We firstly went on a drive around the city to their place where we just regrouped over coffee. Then we went for a walk to the top of the highest mountain (well, hillock actually) in Singapore, Bukit Timah. Its a whole 163 metres high but I'll tell you, I was dripping when we got up to the top.
So we went from there to the British Club and spent the next few hours swimming in the pool, and yarning over cold drinks. It
Ryan at the top of Bukit Timah. The others in the background looking suitably knackered.
was ideal. The boys spent the whole time in the pool. Every time we got a bit too hot we went and flopped in, even did a few lengths at one stage. Much like how we used to live years ago in Hong Kong. You need a wee oasis like the club when you live in a busy, unbearably humid, asian city with a lot of concrete everywhere, and thats why the expat clubs are a real haven. The pool area at the British Club is surrounded by jungle so you have to remind yourself where you are.
Then we caught up in town for lunch at a korean restaurant before Gaz took us on a tiki tour down through Orchard Road and Little India, which is full of little shop fronts selling all sorts of interesting things. People bustling everywhere. The air here is rich with a mix of spicy aromas that just makes you want to eat curry and linger longer.
That took up the whole day nicely and it was great to catch up with Gaz and Donna and see their lifestyle there. Obviously we could relate to it pretty well from our time in
Its a Dirty Job
But someone's gotta do it. Susan, Seth and Gaz at the British Club.
HK which was not too different. The boys didn't quite expect the humidity though.
Couldn't believe the number of people lying around in sleeping bags back at the airport - victims of the shutdown caused by the volcanic ash up north. Hundreds of them, poor buggers.
Getting back on the plane to go home inevitably your thoughts turn to home:
Will I finish the book I'm reading before I get back into work? I'm reading Life of Pi and can't put it down.
Will I need to change into jeans and shoes at Christchurch airport when we arrive?
Will I stay awake? What about while driving from Chch to Queenstown? That is like the graveyard shift after the tour we've been on.
Will I get a chance to clear the emails on my phone? The server hasn't been connecting for the last couple of days so there are about 75 of them.
When will our next trip be, and where?
As it turned out the drive south from Chch was hard going. Susan and I had to take turns, and get some sleep in between times. It was good to get home
Gaz, Mitchy, Susan, Seth (holding Susan up) and Ryan outside a shop selling just about everything from used satellites to underpants.
and as expected, even after three weeks away, Loodya the cat popped up from somewhere the minute we arrived, as if she has been waiting for us the whole time. Thats loyalty.
The sting in the tail for us occurred while unpacking shortly after. After carefully selecting the wine we wanted to bring back from South Africa, and packing it so that it would make the journey safely, I was carrying the cardboard three-box from suitcase to our wine "cupboard". Suddenly the bottom fell out and, as if in slow motion, our precious wine slipped through and smashed on the tiles.
Oh well, not everything goes according to plan.
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