A little bit of luxury

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Asia » Singapore
September 7th 2010
Published: September 7th 2010
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Welcome to part 9 of the blog.

After we left Taman Negara we spent 1 more night in Jerantut at Sri Emas guesthouse. The only thing of any note that happened here was watching Reuben look quite uncomfortable as the extremely effeminate guy behind the hotel reception attempted to chat him up. He was a very weird Indian guy with long manicured nails and floral henna tattoos all over his arms, every time we spoke to him he remarked on how hot Reuben was or made a joke about him 'always coming first' before letting out a squeal/laugh i cant even begin to describe.

We were planning to meet my friend Becky from the UK, who was visiting her parents in Singapore. Mike and Jane (Becky's parents) had very kindly offered to save us lots of money by putting us up for a few days, so on Monday morning we went to the station to catch a train to Singapore. Reuben's weird new friend from the guesthouse had informed us it would depart at 12:30, he was wrong. As a result we had to wait nearly 2 hours in the baking heat at the station, i was actually sweating so much i had to buy a new t-shirt from a nearby shop just so i wouldn't have to turn up and Mike and Jane's absolutely stinking!

Eventually the train arrived and we got on for the long trip to Johor Bahru, where we had to get off the train and show our passports for entry to Singapore, whilst this happened police searched each carriage with dogs to make sure nothing illegal was stowed aboard. Singapore is a very strict place where you can be fined for everything from not flushing a public toilet to 'outrage of modesty' (chatting up a girl who doesn't want to be chatted up), with all this in mind we agreed it would be best to try and act responsibly while in the city.

Becky met us at the station and we caught a bus to her parents condo. It's a very nice place, on the 7th floor of a block overlooking an Olympic sized swimming pool and jacuzzi. After our time in the jungle it was practically heaven, and it got better as we arrived to find Jane had cooked us shepherds pie. It was amazing! After dinner and a shower Becky took us straight out for a few drinks, first we strolled through Clarke Quay, which is like the most insane festival you can imagine, just in the middle of a city which is eerily like the one in demolition man. Surrounded by giant buildings that are more like works of modern art you walk past bars where everyone sits on hospital beds on drinks out of drips! Or you can opt for a place designed like carnival rides where you sit drinking in the teacups. We walked a little further on to Boat Quay and found a little bar on the river, we sat in normal chairs and they brought the drinks out in good old fashioned glasses, in was good! We stayed for an hour before heading back to the condo.

The next day we set out to see some more of Singapore with Becky, 1st stop was Sentosa island. Originally this was just a small cove used by pirates back in the days when Singapore was a major British trading port. In recent decades people have reclaimed the land by dumping stuff into the sea then building on top of it. Now Sentosa is half rich mans play ground and half Americanized theme park, there is a Disney world, a Universal studios and dozens of similar attractions. Not really my kind of thing but we went anyway. We paid 12 ringgit to board a cable car that went too high for me to feel comfortable, this took us to the top of a hill where we got into small go-cart type things and raced back down to the bottom. I was fun but only lasted about 90 seconds which left us feeling quite disappointed, to cheer ourselves up we sat by the beach and drunk a bucket of beer.

After this we caught a tram off of the island and then got on the MRT (Singapore's super efficient underground network) and went to little India. Here we done some shopping in a chaotic mall and then had some lunch in a very nice Indian restaurant. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the streets and temples of little India before heading back. Becky and her parents went to a friends to dinner so me and Reuben sat in and watched TV.

We awoke wednesday morning and went for a swim in the pool whilst deciding what to do with the day. It was hard work leaving the pool but eventually we headed out and found ourselves wondering through a massive mall which has a park (complete with lake) on the roof. After this we caught the MRT to Chinatown which was the best one we'd been to yet, unlike chinatown in KL or Kota Bharu it is very clean and well looked after. We walked past lots of chinese shops and silk tailors before stopping for a few beers outside a restaurant.

Next we caught the MRT and met up with Becky and Jane, who had offered to take us out for cocktails. The 4 of us jumped in a taxi and went to meet Mike on the 70th floor of the Swissotel building, a massive skyscraper overlooking the colonial area of town. It was the highest i have ever been without being on a plane and the view was amazing. We were in bar Asia, a very upmarket place full of business men in suits having a drink after a hard days banking. We sat drinking expensive cocktails (Mike and Jane's treat, thanks!) and watched the sun go down. The view is even better after sunset, when other the other skyscrapers light up in a variety of colours and you can clearly see some of the roads that make up part of the track which will be used for the upcoming F1 grand prix. We left Swissotel and headed for the appropriately named satay street, a long road covered in tables and chairs with stalls selling delicious satays. It is right outside a huge food court where you can get all types of Malay, Chinese and Indian food to carry back to your table. We ate chicken, beef and prawn satays (i also had some Indian food) with a few bottles of tiger before mike had to leave for a late night meeting.

The rest of us headed to the Arab quarter and sat in a little cafe before Jane headed home and left me, Reuben and Becky to party. We stopped for a few quick Jaegerbombs in the prince of wales pub and guesthouse then caught a taxi to St James power station. It's a crazy place, imagine Battersea station re-developed and packed full of different bars and clubs. The 1st place we tried had a stage at the front of the bar on which they were hosting a mental Asian game show, the rules seemed to entail standing in front of a glittering board covered in dollar signs, looking confused while 2 guys with blue and purple hair shouted a stream of numbers at you. This ended when the guy with purple hair scream "300 dollar" then wheeled the board off stage, leaving the contestant on her own in the middle of the stage looking very lost.

Straight after this 4 girls with pink and yellow hair, wearing tartan pom pom dresses jumped on stage and started singing a 50's rock medley underneath epilepsy inducing strobe lights. Once this stopped things were quite for a while and we sat in the bar drinking ridiculously strong cocktails until a group of butlins like entertainers took the stage to sing/murder a stream of awful western pop songs. As terrible as it sounds this was actually quite fun, no doubt due to the amount of alcohol we had drunk and we stayed their maybe half hour longer before going outside to sink more cocktails. They shut the bar and kicked us out about 2 am and we went in search of somewhere to continue the party.

There was only 1 club left open and outside it was absolute carnage, 2 am on a Thursday morning and the floor was a sea of drunk, passed out Chinese teenagers throwing up on themselves and anyone or anything unlucky enough to be in the way. We went to the entrance only for a bouncer to stop us entering as we were in shorts and sandals. We circled the power station and after failing to find another way in decided to try the club one more time. This time the bouncer agreed to let us in as long as next time we didn't show up in beach wear. The place was full of all the smartly dressed, obviously well off locals who hadn't already collapsed outside. Everyone was sitting around, drinking nothing but Hennessy and Chivas Regal straight. This wasn't the usual type of club i was use to. No one was dancing despite the banging house music and flashing lights, so i decided to show these people how a drunk Englishman has fun. We ordered a long island ice tea which turned out to be the single most alcoholic thing i have ever drunk and i jumped onto a podium and started raving like an idiot.

Amazingly this behaviour seem to go down well and before we knew it we had attracted a group of friendly locals who also wanted to enjoy themselves, instead of just sitting around. We danced, chatted to our new friends and swigged Chivas Regal until 6 am when they closed and kicked everybody out. We staggered along the 5 minute walk back to the condo and after waiting around long enough to be sure we wouldn't wake Mike up early for work, went up and collapsed onto our beds. It was an epic night i wont forget in a long time!

We slept most of Thursday and in the evening Reuben went to meet a french girl called Livia who he had been hanging around with whilst i went on the jungle trek in Taman Negara. I stayed in with Becky and Jane watching TV and drinking a few beers. On Friday we left for Melaka, Livia coming along with us.

We had a great time in Singapore and we have decided to treat ourselves to tickets for the F1 starting 24th September so we will be going back soon.


7th September 2010

all sounds wonderful - luxury needed now and then. And how exciting - FI!! Enjoy xx

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