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October 7th 2014
Published: October 19th 2014
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Sabbath, 4 Oct - Singapore

Arrived safely in Singapore on Sabbath arvo and met up with Mum and Dad at our hotel. We went to Little India to a restaurant recommended by a couple of articles that placed it in the top 10 Indian places to eat. The food was nice, but not comparable to some of the great Indian food we have had elsewhere.

The first thing I noticed about Singapore is the overwhelming number of people. It makes Poland look positively empty! Especially when we wandered Little India, my disinterest in visiting India was confirmed. I understand why Aussie families come to Asia for cheap holidays, but Singapore isn’t cheap so I have no idea why so many of them are here. Still, it’s very much a cross between East and West – it’s Asian, but more clean and organised and far more western than anywhere else we have been in Asia. English is everywhere as you might expect.

Sunday , 5 Oct - Singapore

We woke up late, enjoyed a massive buffet breakfast and wandered from the top of Orchard Rd right down to Le Pau Sat Markets, near Marina Bay, about 6.2km not including our jaunts into shopping centres for air con relief. The hawker market food was rather tasteless but it was cheap. Singapore is unremarkable. Apart from some pretty colonial buildings here and there and the nice tree lined streets, I find nothing endearing here. The shops, underpasses and stations are a constant nightmare of bodies (although I am a shopping hater), the food is mediocre, accommodation is expensive and there is no beautiful architecture to admire. It is just another concrete jungle that lacks heart and soul. I don’t expect it to be like Europe, but I do know that my enjoyment comes from beautiful landscapes, amazing architecture, great food and lots of history – none of which are found in Singapore. “Interesting” doesn’t necessarily mean enjoyable to me.

Monday , 6 Oct - Singapore

Today we stayed by the hotel pool for most of the day, only venturing out at 5pm for dinner and to walk through Gardens by the Bay. Could not find a Thai restaurant to save ourselves, even though we had a physical address for another recommended place (and it was not there, of course). We wandered through Bugis, the Arab Quarter and the Golden Mile, finding plenty of hawker Thai on the Golden Mile but we needed somewhere that accepted credit card and unfortunately hawkers are cash only. Finally settled for Mexican in the Arab quarter, which was good. The Gardens were absolutely beautiful, especially at night. I definitely prefer Singapore at night.

Tuesday , 6 Oct - Singapore

It was our last day so we went to Sentosa Island via the Boardwalk to iFly. Mum and Dad bought me this experience as a 40th birthday present. It was 2 flights in a vertical wind tunnel, a skydiving simulator if you will. After a briefing session with the instructor, I suited up with the other 4 strangers and was the first to enter the tunnel (Dwayne didn’t go because he had a headache). The flights only last 50 seconds but I was able to control my body weight and position so I could rise, drop and go side to side, with minimal assistance from the instructor. I was quite happy with my efforts because the other people struggled to maintain their height and the instructor had to keep lifting them up off the floor. It was certainly a hoot, albeit finished in the wave of a flubbery cheek! Apparently they have opened a centre in Penrith and said if I was interested in learning the tricks (twists, walk the walls etc), I could do my training there. It’s super expensive to become a regular though. Wonder how much it would cost to have my own wind tunnel in the backyard?

It was a great present because anyone that knows me well, knows I’d prefer an experience over stuff. Thanks Mum and Dad!

Returned to hotel, had a shower and went to the airport, where we boarded an overnight to Sydney on BA. We didn’t even get breakfast! What is with these full service airlines cutting corners?

So that was our holiday. I think I enjoyed it more than our Germany trip 2 years ago because it was so cheap and we afforded ourselves extra luxuries here and there. It also was less mental work than Italy and Germany because of the amount of English available. It’s still not as beautiful as France or Switzerland, but if a flight came up for sub-$1000 I’d seriously consider going again, although probably not with Finnair or BA :-)

***

For those that are interested, here are a few stats from our trip:

Stats Summary:

Distance driven – 2593km

Steps walked – 421,606 (over 300km)

28 days in Europe - $4880 excl airfare

4 days in Singapore - $1045 excl airfare

Nae’s favourite city – Vilnius

Dwayne’s favourite city – Tallinn

Least favourite city – Riga

Nae’s favourite food – Perogies in Poland

Dwayne’s favourite food – Dried green melon

# of desserts eaten – all of them!!

# of times Dad complained about a lack of gravy – too many!

# of times Mum was annoyed there was no top sheet – every morning

# of times we bought sour cream when we wanted cream (or visa versa) - at least 4

# of photos – 2551

# of good photos – We’ll let you know!

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