Back in the Northern Hemisphere!

Trip Start Aug 01, 2007
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Trip End Jan 11, 2009


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Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So, after a fantastic last day in Perth, spent picnic(k?)ing in King's Park with a couple (my age-ish) that I had met at the family picnic I went to last week, watching the Red Bull air race. Not an air SHOW, but an actual race course set up with inflatable gates over the Swan River. Pretty cool, but even better was when the did in fact show off a little bit at the end with an aerial team and a hugely loud fighter jet etc. Then it was on the train to Cottesloe, where I stayed last time- I had ton pick up my snorkel gear I had left with a friend there. Once that was done, I strolled along the beach before heading back to pack up. Despite my major purging efforts, my pack still turned out to be nearly 17 kilos. HOW?

Anyways, Monday morning bright and early I show up at the airport, only to hear murmurs that the flight was delayed. This was indeed true, we had to wait and extra 6 hours. They gave us $10 food vouchers, not really a fair trade since my planned time for sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur (to be referred to as KL from now on). When we checked in a few hours later, I was given another voucher as well, so I got a roll to take onto the plane with me so I didn't have to pay for a meal. The seats were pretty darn small, I guess you get what you pay for.

We finally arrived in KL around 7pm. (13 hours ahead of Toronto). It seemed like it took forever to get my bag (ok, it pretty much did- first one on, last one off) and then I ran to the info desk to find out how to get to Sentral train station. I was dircted to an express bus, and got there at 9pm. After dodging touts for cab rides, I found the KTM ticket desk and asked if it was too late (train was due to depart at 9:19pm). Luckily it was no dramas, and after a little bit of a wait (the train was actually late) I found my 'berth', a tiny little top bunk which was to house both me and all my bags. I had to sleep curled into a ball, since my legs had nowhere else to go. I actually slept pretty well, except every few hours the train would stop and it would wake me. Just before 6am, we were awoken but Malysian customs officials coming in, pulling back the curtains and shouting at us to wake up and get our passports. An hour later at the Singapore checkpoint, we had to file off with all our bags and go through the customs there.

Once we finally arrived at the Singapore train station, I found my way to the address for a hostel listed in the Lonely PLnet, to find out it no longer was there. As I sat scrutinizing my guidebook, pondering where I was going to sleep, a really nice man working in the are pulled out a map of Chinatown, showed me another place nearby ("For you! Backpack!" while pointing at the beast on my back). So I made my way there and was eventually let in(good security, anyways) and sucessfully paid for 2 nights accomodation. After a shower and an email home, I was off.

First stop was the big Chinatown Plaza, for some serious rehydration and some food. After a few overwhelmed circles around the food court, I settled on some plain noodles. The words of advice from the travel doctor booklet were echoing in my head, so that definitely slowed my food decision down. I then navigated my way through a marketful of stalls, replacing my lost hairband, and buying the coconut watch I had wanted since Darwin- each 1/3 the price they were in Australia. I then found the Merlion park (the mascot of Singapore is a thing, for lack of better word, with the body of a mermaid and the head of a lion. It shoots water out of its mouth as a bonus). Imagine my delight when I turned the opposite direction of the fountain and lo and behold, my dreams of Starbucks in Singapore had come true. Afterwards, i went to the Singapore Art Museum, which is surprising full of mostly modern art peices by artists from all over SE Asia. (as a bonus, it was free from 12-2 M-F!) I then wandered along to Kampong Gelam, where I paid a visit to the Malay Cultural Centre. I then made my way to Orchard Rd which is a huge shopping district, with massvie (and i mean MASSIVE) shopping complexes lining the road on both sides. I hit one mall, bought a notebook and some pens, and deciding my feet could stand for no longer. it was back to the hostel (by underground, no more walking!) and when I emerged from the MRT station, was surround by even more market stalls (I didn't think it possible) and it became that much harder to resist the temptation! Then I turned around and went straight back out for a few beers with one of the guys staying at the hostel, and we had a quick walk around one of the temples.

This morning it has been pouring rain off and on, to the point where I've just come back because I'm sick of it. I did some browsing though the shopping centres on Orchard Rd, so much for getting a bargain camera here, they are all ridiculously expensive! I did get my post sorted, it is much much cheaper here than Australia. I probably spent about half on stamps than if I had posted my stuff from Australia. Bargain! unfortunately I did most of the stuff I wanted to do yesterday (thats indoors) and with this weather, I'm just taking a break for now. If it clears up, I might head back out in the evening.

Tomorrow afternoon, I fly to Phuket! Beaches, here I come! (please don't rain!)

As a side note: I notice a lot of people vandalize toilets by writing, *so-and-so* waz ere. Waz you ere during your English lessons or what?

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