Visiting the sites in Singapore - or not quite!
Trip Start Nov 09, 2008
66Trip End Apr 02, 2009
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Where I stayed
We arrived at the hostel in the Geylang area of Singapore which a taxi driver who was probably on commission from hotels in other areas had told us was a rough area. Indeed, of an evening, it was Roachville, Arizona, with many cockroaches loitering on the streets around the hostel area, but, thank goodness, the hostel was clean and roach free. The hostel was clean, the bedding excellent, the staff helpful and they did our washing (for a small fee of course). The local train station was a mere spit away - quite literally - which was good for getting around.
On the first day we decided to go to the local mall, instructions had been given by two very helpful hostellers, and D could sate his western food needs! We found Pizza Hut which was when we first realised that the cost of living was very high in Singapore. It cost the equivalent of nearly £40 which is high, even by D's incredible eating standards! We also found Singapore to be, as everybody tells you, very clean. In addition it was very easy to be understood as the main language they teach in the schools is english.
After the mall, we went to explore Fort Canning where we could let Steven off the leash a little. The weather was fantastic throughout our stay and we had to take plenty of liquid on board.
As we drove to the hostel in the taxi on the day we arrived, Steven had seen the Singapore Flyer, the Singapore equivalent of the London Eye - which they claim it is the tallest one in the world, and had said that he wanted to go on the big wheel with mummy and daddy. We were able to book tickets on line the night before and went on the 'big wheel'. When Steven is asked about this much wanted trip, all he remembers is that there was a little boy and a little girl with whom he spent his time running up and down the 'pod'!
The views were excellent and it was interesting to go on the ride as none of us had been on the London Eye. It was also interesting to see parts of the track that had been painted and left from the Singapore Grand Prix which had been held a couple of months ago. Yvonne and Steven (in his pushchair) had to have their picture taken on it as we had previously been round Silverstone track using the same mode of transport!
We then went in search of the Raffles Hotel for our Singapore Slings but never arrived. Partly due to the heat and partly due to getting distracted by other things we set off to various places in Singapore and never arrived! Despite this, we still enjoyed the places we arrived at!
The next day we set off to see the Jurong Bird Garden but never arrived! We got distracted by a big shopping mall (there are lots in Singapore) and Jurong Park where Steven enjoyed himself as they had a Snakes and Ladders track where there were slides (snakes) to come down, ladders to climb and numbers to identify. Although at one point we did get a little phased by two young men wanted to take photos of Steven, not an unusual event, but this didn't feel quite right. We held on to him very firmly until we were on the train back to the hostel.
Final day - plan: to go to Sentosa Island. Reality: we hit the harbour front shopping mall which has a huge paddling pool on the top floor and that's where we stayed. Steven had a fantastic time playing in the pool with any child who would put up with him! The books about travelling we read before we left said that taking a child is a good way to meet people and this is the case. Whilst Steven was having a whale of a time playing with four very boisterous boys, Yvonne was talking to whom she thought were the parents, but it transpired that they were house parents from a children's home where the boys were living. Steven finally ended up with a grazed foot and limped his way out of the pool and we trekked back to the hostel to pack for an early departure (4am!) to get our flight to Sydney which left at 7am. We were relieved when we found out that three girls from the hostel were also getting that flight, so we wouldn't be the only ones waking everyone up at the hostel at 4am.
We had a taxi booked for 4am which duly arrived and we picked our way through cockroaches (bit of an exaggeration!) and headed off to the lovely Changi airport where Steven did an excellent comedy fall when he was walking along counting the rows of check in points and did not see a barrier at his forehead height and just walked into it and landed in a heap on the floor! He had made a full recovery.
We visited the duty free shop for the first time - it is Christmas - and treated ourselves to a bottle of Absolut Vodka (big one!) and a bottle of Gentleman Jack (a superior Jack Daniels). In addition D and Yvonne both splashed out on a bottle of perfume for each other's Christmas presents - one way to deal with the hot weather - cover up the smell!
The flight with Singapore Airlines was, once again, very comfortable. That is unless you have a little tummy trouble like D had! Fortunately, amongst the vast first aid kit, which has been frequently used - mainly the insect bite creams and paracetamol - there was some medication that helped. It doesn't pay to get the trots on a seven hour flight, especially as it was subject to a significant amount of turbulence which entailed much time sitting in your seat, wearing your seatbelt with the toilets out of action!