Saturday, April 25, 2009


I was really happy that our plans had changed so that we actually flew into Changi airport in Singapore. It's sort of like a pilgrimage for a traveller like me as it is considered by most people to be the nicest airport in the world. I was impressed and actually wish I could've spent more time there. That might sound strange but it is nice and has free internet, free showers and all sorts of other nice aspects that you wouldn't normally get at home.
We were expecting Paul to pick us up at the airport and he did not disappoint us. At the same time, we left Jake behind. Paul's aunt and uncle were going to host us in Singapore for a few days and simply didn't have space for another person. Jake was planning on taking off on his own side adventures as well so with plans for a future reunion we separated at the airport and ran off with Paul. (As it has since turned out, Jake will be going home in a couple days due to an emergency so we will not be meeting up with him again unfortunately).
Paul's aunt and uncle were really kind and had a great little apartment in the northeast corner of the island nation. It was so strange to get on the metro and see all the development everywhere. There are so many apartment blocks and colour codes for them. It is crazy how organized and nice this city is. I must admit that I was always a little scared because there are lots of signs for various fines (you can't spit, jaywalk, eat or drink on public transport, chew gum and a bunch of other things that I do on a regular basis) and the cops are all plain clothes so you never know who is going to bust you.
It was good to see Paul again and he quickly took over as our Singapore guide, making sure we didn't suffer any cultural mishaps in a new country :) I don't know what to say or where to start. Singapore really does seem like one of the nicest places to live anywhere in the world and dad and I were ready to go out begging for jobs so we could stay indefinitely. Ya, I'd put it on the list of places I could actually settle in for a while. Not many cities have scored that high. The public transit is amazing, the food is great (if a little too high compared to neighbouring countries) and it is very multicultural. If I had a complaint it would be that in a country with incredibly high fines for littering they don't have enough garbage cans. They don't have enough benches to rest on either but then, I can't really imagine anyone there actually taking time to sit down. The pace of life there is so fast that I imagine it could be pretty lonely there. Nobody has time to talk to you on the street :(
We spent a whole day wandering around the colonial area and the old riverfront area. Land reclamation projects have pushed the old waterfront far inland, and city cleanup projects have developed everything into tourist cafes now so it's a bit hard to imagine the seedy port days of a few decades ago. Now it just seems to be skyscraper after skyscraper followed by huge apartment blocks.
We spent another day walking down Orchard road where shopping mall follows shopping mall, in a not too subtle hint to spend money, to the botanical gardens which were really beautiful and definitely worth a visit. I don't know what all to say other than it was really good to have something so organized and reliable for a change and to meet various relatives of Paul. Paul is with us for only a month so unfortunately we need to move a little faster than we wanted and left Singapore after only 3 days.


At 9:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about a cliff hanger, why did you need to leave suddenly? Where are you gone to? So many questions, it is like reading a book with a sequel, but having to wait for the author to write the next chapter.



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