I am now moderately drunk sitting and writing. I have had a very enjoyable day doing nothing too much. I had the most fantastic sleep and woke up to a rather louder Singapore than the one I left the previous night – specifically the Mosque at the end of the street with its morning call, the Hindu tailors in the street outside my hostel and the Chinese market traders hawking everything from cell phones to dried mushrooms. A very different Singapore to the early AM of yesterday.
I had a very slow start to the day due to my Malaria tablets and their doping effect. This fitted in perfectly into my innactive holiday mode of sitting drinking coffees in the sun and watching the world go by. Singapore is strangely familiar, and yet unlike anything I have seen before. Laid back, organised and hygienic, and yet busy, cosmopolitan and humid to distraction. Places it reminds me of include Brighton, Victoria BC, Hamburg… a strange mix. But an attractive and very accessible one.
China town in Singapore – I had to wait for a minute until no foreigners were in view (!)
They have managed, unlike Taipei, to preserve at least some of the old colonial areas. I am realising I am perhaps hyper-sensitive to this because I complain about Taipei destroying its heritage, and yet here I am along a beautifully preserved street of colonial houses… and it is all rather Disney. Where is the perfect balance? Europe, I suppose – where I grew up! Hard to please, eh.
Bussorah Street – where I stayed and centre of the Arab district
Singapore is certainly reminiscent of Hong Kong, but is more… colonial. A cricket clun in the centre. More low level luxury hotels. More influence from Arab and Indian quarters. And at the same time I am noticing ridicuous details, perhaps because I am already tuned into ‘Radio Asia’ amd Singapore is quite western compared to Taipei. So, there are pidgeons here (do we have them in Taipei?), people ride Honda more, there are less scooters, people speak kind of a mix between Chinese and English, I think, and well…. it is very comfortable. Just some impressions.
Raffles Hotel – the quintessential British establishment in Singapore and home of the Singapore Sling, bless ‘em
I spent the night along the waterfront of the south china sea drinking massively over priced beers. I had a great time, but realised that most Brits out here are public school boys and absolute bigoted arseholes. Man, I hate that friday night white collar trash thing in London and I hate it even more here where the pay is relatively higher and the targets of their scorn (the local girls on the whole) are not able to defend themselves.
Still, I like the place – but I feel more connection with Hong Kong. More edge. More…. Just more.
Cricket club in the very heart of Singapore. You can see their priorities when they landed! Government, then Library, followed by Cricket pitch, and then plenty of drinking establishments – the Brits certainly colonized in style!
BJ Massage – I had to take a photo!