Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Been a while I know, its been tricky to get any real time on the Internet recently due to travels, Xmas, New Years and working on the farm....

So Thailand was over and although amazing and beautiful I think we were all glad to be getting somewhere where we knew the food would be safe! After my previous experience of Singapore I had in my mind that the area of Little India was the place to be as a backpacker. Jumping on the metro, which I've got to say is far better, nicer, cleaner and easier than the London underground, we worked our way to Little India.

Jumping off the train we headed towards what we thought was the main street and hopefully a backpackers hostel. However it took us a good hour of trudging around with our backpacks on and asking for directions before we finally settled in quite a nice little backpackers not too far from the station. This was our first experience of a shared dorm and, as standard in a dorm, we had some odd room mates, particularly a rather camp Asian Australian man who would not stop going on about shopping!
After relaxing in the hostel for a while we decided to head out and check out some of the city. We checked out one of the huge electronic stores/towers of the city then hit the metro ending up in a huge new shopping mall near the harbour. Walking about for a while we journeyed back to the hostel.

We decided to investigate the Singapore nightlife this night and after a brief chat with my family friend Youseff (who I had stayed with on my previous trip - hoping to meet and catch up, though he was unfortunately busy), he advised us that we should head to Clark Quay for a few drinks in some nice bars. Just walking about we were sweating like mad and seriously regretting the choice of wearing jeans and trainers! Clark Quay is a very nice modern part of town with an area of bars and restaurants that I'm sure on a weekend would have been rammed, being a Monday they weren't as packed as we thought they might be! We headed to a small restaurant/bar (The Singapore Sling or something - well they did the drink anyway), we chose this place, avoiding burger king and other fast food - we don't know why. We don't know why, because the prices were ridiculous, we stayed anyway "Treating" ourselves once again. Spicy Crab seemed to be the dish du jour so we all ordered some (on pizza and Rob had Pasta), slightly expensive but nothing compared to the drinks, so to avoid over spending on multiple drinks we simply went for the whole bottle of Jack Daniels with a few litres of Coca cola. I'm sure the owners loved us as we had just splashed about as much as we spent in a week in Thailand on one meal (might be exaggerating... not sure.. but its was bloody expensive - worth it though as we got a cheerful chat from an Irish man who thought it was brilliant that we had a whole bottle on the table...).

After our glorious, but small, meal we headed to another bar (after polishing off the bottle). Here we had a couple of beers whilst chatting to a couple who were giving us advise on creating our own company in Australia and making a load of money. They made it sound easy as pie to make a mint over here.
After the drinks we decided to head home and instead of taking a taxi, which would have been sensible, we opted for the rickshaw.. the one with the 70yr old man riding it seemed like the obvious choice to take the 3 of us home..Needless to say he started to struggle after about 5 meters. It was now that Rob and Tom decided to help the old guy out. Rob convinced the man that he would ride the bike for him while he relax next to me on the passenger seats. Tom decided that 3 people on the seats was far too many and jumped off the rickshaw and began his long run back to the hostel. We were side by side for most of the way, with rob having a great time and getting a good work out whilst I relaxed next to the "driver". We kept up with Tom until he decided for no apparent reason that he would take a detour off to the right... Rob pulled up near our hostel and proceed to pay the man more than double he asked and about 10 times the amount a taxi would have cost. All this to a man who essentially got a ride himself and lent us the bike, cant help but feel Rob mugged himself off again with that one! A minute later Tom pulled up on the back of another Rickshaw having realised he got himself completely lost and hired a driver to get him the rest of the way home! Not a winner of an end of the night, think my laziness paid off on that one!

The next morning (midday) we woke, not feeling our best, and slowly headed down to check out and dump our bags. Rob had pre-arranged with his cousin Gareth that we would spend the night with him and his family, so we had until early evening to explore some of Singapore. We decided we would head to Sentosa. Once again we somehow ended up choosing the most expensive route there. Instead of catching a train or bus over, or even just walking, we decided to take the sky lift over (like ski gondolas but much higher over the harbour below. This was fun for me as it turns out both Tom and Rob have quite a fear of heights and even in the lift ride to the top they were both nervous. Probably because the lift was glass and on the exterior of the building. Once in our gondola I began to enjoy the views of the city of Singapore and Sentosa island... As well as the views of both Tom and Rob, in near tears of fear, just looking up and the sky and gripping onto their seats. Money well spent there! Once the terror ride was over we headed down to the beach, at a fork in the road Rob used his amazingly poor directional sense and chose the complete wrong direction to walk, luckily Tom and I thought Rob was being a mug and took the other (and correct) route to the beach. After some time relaxing on the entirely man made beach with a view of palm trees and about 10000 boats/ships floating on the water, Rob finally arrived, though he didn't stay for too long and had to head back to an Internet cafe as he had a Skype date with Kelly!

A good swim and sunbathe later Tom and I walked along the beach and took the free bus back up to the cable car station. Once again the views of Singapore were good in the late afternoon sun and I think now even Tom fought his fear to have a brief look around before returning his eyes to the sky. We headed back to the hostel and collected rob from the Internet as well as our bags and jumped on the metro towards Robs cousins house the other side of Singapore. Once off we got some directions and began walking, and again we underestimated the length and time it would take.. So a good half hour/hour later we ended up being picked up by Vanessa who drove us the rest of the way back to the house. A very nice house at that, 3 floors staggered, with swimming pool, and lovely dinning and sitting rooms. Here we met a friend of the family Cameron Donald (who, unknown to us at the time, is a motorbike road racing champion), who was from Melbourne and began to chat about our plans and what we had done so far ect. We all sat down on the patio in the slightly muggy evening with some home made sangria and snacks though it soon started to pour down with tropical rain so moved inside. Gareth came back from work and after some more nibbles, drinks and chat we sat down to eat a superb home made meal of Jambalaya (? i think, was like a paella) which was filled with lots of flavorous food (lots of chorizo and king prawns...mmmm..) and tasted amazing! Followed up by a delicious rich chocolate pudding which just about fitted in the tiny remaining space in our already bulging stomachs. After dinner and a bit more conversation we all headed to bed, as we had to be up early in the morning to catch our flight. We were given one of the kids room with mattresses on the floor and adjoining bathroom. It had been great to get some home life again after the rather hectic start to our trip.

We woke early and Gareth was kind enough to drive us to a train station near by. We jumped on a metro to the airport and successfully boarded our flight to Perth, saying goodbye to our brief stay in Singapore.