Wednesday, 18 February 2009


Poor Alex. We planned this trip for a month, he gets on the plane after 6 tough months in London looking forward to our mad cap adventure and what does he get when he lands? Me, worn out from a jubilant spell of island hopping, worn down by a nasty little head cold and worn through with worry over the state of my passport. Was I in a happy mood? Sadly, not.

Luckily he had enthusiasm for the both of us, and made sure we saw most of Singapore. I find the place slightly oppressive, with reminders popping up here and there of the repressive laws that people live by. In the immigration and visa centre, 3 impounded cars stand next to placards informing of the crimes the drivers committed and the punishment they received (10 years and 4 lashings, usually). I was a bit concerned in case a stick of chewing gum was floating at the bottom of my bag, punishable by a cash fine if caught.

Singapore has the feel of a slightly more spread out, but less exciting, Hong Kong. If there wasn't much to do in HK except work and go out at night, Singapore felt even more limited. We visited the number one tourist attraction - the zoo - and wandered the streets, stopping in the early evening for high tea at Raffles. There are some fantastic buildings, especially the Esplanade. It costs the same as Hong Kong, it can match it for high rises and bankers, but without a job I think it would be hard to spend any extended period of time there.