Sparky Travels

November 1, 2009

Singapore

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 10:18 am

We woke in our hostel in Kota Kinabalu and decided to get a taxi to the airport even though it could be done cheaper by bus. Firstly, we’d got a free lift into town the day before (see previous blog) and secondly, the bus journey is convoluted and unreliable. The Air Asia flight to Johor Bahru was uneventful and we easily found our ‘local’ bus to Singapore at Larkin bus station. It was a steal at only 2RM (40p) to get to another country. The bus travels along the 1km causeway connecting Singapore to the Malaysian mainland stopping at customs and immigration and picking the passengers up again at the other side. We were dropped of in Singapore a 10 minute walk from our hostel, the Empire Hostel . We’d booked a private twin room but when we arrived we were told that they didn’t have it so we were given beds in a dorm, albeit a three bed dorm. It was 10pm so we had little choice but to take it and the discount offered. The internet was useless and they also had no space for the next night, so not ideal. Our dorm-mate was a slightly crazy Russian girl called Marsha who immediately befriended us and joined us for dinner.

Instead of exploring Singapore the next morning (30th October) we had to check out and find a new hostel. After an hour of searching, comparing facilities and prices we plumped for the Prince of Wales pub and hostel. It was more expensive than Empire Hostel - the cheapest in town - but so was everywhere else. The place is friendly has cheap beer for residents and decent internet. We’d reluctantly promised to meet crazy Marsha in Chinatown in the afternoon since she was alone in the city but she stood us up. Slightly relieved, we strolled round Chinatown ourselves, visiting a couple of temples and a museum. Since it was Helen’s penultimate day in Asia we decided to booze it up at the hostel and knocked back a good few beers reminiscing about our travels together.

The next day - Halloween - was a day for culture. We walked through the grounds of Raffles hotel on our way to the Singapore Art Museum. The woman at the front desk tod us it was free entry since most of the museum was closed for refurbishment. Of the 5 or so open galleries my favourite was the work of Chinese painter Wu Guanzhong. We also had to dodge a wedding ceremony that was taking place in between the art and workmen. We walked the short distance to the National Museum of Singapore. It happened to be free entry today and tomorrow so we made the most of it by spending 4 hours there, admittedly encouraged by the torrential rain shower outside. The main attraction was ‘A Story of the Image - Old and new Masters from Antwerp’. This was a collection of work by Antwerp artists from Paul Ruben in the 1500’s to experimental Modern art of the 00’s. The hundred exhibits contained the expected collection of inspired, thought-provoking works of inspiration and lazy, confusing shambles that should never be called ‘art’. At 8pm we were turfed out into the rain and headed off for our last supper together. We went to Lagnaa, a ‘barefoot’ Indian restaurant which had tasty if overpriced and undersized curry in a pleasant setting. With all that money you’d think they could afford chairs but we had to sit on cushions on the floor at short stumpy wee tables.

At 8am on the 1st of November I walked Helen to the tube station to say goodbye as she left to head to Australia. It was sad to say goodbye to someone who has been such a great companion through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia but our paths lie in different directions at the moment. I’m sure we’ll see each other in Australia soon.

Back at the hostel I chatted to English guy to put off getting stuck into jobs I’d been successfully avoiding for the last few months. One of these was photo uploading so unless I get too drunk you can expect pictures to appear in my old posts and possibly on facebook. I’ll start after this beer…

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