I hung around in Singapore for the Thaipusam festival Continue reading Thaipusam
One thing about Singapore is that you can transport yourself to different parts of the world in theme park style by going to a few of the little enclaves dotted about.
Right now I am in Little India. Little India is like a sanotised microcosm of the mother country where you can absorb the sights and sounds in a few hundres square metres, music shops, shrines, them smell of incense misxed with spicy food. Tonight I chowed down on a mutton byriani and cold iced tea.
I almost didn’t stay through the day though. For a while this morning I missed my lady and felt somehow as if I were negligent in not being in the UK with my brethren for the bad weather and knee deep snow, so much so that I rang Qantas and asked them to change my flight. But just before I gave them my credit card info for the surcharge I realised that I had better finish what I had started and make it through my last week for this winters trip, so I have booked a bus to take me to Mersing where I’ll catch a ferry to Tioman tomorrow.
for tonight I have the treat of the six nations starting so I’ll pop on over to a local bar and catch the game in 20 minutes time.
I’m getting too lazy to shift my arse out of Singapore – It;s comfy here, not as expensive as you’d think if you stck to the food halls where you can buy any food from China, India, Malaysia with even fish and chips on the menu for those missing home. So why move – I have heard the weather is still awful on the island of Tioman so perhaps diving is out of the question so we’ll see – it’s raining here now so maybe this muggy weather will lighten up a wee bit.
Anyhow, later on I persuade a few lovely souls staying in the hostel thatÂ it would be a good idea to try a Singapore Sling at Raffles. It’s the only thing I had on my agenda here so we have some food and meander over to the iconic hotel in the late evening. I didn’t actually think we’d get in, believe it or not I looked about the tidiest of the bunch in my cotton shirt and strides, but my old tatty trainers, a lovely young French girl who was wearing a pair of rubber thongs and an American feller that looked like he should be playing in the Red Hot Chillies all added up to a refusal at the first hurdle in my books but no, they allowed us to sit in an outside bar in the centre of the hotel and sup on a few slings we did. They tasted a bit like an over enthusiastic half pint of strong grenadine, but hell, they were invented here and we had one at the source.
Job done, now what Captain Kirk?
I remember once standing on a Thai raliway station with my daughter in my arms as life went on around us. Lady boys flirted on the night time tracks and people milled around until they all started to buzz about like stirred up bees shouting ‘Singapore Singapore’. It was the orient express travelling on it’s way south with it’s carriages full of luxury. A little nest of people sat on a balcony at the back of the train with a waiter poised to fill up glasses with more champagne and for a moment I saw the difference between the life we had chosen to live and the opulence of this little island sat like a jewel in the sea.
And here I am, sweltering in the humidity that marks so many months in this part of the world thinking that the only way to really get to know this place is to take out a bank loan and spend until increasingly chubby fingers are spent.
But no, one will simply nip into Raffles and have a Singapore Sling, anything else would be showing off. How vulgar.