Monday, December 6, 2010

A glimpse of Singapore.

Although we spent over 11 days in Singapore we didn’t do anything special really. We first started by getting a new refrigerator unit and replenishing our meat since we lost most of the one we bought in Australia. But the very day we got the new unit in place we decided to have a quiet evening and just sit down to watch a movie. Danielle turns on the TV but oh surprise the screen stays black! We tried another time, then another, no success the nice flat screen TV we bought only 2 years ago had died probably by suicide to relief itself from the unbearable heat and humidity level of this area of the world. So we went all over the city to find a new television that would actually fit in the enclosure we have for it, that would work on 120V and support NTSC, which is the signal encoding standard in North America because of course in Singapore and in most of Asia the power voltage is 240V and the encoding is PAL! But don’t worry, if we could find diesel in Benoa we can find a TV in Singapore!

So off we went in this Mecca of shopping which is Singapore. Jurong Point, Sim Lim Square or Orchard Road now have no secrets to us. It is simply impressive how many shopping centers this city has and this really made us wonder who in the world buys all this stuff? Anyhow, we found our TV and other stuff we needed and cannot be found anywhere in the underdeveloped surrounding countries. But Singapore is not only about shopping it is about eating. Food is everywhere and it is cheap; usually under $10 for two meals! We filled up our refrigerator but it was really cheaper to eat outside especially with meat being quite pricy at the grocery store. Danielle sure enjoyed the local food but at one point just needed to go back to “occidental” food such as fish&chips and club sandwiches. As for me, I just couldn’t get tired of noodle soups, mee gorengs (fried noodles with tons of stuff and spices in it), dumplings and all the good stuff Asia can offer.

Singapore is obviously a clean, developed and modern city and one if its beauty is the subway or MRT as they call it, which is a very modern rail system running over and underground. Public transport is the always the best place to take the time to look at what people look like and Singapore appears to be a very cosmopolitan city with mostly slim people coming from all over Asia mainly China but also Indonesia, Malaysia, India and all the other countries finishing by “a” in the region.

Other than sinking our retirement fund with refrigeration units and TV sets we also wanted to see what Singapore had to offer to tourists. We sure went to Little India, Chinatown and the Colonial district to admire the unique architecture but there are two things we didn’t do and wanted to. The first one was to see the city at night, which is apparently quite unique. But what the travel guides forget to tell you went recommending visits is that in Singapore in the evening it rains! No I should say it pours in biblical proportion as if the heavens had suddenly liquefied and decided to fall on the city all at the same time! When it rains here you can literally take a shower, which I actually did once on the front deck of the boat! So, needless to say that our trial for a night visit was washed away by the weather. The second thing we wanted to see was the Singapore Zoo but again weather was not with us. As we arrived at the MRT station for the zoo the rain was rumbling the city like the Niagara on the tourists in their tour boat. We simply stayed in the train and stepped out in Chinatown, which is actually quite a paradox. You see, Singapore is by a large majority populated by Chinese immigrants who came here over the last centuries. Therefore, can anyone explain to me what does a Chinatown mean in a Chinese city??? After that I am certain that if we even go to Beijing we would find a Chinatown district!

Here you can see Chocobo moored at Raffles Marina and behind is the majestic replica of a true Spanish galleon called Andalucia with guns and all who just arrived a couple days after us. This boat was by far the most beautiful boat we saw during our trip. Here you can see Danielle changing the line holding the trampolines at the bow and we were amused to see that during the whole week Andalucia was beside us the entire crew was buzzing doing what? Fixing their boat of course, this is obviously what the sailing life is all about!