Thursday, 25 November 2010

A better second day

Thursday 25th November 2010

MP3 track of the day: 24 hours – Athlete

Weather: Hot, humid and sunny … until 4:30pm when it decided to throw it down.

Last night I asked the lady on reception where I could find a good take-away; she asked what kind of food and I replied either pizza or noodles. She told me a good pizza place that she had just visited and so I went there. The pub was called 'The Library' however it had more similarities with 'Fawlty Towers' than a library. Basil (the manager behind the pub counter) and Manuel (the chef) were quite priceless; when I asked Basil for a pizza to take-away he called on Manuel who hurried out of the kitchen. I then spent fifteen minutes trying to find out what pizza toppings Manuel had, with Basil often having to interrupt and explain things Manuel didn't understand. Eventually I ordered, I think, a cheese pizza with chicken and peppers.

Manuel scurried back into the kitchen and I sat down, watching TV, awaiting my pizza. It took quite a while; Basil was apologizing wondering what the hell Manuel was up to; eventually a small passing shelf window opened and out came a tin foil shaped pizza. Basil said to Manuel 'a box' to which the reply was 'k'. 'Your supposed to put it in box' cried Basil to which Manuel said 'tin foil is good'. Basil once again apologized however I didn't mind, it was quite a laugh.

Walking back to my hostel the pizza was boiling hot … great I thought as at least it was cooked. I put my pizza on a table and started to remove the foil wrapping which, in turn removed the topping of the pizza as well (don't think this 'tin foil pizza box' will catch on).

The pizza was lovely and I went to bed full.

Waking up at 8:30am I felt quite refreshed; as I had extended my stay for another two nights my bed allocation had to be changed; this meant that I had to take all my stuff down to the luggage room, where this afternoon I would be allocated a new bed. I could then take all my luggage back up stairs again, how annoying.

Once out of the hostel I first of all headed to a shopping center specializing in electronics. I went in looking at prices for camera memory cards and memory sticks; apart from being bombarded by people wanting me to go into their shop (and a little hard sell) I found an 8GB memory card for £20, which isn't that bad however, as my memory card within my camera is only 50% full , I think I might wait until I get to Malaysia to purchase a new one.

I then headed into the city center; along the way I went through the very colonial part of Singapore. It did feel very 'British Empire' and I was half expecting a Brit, with white socks and sandals, kaki knee-length shorts, kaki shirt and a bushy mustache shouting “... I must say old boy, weather is frightfully hot today … still yesterday I was out hunting tigers; we shot four which was a jolly good show...”

After this I crossed the river and went into 'skyscraper central'. The first thing I noticed was that this area wasn't actually that big, it was only a couple of blocks. Secondly all the different types of buildings made the area a photographers urban paradise, I took quite a few photos. I then went in search of the 'Maid Lions' which, due to construction, took quite a bit of finding I can tell you.

Once there the main 'Maid Lion' was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be; it also wasn't as impressive as I thought it was going to be. An Asian couple asked if they could have a photo of me and their child, who's in a pushchair, in front of the 'Maid Lion'. A slight odd request; I had heard that in China the Chinese want to take photos of white people as they don't see them very often, however I didn't think it would happen in Singapore. Anyway I obliged as a kind of penance for that beautiful Japanese lady in a Kimono allowing me to take a photo of her. After this I sat down for a while and considered my next move, it was only 1pm and I had pretty much seen the center of Singapore. After much debating I decided to get some dinner and then go into China town to see some temples and mosques.

I found a food court in the center of town, however all of the food was out in trays and again it wasn't cooked in front of you (even though it looked nice, it still didn't look that hot). Being slightly paranoid I opted for 'Subway' as at least they toast your sandwich in front of you. Whilst eating in the food court there was an Indian couple in front of me which, once they had finished their meal, they didn't clear their trays away, even though the bin was right behind them. I looked both left and right to see finished cartons, cardboard cups scatted all over every table. This thing really annoys me; I'm not three years old and therefore I am able to clean up after myself, its no one elses job no matter what people tell you. Small things like this, and the amount of actual rubbish scattered around, makes me think that the human race doesn't deserve the world in which we live in (leave it to the animals as they are much better at caring for it). At this point I decided to leave before I got even more grumpy.

I went into China town and found these temples and mosques. They weren't that great so I didn't stay long; it was 2:30pm and I decided to head back to my hostel. I was hot, I had seen most of Singapore but most of all I was very sweaty and I wanted a shower.

Once back at my hostel I was allocated my new bed and I dumped my stuff in there plus I went for a shower. It was then time to do some washing; I came down stairs to ask where the washing machines were to find out that I couldn't do my washing myself, instead someone would do it for me for $8. I asked where the closest coin operated washing machines were however these were just as expensive, if not more. I therefore handed in my washing, remembering the problems in Fiji (also please note that it's more expensive to do my washing in Singapore than in Japan).

After buying a bottle of ice cold coke (on special offer) I'm now chilling in the common room. The plan for tonight is to try to watch one of the hostels 'dodgy films' (they are all copies and hardly any of them run properly) and to get something to eat for tea. I also need to book the next leg of my trip as I'm pretty much done with Singapore, I think that I shall be crossing the border into Malysia and visiting Melaka. Tomorrow I shall be taking a bus to prison (well the museum next to the prison as this was where the British forces were held after they surrendered to the Japanese on the 15th February 1942) and then, maybe in the afternoon, I might go and see Harry Potter … however it's going to cost £4 and I know that I could watch it in Malaysia for a lot cheaper price so we shall see.

Toodle Pip!

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