24.02.2016 - 25.02.2016 31 °C
Pool status update: it works! We had it all to ourselves on Wednesday morning, except for a couple of pigeons. After a leisurely swim, we ventured over to Tiong Bahru Market to see what foodstuffs were on offer for brunch. Wow. You may be surprised to know that I didn’t partake in an avocado milkshake or mixed pig’s organ soup. Instead, I had the rather tame breakfast of a banana smoothie and biryani with pork and roti prata. The pork biryani came from a stall advertised as selling Indian Vegetarian Cuisine. I didn’t ask why there was pork on offer, just noted that they were rated ‘A’ for cleanliness and hygiene and hoped for the best. Simon demolished some pork buns but I couldn’t convince him to try a drink called ‘Kickapoo’. We also saw ‘frozen pleasures’ advertised, which sounded intriguing. Maybe next time.
By the afternoon, the rain had started so we armed ourselves with raincoats and caught a bus to Gardens by the Bay. We started with an indoor section of the garden – the Flower Dome – and hoped the rain would stop when we wanted to wander outdoors. The Flower Dome was spectacular with so many opportunities for photo faffing. I fear that Belinda may have been lost in there for days. The only thing that would have forced her out eventually was the cold – when they say these domes are ‘cooled’, they are not joking. Just as well we had our coats for warmth.
The rain had eased up when we emerged, and we were hungry (as always). So we walked to Satay by the Bay. But along the way, the rain decided to un-ease up. It pelted down. Did I mention that it’s quite a long walk to Satay? Drenched, saturated, drowned. And lots of other words that mean ‘really really wet’. Luckily the satay was delicious. At least I wasn’t wet AND hungry.
Another torrential downpour escorted us to the Cloud Forest – another sanctuary of coolness and lack of rain. Wow. Just wow. The only words I can think of to describe the waterfall that greeted us are “there are no words to describe the waterfall that greeted us”. Ask me to show you the photos sometime. Actually, they don’t even do it justice. Just take yourself there one day and then come and talk to me.
That night we took Ben’s handy advice and drank a really expensive beer at the top of Marina Bay Sands at Ce La Vi instead of buying an elevator ticket that would have been twice as expensive. Oh the views! We watched the lights come on across Singapore and then returned to the Gardens to watch the supertrees do their sound-and-light-show thing. Full marks for having a range of songs to accompany the light display – “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” and “Oh What a Night” may never have been played consecutively before in the history of music.
After the longest walk ever to a large food court, we felt we had earned the easy way home. “Let’s just get a taxi,” said Simon. “Great idea!” exclaimed Alison. Just for the record – having an anxious taxi driver makes for very anxious passengers.
Today we continued the pool-before-breakfast-at-the-market tradition, and then caught the train into the city. We walked past a restaurant called “My Mum’s Cuisine” – interesting choice of name.
The National Museum was a little bit hard to find, yet very easy to see as long as you looked in the right direction. We got our heads around the history of Singapore – Simon covered the first floor exhibition in great detail while I managed to do two floors worth of museuming.
After re-fuelling with Mixed Berries and Purple Carrot Juice (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it), we used the train system to our advantage yet again and got ourselves out to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Definitely worth a look – but wouldn’t recommend doing these ones in the rain on account of the outdoors-ness of the situation. Once the sun went down it was a very pleasant place to wander around and marvel at the crazy people running and the turtles that wanted to be fed.
Little India was the target destination for dinner – thought we’d check out the safari themed ‘Jungle Tandoor’ as recommended by Ben. When we got off the train, we were a bit overwhelmed by the people, the stalls, the smells, and the jewellery – so much gold for sale! Armed with just a screen shot of some Google maps directions, we made our way to where Jungle Tandoor was. “Was” being the operative word. The tacky jungle safari façade was replaced with newly whitewashed walls. No more Jungle Tandoor. Heartbreaking stuff. We quickly recovered and had an actually-vegetarian-not-even-any-pork Indian meal that was testing even Simon’s spice tolerance. And I should add that throughout all this adventuring there was the added excitement of Simon’s travel card (the one with all our Singapore dollars) not working at any shops or restaurants, and only working at occasional ATMs. Several phone calls later and it’s still not resolved. Stay tuned…