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One Fine Singapore Day

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Yeah, I was nosing around the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore last week on a brief stop on my way back from disaster prone Indonesia.

Damn near didn’t get out unscathed. Ride to the Jakarta airport was a hoot - timid taxi driver aggressively urged on by impatient me to imitate a broken field runner as we roared through waist deep flood waters and dodged stalled cars and motorbikes. Seeing those poor beggars wading in all that filthy water made me shudder. Anyway, we nearly stalled a few times, but the reliable Japanese motor came through in the end and we made it with time to spare. Good lord was that heavy rain! And having lived in Florida, I know what heavy rain looks like. Grateful and relieved, I topped the old fella well: Sell the dollar and buy gold!

Luck held, first in line to check in. But it fell apart quick. Airport closed, and all flights cancelled. Damn it all!

Twelve hours later, I pushed my way on to a 747 loaded with several hundred angry, bored passengers, and we all cheered as we finally lifted off. An hour and a half later, after a bumpy ride, and some very careful review of a few tall, lean, super fine looking Singapore Airlines flight attendants, I find myself in clean, modern, well organized and friendly Singapore. What a huge contrast.

I never did go into the famous Long Bar and pony up the big bucks for a Singapore Sling. Careful with my money, you know (cheap, the LW says).

The next morning, I passed on the $25 breakfast at my sleek five star hotel (expense account, not personal funds) I found a Starbucks for a quick caffeine jolt and then after adjusting my fanny pack and tight yellow and purple bikers pants with contrasting black socks, I set out on an ambitious walk around the Historic district.

Ambling down Empress Way in the relative cool of the early morning before the heat and humidly could take its full toll, life was good with so many interesting sights, sounds, and delicious FOOD ahead of me.

I started at Collyer Quay &Clifford Pier, admired the old General Post Office (Fullerton Hotel), strode over the Cavenagh Bridge, paused before the Empress Place Building ( Asian Civilizations Museum), strolled along the River Walk to the Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles Statue, dared to tame a huge yellow python snake that some toothless old Indian guy was having trouble with, and then snapped a few shots of the Parliament Building, Singapore Cricket Club, Pandang, Supreme Court, and City Hall. Being a bit parched, I downed a coke light and some mango ice cream (yes, it was still morning, but it was late afternoon in Hawaii) before hoofing it to St. Andrew's Cathedral, the Raffles Hotel, and then the Singapore Singapore History Museum.

My thunder thighs were getting a bit chafed from all the heat, and my size 13 dogs were barking so I passed on Ft. Canning Park.

Lunch was in a food court that had a huge bowl of Chinese noodles that were to die for. A swim, massage, a beer or two and some fine Japanese food capped off the evening. Uh, that adult movie listed on my hotel bill was a billing error!

Anyway, it was a fine day and I highly recommend Singapore. Next trip: Jurong Bird Park, Botanic Gardens, maybe the Night Safari, Orchard Road, Chinatown, Arab Street, and Little India. I’m saving the really good stuff for when my dear LW can come along to properly supervise and keep me on the straight and narrow path in a strange exotic place.

http://singapore.raffles.com/z912/photo_gallery.html

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