Monday 7th July – Singapore

I got up and changed my room for a larger one with a window and double bed (hoorah).  I went for an amazing brunch at a Chinese hawkers restaurant.  I don’t care what people think or say about Singapore, the one thing you can’t deny is the fact that you can get great food, of almost any variety at great prices if you eat in the right places.  I had a big plate of Chinese fried vegetables, some suspiciously meaty stuff which I was told was vegetarian and loads of different types of noodles, with a drink, for around two quid.


I then headed over to the quay and went to Vivo City, one of the newest shopping malls.  I had planned to get the cable-car or monorail over to Sentosa Island (a kind of Singapore style themed island with rides and beaches made from a huge amount of imported sand) but the weather wasn’t great so I decided shopping was the way forward.  Any excuse eh?  The mall was awesome and had really funky areas and displays outside.  The children’s play area was out of this World and I so wanted to lose around twenty years so that I could make full use of it.  After a long time wandering round I went and sat outside by the quay-side and asked for a cocktail menu.  Imagine my excitement when they not only had mojitos but lychee mojitos at that!  So I sat, watching the World go by, sipping my lychee mojito, which was divine.  Then, all of a sudden I heard shouting and expletives in English but with a Japanese accent.  I turned around to see a young couple having a very public, very loud argument.  Now if this was in an English shopping centre like Lakeside or Brent Cross, this would have been a perfectly normal occurence but in Singapore!  I mean, that’s basically like running down Oxford Street naked, or worse.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, stopped what they were doing and turned to watch.  Security guards were looking on and clearly wondering if they should do something.  I didn’t really get what the argument was about, although at one point the man grabbed a packet of cigarettes form the woman, tore them all up and threw them in the air so that there was this kind of tobacco confetti effect, so I’m guessing maybe he didn’t want her to smoke.  Actually I’m surprised that they didn’t each get six months custody as that’s yet another Singaporean offence to add to the list of littering, loitering and causing a public disturbance!


After my bit of excitement I headed back to my hotel via another shopping mall.  Before you say, or think, anything here, there weren’t any cosmetic/toiletry shops in Vivo City other than Chanel and the like.  I was also hoping to get some cookies as the whole of Vivo city had this pumped in cookie smell but could I find the source?  I think it may actually have been the popcorn from the cinema which was confusing my nasal passages.


At the second shopping mall I decided that chocolate and hazelnut ice-cream would fulfil my cookie craving.  There were signs up professing the alleged health properties of the said ice-cream.  I’m always slightly suspicious of food misnomers like “healthy ice-cream” but got some all the same.  Despite it tasting decidedly like soap I finished it off.  It didn’t curb my cookie craving though.


Back at my hotel I was having a cigarette by the fire-escape (the only place you were allowed to smoke) when two guys came over and started talking to me.  They asked if I wanted to go for a drink and I explained that I wanted to shower and pack but that if I still felt like it after that then I would go.


Later on one of the guys phoned my room and I went downstairs.  When I say he, his friend was apparently only visiting.  Regardless, I decided a drink would be harmless and may assist my sleep prior to my early flight.  We got in a taxi and it transpired that he was yet another Nigerian footballer who wanted an “invite” to England.  The conversation started with him asking if I liked football and which team I supported.  Now, when I said Colchester United and he asked whether I could pull any strings, it was evident that he either knew very little about English football or he was not as good as he had professed – or both!  Oh, I feel bad about Col U now….you know I love you really.  Needless to say, with limited English, and that which he did speak referring to visiting me and English football, I had one drink and said my Goodbyes.  The evening wasn’t a complete loss though, they gave me cookies at the bar after hearing of my earlier plight!


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