We’re in Singapore now where we will be meeting TP’s sister for a week of travelling and sightseeing. We took a very silly bus down here. The busline is called "Aeroline" and they pretend that their company is operating a plane. For example, not only did we have a snack, we had a steward, and a "shuttle captain" instead of a driver. The downstairs of the bus even had a first class lounge and a bathroom (for "light use only", though). We, of course, held up the whole bus when leaving Malaysia because we have too many stamps and papers connected with our entrances and exits from Malaysia over the past couple of months. Once again, though, whipping out a little bit of Malay expedited the process. Much better than the alternative, which is bribery.
Singapore is crazy. A long time ago we posted from Singapore, but that time we were only staying the night in a hotel while waiting for a connection. Today we got a chance to really walk around. The biggest difference between here and Malaysia is that Singapore is spotless. Really, it looks like they have people who sweep up and wash a couple times a day. We can’t figure out where the dirt goes. More than that, there aren’t even any leaves next to the highway, let alone trash. We have been reacquainted with two things we’ve missed over the past nine months: wine bars and pork. It’s not that they don’t have these things in Jakarta and KL, it’s just that they are few and far between. We walked by half a dozen wine bars this evening, and our fried rice with dinner came with pork bits instead of chicken skin and fish balls (customary in Indonesia, at least).
My poor sister has been on her plane for about 9 hours now, and she’ll be on the plane for 9 hours more. We’ll go to sleep tonight, wake up tomorrow, and then pick her up. Now that’s a long flight.
James May 18, 2005
Make sure to jaywalk. I did. Just to spite those fascists. Did you know they have a computer grid that tracks all the trees in the city-state and lets you know when a branch falls so the tree people can go out and pick it up? I kid you not.
Tom and Julie May 20, 2005
We’re not surprised. This place is CLEAN and ORDERLY. People follow directions, cars do not attempt to run you over, and even the hawker centers are clean. When you get on the subway, people actually wait for others to get off before getting on!