Saturday, August 8, 2009

State Sanctioned Ghettos. Superb.

Didn't make it into the city on yesterday as I got on the wrong bus and ended up somewhere random on Sentosa where a parrot bit my ear, and then my finger. It's alright though, because I got to pay for the experience. Got on the right bus today, and got to the delightfully named Harbourfront. It's on the harbour. Sort of near the front. It also is the home of a couple of malls which made my aim of buying a camera somewhat easier. Because I'm so cultured the very first photo I took was of a local fashion outlet which caught my eye on the way in:

Top hole.

Next stop was Chinatown. Not much to say about Singapore's train system: it works, is straightforward and only has the slight quirk that you get a portion of your fare back if you return your ticket to a ticketing machine. Chinatown, as near as I can tell is half trinket shops half food shops both of which spill out onto the street, which the following picture utterly fails to capture.

It does however show the sheltered footpaths that the whole area has, although whether this is a faithful recreation of the motherland or simply a nod to the daily rain I don't know. I would have asked somebody but the wizened old women selling dried best-not-ask and pickled god-only-knows didn't look like they were up for a discussion on colonial architecture. Fear not, those columns are perfectly straight, I just can't take a properly aligned photo. To keep with the architectural theme, I also checked out the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which was full of monks and incense and Buddha statues and looked suitably like a Buddhist temple.
Just to clarify the size of the thing:
I was going to take some photos of the inside, but there were people inside performing actual rituals with chants and everything, and I try not to desecrate holy sites while the worshipers are still there.

Lunch. I don't know what the alcohol tax is like in Singapore, but when they'll give you a barbecue pork rice the size of your head for five bucks, eight bucks for the local beer seems disproportionately expensive. Subsequently, I had a $1.50 sugar cane juice which was awesome, if unsurprisingly very sweet. I may have bought a jade elephant.

At this point I was thinking of heading back to the hotel, but managed to get turned around pretty badly (no mean feat considering Chinatown is about five streets) and ended up passing through a bizarrely Australian strip of restaurants. At the end of the strip was

The Toucan. Irish Pub. Singapore. Fantastic. I really should have gone in, in hindsight. Anyway, in a fairly weak end to my tale I found my way back to the train station by the old trick of following the signs and got back to the hotel about the same time the blisters caused by wearing thongs for the first time in living memory became unbearable.

Also, just saw the cricket scores. Oi! Oi! Oi!

1 comment:

  1. Wanko? That is excellent. Reminds me of Couche Tarde, in Montreal. I sincerely hope you find it while you're there.

    Keep up the blogging dude. Looking forward to future posts.
    Tell jml I'm annoyed that he didn't let me know he was recently in Hobart :P


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