Singapore Swing (6/5506k)

(written by Dave)

An update…  Not much riding but a brief review of our time here in Singapore.  We actually did ride today, but only around the estate where Michael’s house is located.  Had we not gotten lost it would have been much less than 6k!  At least it let us test out the bikes – Thanks Qantas, they came through with no issues.

So what does one do in Singapore?  Eat and shop pretty much covers it.

We spent most of our time here doing a good deal of both.  The shopping was all about replacing bits that we wore out or getting things we think we need in SE Asia.  The list included a new ground tarp, new sandals for me, a small immersion heater for making tea and most difficult some fuel for the stove.  The fuel was only located today after lots of false starts and lots of help from Michael.  White gas in Singapore is called Naphtha, though few people know this and very few carry it.  In fact, stores that sell white gas stoves often have no clue where/how to obtain the fuel – curious.  On the plus side, we got to know the subway chasing Naphtha, which in turn gave us a feel for the rhythm of Singapore.  It is all business, hustle and bustle – sort of NY and HK rolled into one – people are very focused on the job at hand – it is easy to see why such a small country is so successful.

As for the eating, we did very well.  Michael and Su Lee continued to take us all over the city to their favourite places.  We also had a great dinner with some of my old work colleagues, headed up by Roland, the master host of Boat Quay (a famous eating strip).  You can’t come to Singapore without have chilli and black pepper crabs – they did not disappoint.  And of course, in all of our wanderings we found more hawker stalls to temp us with budget treats.  If Malaysia turns out half as good, we are set!  We’ve included a bunch more photos below – if you’re not hungry after looking…

We tried one thing that we didn’t like – durian.  We observed the plant in NT, Australia but until we arrived here we had not had the chance to eat any (or smell any for that matter).  There is a saying about durian – smells like hell, tastes like heaven.  Michael served us some one night and neither of us got “heaven” on the taste.  In fact we thought it was pretty bad.  It seems that everyone in Michael’s family besides Michael agrees with us.  Definitely an acquired taste!

A couple of readers have asked about Singapore and all the laws.  There are many “Do not do” something signs, as noted below in the photos.  Having said that, it doesn’t really feel like you are being watched or as someone asked, on the edge of being arrested.  In fact, we saw very little in the way of police presence anywhere – there are lots of rules but people are polite and generally follow the rules more willingly.  For that matter, who would think of break a rule stating “don’t assault the bus captain” or “don’t jay-walk on this 6 lane express way”.  The “don’t bring durian” on the subway sign could be considered a bit controversial however.

So tomorrow we are off to Malaysia.  We’ll ride to the ferry terminal and take a “bum boat” to Desaru.  Hopefully this will be better than the Darwin ferry.  We are looking forward to getting back into riding after almost 2 weeks off the bike.

We’ve had another wonderful “local experience” with Michael, Su Lee and their boys Jeremy and Trevor.  We said from the beginning that the people we meet will make the trip.  Singapore and Michael/Su Lee have not let us down.  I’ve been here many times on business but most readers would know that business travel is airplane/taxi/hotel – repeat.  Being able to stay with locals makes it so much easier to get things done but more importantly it gives us a view how people really live.  Thank you very much Michael and Su Lee for sharing your home with us and making us feel like part of the family.

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7 thoughts on “Singapore Swing (6/5506k)

  1. It is going to be tough if you plan to post photos of the yummy food that you will be eating every day…bacon and egg roll photos were so much easier to deal with….keys have reached us….it was so good to see you both before you flew out of Australia. Miss you two. Prajakti

  2. It was fantastic hosting friends (both of you) at our home. With both of you and your portable “mess of a home” in Johor now, there is a certain emptiness at home currently. Even Trevor mentioned he misses Uncle Dave. Safe and enjoyable ride to both of you. Since you have a month to get to Penang, you may want to consider spending a few days in Melaka visiting the sites.

  3. I saw that SGP is not that much fun for riding cycling but there are many more attractions and things to eat. 🙂 Take care and enjoy!

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