Singapore Again

Singapore 12dec05 5:40 PM (1:50 AM PST) I arrived in Singapore last night around 1:00 AM local time. I’ve been up for a while (this is 9:00 AM PST and I didn’t sleep for more than a couple of hours on the plane). I stumble into the transit hotel, but they don’t have my name. They suggest I get on a wait list for some other people waiting. But wait! Help arrives, it turns out I’m in the transit hotel in the other terminal. I take the tram to the other terminal and by 1:30 AM I’m asleep in bed. First clever move of the day: Before I got to sleep, I plug my laptop in to charge it and charge my phone from the laptop. I’m very proud of myself for having the right cable and right socket adapter. When I get up the next day I realize there’s a switch to turn on the socket, which I forgot to turn on. My laptop is dead. I leave it charging while I go find coffee. Singapore airport is really big. There are more shops here than I can imagine in an airport. I find coffee and croissants. I check out of the transit hotel, leave my laptop case in the left luggage locker and take the free bus into Singapore city. The free bus takes us to a huge shopping complex downtown (I assume the bus is subsidized by the shopping center). The shopping complex is huge. There are five towers with three story walkways linking all the towers. I walk around for a while and break to have lunch in a Thai-style restaurant; I get the beef satay (and some very sweet ice tea). It’s quite good. The beef tastes funny until I remember that it is in a fish sauce. Actually quite good, but I’m glad they mentioned the fish sauce or I would have been worried. So far all the signs are in English. Everyone I’ve spoke to speaks English. Accents are no worse than at the San Francisco airport. I’m trying to find the esplanade walk. I walk outside and go across three more huge shopping complexes (having, in order, a Care Bears Christmas, a Garfield Christmas and a Barbi Christmas). I’m completely lost, so I decide to retrace my steps. When I get back to where I started, I discover if I had gone right rather than left, I would have been on the right road. Well, that’s what I get for traveling without Lola, who usually corrects me on these things. Right before the esplanade is a place called “theatres on the bay”. This is like a slightly smaller version of the Sydney opera house (architecture is a little different as well), but it is quite impressive. There’s a picture attached. I walk down the esplanade into a little pier area. There are mostly tour boats and some working fishing boats. Quite nice. Pictures attached (from my camera phone, so not very good quality) It is time to go back so I retrace my steps. I wondered why it was so uncrowded this morning, but now it is 4:00 and the shops are filling up. Folks are mostly Asian, the Caucasian folks are mostly Australian (I can tell because (a) I hear Aussie accents (b) their shirts have a lot of Australian logos, and (c) it is December and they’re wearing shorts). The shorts are probably a good idea, because it is about 80 degrees with 95 percent humidity. But none of the locals are wearing shorts. Maybe this is cold for them. I’m writing this in an upstairs café and bar called the Orchid lounge (augmented by two Carlsberg beers, life is rough sometimes :) ). So far I’ve found some internet kiosks where I could check my mail, but no wireless access for my laptop. I’ll have to upload this in Bangalore. (Second clever move of the day: when I get to B’lore, I realize my wireless card is shut off. I probably had access all the time) Well, off to my plane now.