June 12 to 16

Singapore, what a surprise. I expected another big city but nothing like this. The architecture, the lights, the food, the shopping, what a fun place and so fantastic to photograph. I arrived in the early evening and headed out for dinner and a walk along the waterfront. I anticipated a short stroll and ended up being out until 1am, so exhausted that I took a cab back to my hostel. With a couple hundred photos in my camera.

I’m in Singapore because I’m going to meet up with a friend from home and I get to do that in the afternoon of the next day. We go for a wander through town and stop for a couple beers which whet our appetites so we decide to go find the Newton Hawker Food Court. It turns out to be more touristy then we expected but the food is good and it’s great to be there with Emily, she has a really laid back attitude and approach that is similar to mine plus she can speak Mandarin and Bhasa so we have a good time joking with the touts and deciding what we will eat. We walk back to my neighborhood after and sit for a couple more beers, great to chat with her about her work and life in Indonesia as well to get her impressions and ideas about the people. I loved seeing her and hope to visit her in her town in Borneo once I make it over that way.

I spent the next day wandering through Singapore Botanical Gardens with a guy I met at the hostel, I wasn’t overly impressed, maybe it’s because of where I am from (British Columbia is supernatural after all), it was almost all to manicured for me but it was a nice place to escape a bit of the heat of the day. That evening I met some folks who convinced me to go to the zoo for the night safari. I’m not a fan of zoo’s, I figure no matter how nice the cage it’s still a cage and I don’t like seeing animals behind bars or glass. People always tell me that it’s a way to help preserve endangered wildlife and I suppose that’s true but some idealistic part of me still feels it’s wrong. In any case, it would be a good zoo if you’re into that kind of thing but I didn’t really enjoy it.

I hear about an Andy Warhol exhibit at the ArtScience Museum so I go, it’s great. It’s a retrospective so there is work from his early days as an advertising illustrator as well as some of his later famous works like the Cambell’s Soup Cans, Marilyn Monroe and more. I couldn’t take photos of course but enjoyed myself thoroughly. Next I hit up the Raffles Hotel, a place infamous for hosting authours Somerset Maughum and Ernest Hemmingway and for being the inventors of the Singapore Sling. It’s a gorgeous old building and I poke around trying to stick my nose in places I’m probably not supposed to go, a ballroom, back staircases etc. I partake of the previously mentioned Singapore Sling, it’s stupidly expensive for a drink ($30) but just one of those things I have to do. It’s lovely to sit in the courtyard and the shade, looking at these glamorous old surroundings.

Click here for a link to all my Singapore photos.

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