Afloat in South Asia

Afloat in South Asia
Reclining Buddha; Rangoon

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Out and about with Sukhdeep

After a full eight hours of sleep we were raring to go. Bryan's dear friend from our HK days, Sukhdeep Singh, collected us at the hotel and we headed out to see the town.

The first stop was the Singapore Flyer, a cousin of the London Eye. The Flyer gives a great overview of the city. Each car can hold 28 people, though we were lucky enough to have one to ourselves so we could range freely and admire the view.

Here is the bay area around our hotel. Like so many places in Asia, Singapore has grown tremendously in every way over the past 15 years.

The wildest addition to the skyline is the new casino that looks like a boat borne aloft. Here is a view from the Flyer, which brought us to eye level with the amazing boat-like deck.....

On the way back to the car, we stopped to check out the latest in personal services in Singapore. At the fish spa, your pedicure is fine-tuned by letting little fish nibble the bits of dead skin from your feet. The kicker is that you get to choose how close a nibble you want; there are three tanks to choose from and the fish range from small to medium to large!

Next stop was the war museum at Changi. This was bound to be harrowing. I can remember being told as a child that Changi was among the worst POW camps of WII. We strapped on our audio guides and began to make our way around. Sukhdeep disappeared after a minute or so. It turned out that the director of the museum, who introduced the audio tour, is an old army friend of Sukhdeep's. S. went to the office found Jeya Ayadurai and we all went to lunch in Changi town. It was really fun to listen to those two debate the future of their country and interesting to hear Jeya's saga of getting the authorities to let him create the Changi Museum. Sukhdeep is on the right and Jeya is in the middle of this picture.

We had about an hour left of our tour so Sukhdeep took us to the other extreme of Singapore. The famous black and white houses on Mount Pleasant Road were build as posh colonial accommodation in the 1920's and '30's. I have seen them now and then in shelter magazines, sporting the latest facelift. To see a dozen or more of these gracious AngloAsian homes arrayed along leafy Mount Pleasant Road was a treat.

The grandest black and white of them all is the Senior Police Officer's Club. Here is Bryan entering this calm, airy building...

We headed back into the city and saw this truck as we stopped for a light. As always, Asia touches the sense of whimsy. The catering truck assures us that "Party Planning has never been easier". I'll have to get them to FEDX some of those fish heads for our next dinner party.

Walking back to the hotel we saw a cool public sculpture. This piece is about 30 feet high and consists of some 3000 Starbucks cups, plus plastic bottles. The artist periodically has workshops where the public can come and add to the piece.

In the evening we set out across the bridge to the Singapore Cricket Club. There we met Tony Egerton and a couple of the other folk from Bryan's Centre Re office in Hong Kong. Starting in the main bar and moving to the curry feast on the verandah, it was a long, fun evening. Here is Tony.....

And here is Singapore by night, from the verandah of the Cricket Club....

And so, again, so bed. We just do not have time for jetlag!

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to try the nibbling fish pedicure! Do they use piranhas?