Singapore Photos

Singapore 3 Comments »

Singapore is probably the cleanest and safest city I’ve ever visited. I felt totally comfortable walking anywhere, anytime. The people are friendly and hospitable. The water’s safe to drink. Everything works the way it’s supposed to. The economy is good. There’s not too much traffic and public transportation is cheap and efficient. One might try to say there isn’t much history or culture in Singapore, but the mix of Indian, Chinese and other Asian heritages makes for plenty to see, taste and do.

It’s an easy and interesting place to live, but I can’t say I’d trade the stars and stripes in for it.

Here are some people in Singapore doing their thing…

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On the Roof

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I’m on the roof of my hostel. There are two picnic tables out here and I sat at one when the air was still hot and the sun was still burning everything. Now darkness has come and with it high lightening, soft thunder and heavy winds. The corrugated metal doors of the outdoor showers across from me suddenly and simultaneously swing open. My eyes pass over the glowing laptop into this new black space as my stomach dips to the squeak of their swing.

While I sit here reading and enjoying the sudden cool of a pending storm, a man walks out onto the roof. Slowly and peacefully, he shuts the glass door behind him. I watch his careful movements and see his collared shirt, tucked into jeans that fit as formal as blue jeans could. I think he must work here, maybe even own the place for he is so careful. As he approaches the shower, the winds again swing the doors, this time for him.

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Farts & Fires

Singapore, Thoughts & Reflections 1 Comment »

This morning I noticed the soft rustle of plastic bags around the room sounded like small fires burning. The knock of hands against bed posts, added pops and cracks.

The zip of zippers distracted me from visualizing this, until I found them to sound like farts. Quick, squeaky ones. Slow, deep ones.

I made images in my mind of the farts and fires around me.

Kolkata Or Not, Here I Come

Plans & Itineraries, Singapore 1 Comment »

Oh wow, it’s Saturday? My Indian visa should be ready on Monday, so I better start looking for flights. It’s kind of last minute, but last time I checked the budget airlines don’t care how far I booked in advance.

First let me search my favorite site, Orbitz. Ahh..they don’t book flights out of Singapore. Ok, so I’ll try my old favorite Travelocity…damn, the cheapest flight they can actually ticket is Singapore Airlines at $500. Gulp!

Oh yea, Lonely Planet reccommended that site Zuji. Why don’t I give them a shot?

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Lowest Ground

Singapore, Thoughts & Reflections 4 Comments »

At The Inn-Crowd Hostel, the row of five new shower stalls have clean, grey tile floors that pitch slightly towards the back wall. The water from each shower runs into a gutter of sorts, which pitches to the left carrying all the runoff from each shower away. A modern reproduction of a medieval drainage system. Last night I mistakingly chose the shower at lowest ground.

As many showered at once, the single drain could not handle the dirt, sweat, hair and extra’s that flowed with the water, so we began to have a little backing up issue in my stall. Not long after that, someone did the liquid nasty. My first means of perception was olfactory. I thought sweat, I thought toilet. Then the color came. And it was dark. Even diluted in the dirty shower water of three or four; it was dark.

Travel Planes

Singapore, Thoughts & Reflections 1 Comment »

It feels like I’m traveling on so many different levels. There’s the obvious one, where I’m physically moving around the planet, constantly seeing, tasting and hearing new things. But there’s more.

I’m traveling through the other travellers I meet. Daily I have conversations with people from far away, whose life path has crossed mine. I’ve met a guy on a two year journey around the world researching to write a book on spiritual contemporary art, a kid from Canada who decided to move to New Zealand and gave away everything he owned all in a matter of ten days and an English girl who was traveling with her mother in the safety of Singapore where mom wouldn’t let her go out alone at night, even though she had just come from a solo visit to the drug trafficking towns of South America. I met two girls from Jordan, that were surprised I’d even heard of their home since most they met have not, a model from Vancouver who’s walked runways and shot magazines in Italy, New York and Hong Kong and countless Germans and Australians on round the world journeys. One could simply sit in a hostel all day and by smelling the foods cooked, hearing the languages spoken and meeting all the guests that come in and out, feel as if they’re traveling the world.

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Night Safari

Singapore 2 Comments »

The other night I and some friends I made here went to the Night Safari. It’s a drive thru zoo that you can go to in the dark. I’ve got mixed feelings about zoos in general, but there’s no doubt I enjoyed seeing nocturnal animals during their waking hours.

The scariest were the two foot fruit bats that hung from the ceiling of a cage went inside of. They swayed above our heads and we stared straight up at them. Suddenly, one let go and dropped at us. Everyone ducked and yelped as the thing caught flight and glided past.

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I Left My Shoes In Bangkok

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My bag’s still too heavy. The train ride and walk from Singapore airport to my hostel proved that. I’ve been shedding things here and there, but it hasn’t been easy to decide what to give up. The hiking boots I haven’t used yet are heavy, but they’re brand new and my busted ankle won’t support me off road without them. Although a bulk of the weight, there’s no way I’m giving up any of my electronics yet. So when heading out of my guestroom for the taxi yesterday, I opted to leave my shoes sticking heels up out of the trash can. I’d been wearing my flip flops for a week plus the puma’s were pretty beat up, so I figured it was a good move.

After arriving last night, I met with some friends of Phil (who I met in Bangkok) at a bar downtown. We talked about economics, the rules of rugby and “expat” life in Singapore. Then off to Clarke Quay where they could take me to their favorite late night club. The bouncer had the biggest diamond earing I’ve ever seen; super-bling that swung like a star on a string as he shook his head at my flip flops.

Too bad I left my shoes in Bangkok.

Singapore Bound

Plans & Itineraries, Singapore No Comments »

Today I saved $2 by taking the skytrain then searching on foot for the Indian Embassy. Not that it was worth it, since I arrived 45 minutes too late to apply for a visa. The process takes three days plus they’re closed on the weekend and Wednesday is a holiday, so instead of waiting a week to leave Bangkok, I booked a seat on Scandanavian Airlines flight # SK 973 to Singapore for tomorrow. $100 for an international flight purchased twenty four hours prior to departure! Why doesn’t it work like that in the states?

I’ll be staying here, for the first few nights anyway. Singapore’s one of the most modern cities in the world and the economic powerhouse of Asia. I’m looking forward to some western lifestyle before a month of curry, monks and monkeys. If all goes as planned, I’ll be taking pictures of the Taj Mahal by next weekend.

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