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[Entry 34] Singapore (hey, that rhymes)

07 January 201111:23PMepic-triptravel

I wrote this on the plane home and then forgot about it in the general fuss of getting home, until mum said, "You really should finish that blog off properly." Sorry to keep you waiting :)

We've spent the last couple of days in Singapore with some friends- actually neighbours - who moved there a while ago. We haven't seen them for years, or at least I haven't, for fairly obvious reasons, being as how they're in Singapore and not down the street. Um.

We actually arrived before they did, and let ourselves into their house, and had their housekeeper do our washing, and tried (unsuccessfully) to get the password to their internet, and then went out gadget shopping to a place called Sim Lim tower, which is the largest electronics store in Singapore- I think about 8 floors of everything from Amplifiers to Z... z...? Zlaptops? I picked up a new hard disk and a new mouse, because I have a terrible history with mice not working within a few minutes of me buying them.

The friends we were staying with arrived at about 9:30 that night. Dad had literally just fallen asleep when their taxi came. I figured that since he'd woken me up earlier (midday-ish) to stop me getting jetlagged, he deserved to be woken up right back, this time to meet the people whose bed he was sleeping in. Fair call, right? Anyway, they arrived, and we had cheese and biscuits and stuff, and spent a very long time talking about their pets (they still had the same cat they left Perth with) and my school results (which were a bit difficult to explain, given they were on the UK system) and all the other stuff you talk about when you haven't seen anyone in a while.

The morning after I went out with their daughter who's my age (I really want to use their names, but I didn't ask them first... I suppose it won't hurt to call her Hannah, right?) to an exclusive boat club thing. There was a pool, but I didn't have bathers, so I had to sit there and marinade in my own sweat and listen to their gossip. The 'exclusive club' thing was the first clue, but the gossip gave it away- these guys live a totally different lifestyle to me. I'm sure some of it is exaggeration, and some is just my unfamiliarity with so-called 'normal' teenage-person behaviour, but in all honesty their lives seemed to revolve entirely around shopping, clubbing, and texting. Which, now that I write it down, probably isn't that different to the way some people live in Perth, but Singapore seems somehow more conducive to that kind of lifestyle, particularly among ex-pats, especially since with no beach and no family/friends, there's not a whole lot else to do. It wasn't anything I've experienced before, and it made me want to sell everything I own and go live on a mountain as a hermit or a monk or something. Which is probably a bit extreme, but there you go.

Singapore is definitely geared towards that kind of lifestyle, but it's also pretty pleasant. The weather's hot, sure, but everything is clean and new, and the people are relatively friendly (and speak English, which I'm sure Dad appreciated), and the shopping is cheap and the food is good and compared to somewhere like Egypt it's a lush verdant paradise. Really that was the reason we stopped there, though I don't think we realised it until we arrived. We'd planned to just meet these friends of ours, but it turned into a holiday- after-a-holiday, some time to relax, hang out, eat some nice food (lime juice and beef rendang and homemade muesli and paella and singapore noodles and and and...) and catch up with friends. And to dye dad's hair. :) I got asked a couple of times if I wanted to go to see some attraction or other of Singapore, but I found that after about 5 weeks of jumping at every chance to see something interesting, I was fine with just hanging out. And that's okay, I think.

I'll end as I began, with an altogether-too-involved discussion of airports. We cut our flight very fine again (Singapore airport seems cursed for us, I think), but it's the landing I found the most interesting. After all these weeks of big, impressive, new airports- the weird spoked thingy of Charles de Gaulle, the tacky-but-clean Cairo airport, and the stupidly impressive Singapore airports, among several others (I'm deliberately leaving out Athens, where we got stuck in a queue because they'd seemingly fired all but two of their customs officers) - Perth airport looked just a little bit more like a shed. The skyline was just a little bit smaller than I remembered. There were no motorways on the drive home, no hordes of queuing traffic. After all these places, Perth starts to look a bit isolated. Now, I could go two ways with this. I could go on about how boring it is, and how nothing ever happens here, (and I have done so in the past) but I don't think that's true. Perth isn't boring, it's pleasantly quiet, and 'nothing interesting' also excludes such exciting things as the terrorist bombings in Cairo when we stopped over there on the way back, the student riots in Rome when we passed through there, and probably the passe 'been-there-done-that' attitude that comes with an international city like Singapore. And I think- the fact that it's so isolated really does make travelling out of there so much more exciting.

Gosh that was stupidly sentimental. Have a photo.

[you cannot has photo, because it's on dad's camera. d'oh.]

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