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Excellent Adventure
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004

Date:2004-06-22 00:02
Subject:Singapore, day 2
Security:Public

The short version: shopping, museum, night zoo.

The long version:

Singapore is really interesting because there are so many different ethnic groups, and as far as I can tell they get along perfectly. I have to say though that it's not quite what I expected. I expected it would be this big shiny metallic city with super-clean everything, and in fact it's not as clean as Japan was (Chinatown in Singapore, where we're staying, is about the same as Hong Kong, but then again it's Chinatown).

This morning we took the bus to Orchard Road, which is the big shopping area in Singapore. We hopped off when Tiffany saw a store called Topshop (which she knew from London) and we of course had to go in. First, however, we stopped for lunch at a place called Thai express, where I had noodles in a soupy broth that was good, and of course managed to splatter chicken broth all over my shirt. This is like the third shirt I've gotten stained since coming here! Bad luck.

Anyway, we went to Topshop, where I got four (plain, solid color) shirts for the equivalent of about $20 US. Singapore is having a nation-wide sale right now, so we have a lot of shopping opportunities! Apparently, shopping is the national passtime here. We wandered around a little more and missed the bus, so we had to waste another half hour shopping (oh darn). I bought the one thing I actually needed, a long skirt.

After that we went to the Asian Civilisations (sic) Museum, where they had a lot of interesting artifacts from all over Southeast Asia (and India and China). After the museum, we went down and wandered around by the river, where we ran across a Coffe Bean & Tea Leaf (there are more of those than Starbucks here) and stopped for a refreshing cold beverage.

After that it was getting late, and we made our way to the Night Safari, which apparently was the first zoo in the world to exhibit (nocturnal) animals at night. We grabbed some food in the zoo entryway (Tiffany had a churro, I had yummy steamed chicken and rice), then went on the tram ride.

The tram ride was certainly a Singapore experience, as Tiffany says. The tourguide person who was talking with a loudspeaker was really bizarre. She sounded like she was talking to a little baby the whole time ("Look! An ANTELOPE! Don't their horns look SHARP?? Oooooh!"), which combined with the interesting accent (kind of a combination of British, Chinese, and Indian) made the whole thing weird.

However, we did get to see a lot of interesting animals, and they were all really active (except a few who were asleep!). They had a really cute monkey-like creature, whose name I can't remember (it was like a lemur, but not a lemur). We also saw a bat and the leopards pretty closely. After the tram ride, we walked on the paths through the zoo.

Back at the hostel, we moved our stuff to a private room, so we won't have to sleep with the light on all night again. What a relief! I bought a bottle of water that had been in the freezer, so it was frozen, and when I opened it it exploded all over me. That's okay though because it's hot out there!

Tomorrow we're thinking about checking out windsurfing and trying a Singapore Sling (Tiffany's idea, not mine!). She says hopefully it doesn't contain durian! (Durian is a really disgusting fruit that seems to be really popular around here. It smells like rotting flesh or something equally disgusting, and doesn't taste much better, as Ben can tell you.)

--Jessica

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