My Fitness Pal app is pleased with me. Over the past two days, we have averaged over 20,000 steps, twice the daily workout recommendation. It’s good that Singapore is so compact, because it’s easily walkable. An eclectic mix of futuristic megacity and old world port. It’s a shame that as a result, I am craving carbs and salt ALL THE TIME. It’s a very expensive habit.
As our hotel is right next to Little India, we had a little look around there first. Not as many hawkers selling food as I expected, but lots of fantastic looking restaurants and cool places selling textiles. Tarryne wanted to have a look inside another Sri Mariamman temple, so we went in during prayer time. I felt a bit conscious that I was in the way, even though there were lots of other tourists. The temple was much more gilded than the others I’ve seen, a feast for the senses when blended together with the smell of incense.
We boarded the oddly sanitary metro to Chinatown to visit a Buddhist temple. Although it was also exquisitely decorated, I found myself unable to completely enjoy it. That’s because I’m getting a bit sick of the clothing police, who only ever target women. Men are allowed to walk about in shorts and t-shirts scott-free, but as a woman, I am expected to cover my legs and arms in temples, churches, and mosques the world over. I understand being respectful is important, so I wouldn’t complain if the rule applied to everybody, but it doesn’t.
Shopping time at the street markets to cheer myself up. Tarryne bought a few souvenirs, whilst I revelled in the lively atmosphere of the marketplace. “Oh dear”, I thought to myself as I began to get peckish. I had to find food – and fast – before Tarryne would have to tolerate my “hangry” side. Picked up some delicious braised tofu at one of the hawker stands on food street, which would tide me over until what-I-call “main” lunch.
This we found at Lau Pa Sat, the food market we’d seen yesterday. We spent ages choosing what to have, but I eventually just went for my favourite, which is fried rice. It was tasty but I ended up wolfing the oily mess down so quickly that I gave myself indigestion, and had to sit down for an hour after I’d finished. Alas, my only saviour was a watermelon juice, and even that seemed hard to fit in at this point.
Once we’d had some time to digest, we walked through the rain to the Singapore Flyer. It used to be the world’s tallest ferris wheel – beating the London Eye by a whole 30 metres. Nowadays, that title is held by the aptly named High Roller in Las Vegas. I’ve been to Vegas, and calling one of the most distinctive landmarks the High Roller just seems like a typical Vegas thing to do, an ostentatious display of wealth. But that’s what these wheels are – just look at London trying to make itself the city of conversation during the Millenium. If only British inefficiency hadn’t got in the way and prevented the Eye from opening until April…
The ride on the Flyer was very similar to London, but the view was incredibly different. Boats sat in the ocean as far as the eye could see. Tall, glass banking headquarters dominated the skyline, and as we looked directly beneath us, we saw the Formula One racetrack. Singapore was always my favourite Grand Prix, so it was awesome to finally see the unique street circuit from above.
This is where the cars start the race from.
A slow ride took us around to the Marina Bay district, which as well as being home to the famous Marina Bay Sands, also houses the Botanical Gardens and some colonial architecture. We could also see our hotel from this point on the Eye, which reminded us of our dystopian room with a window to nothingness. Literally, we face onto a glass wall, which reflects our own image back at us first thing in the morning.
We passed another cat cafe on our way home today, which I stopped in at and bought some souvenirs. Tarryne mentioned that since we’ve already visited the other two cafes, we ought to complete the set. I thought she was joking. She wasn’t. You can imagine my happiness when we decided that we would visit the other two tomorrow, and even sit down and get cake in one of them! Yay! More cats! Actually, the man in the one we visited today said that Tarryne was a crazy cat lady after learning she had four of them, but she instantly pointed to me and said I was much crazier.
I can’t disagree. I also can’t wait for tomorrow. My cat fix will never be satisfied until I get back to my own grouchy cat.