Day 13: Cornflakes with a hairbrush, Cat Cafe tour, chasing Melissa McCarthy through the mall

Our day has been incredibly exciting.

We are taking around with us the original Lonely Planet guide: South East Asia on a shoestring. However, methinks Tarryne and I have reached new lows. I’m willing to bet the Lonely Planet authors never ate cornflakes from a mug using a hairbrush as a spoon. Don’t worry – the hairbrush was clean and made from plastic – but we had no choice as the cleaners hadn’t replaced the coffee stirrers. Tarryne plans to eat her cornflakes dry tomorrow. Student tourists, give up and go home, you aren’t willing to stoop to our low standards.

Today was the cat cafe tour of Singapore. We have visited four in total, and are certifiable crazy cat ladies. First stop was one just down the road, imaginatively named “TheCatCafe”. They all cost about the same, so can’t remark on value, but this place looked quite spacious for the cats and very nice. Not a great selection of souvenirs unfortunately, but never mind, moving on.

We stopped into our favourite cat cafe – the first cafe we visited when we arrived here, Neko no Niwa – to pick up some business cards. I loved my experience here and would happily return in a heartbeat if I lived in Singapore, which unfortunately, I don’t. It’s located in a delightful area, and the people that run it are real sweethearts. Not only did they recognise us, but check out their comment on my review!

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We stayed for an hour in the next place, called “The Company of Cats” in Chinatown. I think this might be the only place that lets kids in, which reflects badly on them, because there were far too many. They weren’t pulling and tugging at the cats, but they clearly didn’t understand how to interact with or read cat body language. Or leave them alone when they were sleeping. Maybe I’ve just been socialised with cats from a young age, or maybe it stems from my general dislike of kids, I don’t know.

The cafe was a bit on the small side, but the staff were okay, and the cats did have places they could retreat to when they wanted a break from all the humans. They also had some cool books to read, such as “101 cat breeds”, the sort of thing I completely devoured as a child. These were kept on  suspended shelves, which the cats played on for ages. It’s fun to watch them play about and mess around with each other.

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Finally, we returned to Meomi to buy some souvenirs for the second time. Although also a bit on the small and slightly crowded side, the staff still seemed quite friendly (also recognised us returning), and the cats looked sweet too. They also looked like they had one of the best menus, too, which is always an advantage. Located in the Arab Street area, it’s one of the most fascinating areas of Singapore, and is great for buying unique souvenirs.

We thought we’d see the funky tree sculptures that had come up on my Windows screensaver once. It turns out, they’re actually some pretty neat solar panels. Not only do they generate renewable and clean energy, they are a tourist attraction, and a home for vegetation all in one! If people think windfarms are ugly, perhaps these are a solution. One day they’ll grow completely over with creeper plants, and will very nearly blend in with natural surroundings.

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This morning, my mum sent me an email saying there was a Ghostbusters event that evening which would feature Melissa McCarthy, and that we should go. That explained the sign we’d seen outside the Marina Bay Sands yesterday, so we headed down there super early to get the best view. I thought it’d be like London, where people start lining up before midday. Nope. We got there at half past 6 for an 8pm start, and the place was nearly empty. Then, a rainstorm hit, so everybody retreated inside. When it finished, I ran to reclaim our spots, which didn’t turn out to be the best places after all as the stars didn’t stop long in our area. No matter, though.

The music started playing, and we really got into the mood. Staff handed out free Ghostbusters paddles, glowsticks, and even baseball caps, which we cheapskates naturally grabbed for. The atmosphere was popping, and we were feeling hyped about the arrival of Melissa McCarthy, one of my favourite actors. Not everybody felt the same, though. The girl next to me was Googling what she had been in. Furthermore, nobody seemed to understand the whole Ghostbusters thing. “Who you gonna call?” said the hosts. A dead silence took over the crowd, even though we were both screaming as hard as we could. You could tell the poor guys were exasperated – they’d made the effort to come in brown overalls! Perhaps Ghostbusters never really got big in Asia.

On her way out, Melissa waved at Tarryne, but I missed it because I was trying to (but failing miserably) get good photographs. We decided to chase her golf buggy through the nearby mall to see if we could get a better glimpse. Alas, we were too late, and she disappeared round the corner before we had the chance to say hello.

Here’s Tarryne’s best photo of her. She’s in the red dress.

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What a great way to spend our last night in Singapore. Tomorrow, we leave the peace and efficiency of Singapore for its polar opposite – Bangkok.


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