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Wait, it costs how much?

That’s right $16 USD for a pint of beer.  Just regular beer, not some special brew with magic spices in it.  Just a regular old beer.  Singapore is beyond any concept of what I thought expensive was.  A box of strawberries, $8 on sale, Orange Juice, $7, a LITER of gas, $18.

If I could eat at every stall, I would, except for the ones that only serve fish balls.

Besides the expense, Singapore is a really cool city.  It’s ultra modern, but you can still find pockets of traditional food at the hawker centers like Lau Pa Sat.  It’s like a big open air market with lots of little independently operated food stalls.  Kind of like a big food court of local Asian/Indian food surrounded by steel and glass bank skyscrapers.  Nom nom nom.

The various gardens are worth a trip to Singapore even if you aren’t into gardens.  I spent a day wandering around the Botanic Garden.  It’s immaculate and I have never seen so many beautiful flowers in my life.  There  are some critters wandering around too, turtles, water monitors, cool birds, and these things that look like the Asian version of an American squirrel…i.e. smaller and less fat, just like their human counterparts.  The National Orchid Garden was like Eden.  There were SO many orchids, but all sorts of other flowers too.  Thanks to my Miami ID, I got in for $1.  I am a student of plants.

The other gardens I went to were downtown and inside 2 big glass domes.  Wandering around in these gigantic terrariums, I couldn’t help but think that when we destroy the earth, at least I know that I’ll be able to go to Singapore and show my kids what plants used to look like.

Some kind of tree flower

Orchids

Pauly Shore and that Baldwin brother live here

Flower from the Cannonball tree

Queen of America.

The bio-domes (formally known as Gardens by the Bay) also had some kind of American fall exhibit going on, which to Allison and me, was kind of hilarious.  There were cornucopias and pumpkins and scarecrows and, more importantly, an Indian corn throne which I had to sit in and take my rightful position as one of 2 Americans in that crazy dome.

And why have I never had a Singapore Sling before?  We went to the offensively colonial Raflles Hotel, (a guy dressed up like Punjab from Annie greeted us at the door) which is the birthplace  these delicious drinks.  Good thing they were $26, otherwise I would have definitely overserved myself.

I’ll have 3 please

Singapore is definitely worth a visit.  But be prepared to sweat like you never knew was possible and be reminded of how unclean, dated and smelly American cities are.

My parting thought:

This sign doesn’t leave anything to the imagination

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Transit

Well, I made it to Singapore.  Despite a brief freak out when I found myself on a plane rolling back from the gate and bound for Hong Kong, the trip was fairly uneventful.  Nothing like that adrenaline rush to counteract the Advil PM and prevent you from grogging off to sleep.  In my haze of checking in to my Asia bound flight in San Francisco, I missed the fact that Singapore Airlines flight 001 had a layover in Hong Kong.

Upon arrival in Hong Kong, I had to go through security for my 3rd time that day (?- my concept of time is screwed up right now) and the Chinese were able to find and take the pair of large scissors that I forgot to take out of my laptop bag.  The thing that’s funny about it is that neither the TSA at O’Hare or San Francisco took the large stabbing/cutting object from me, but instead took a bottle of hand lotion that was over 3 oz.  The TSA Theater show gets 2 thumbs up.

Speaking of thumbs up, since my first sleep crushing adrenaline rush came after the Hong Kong thing, and the second one came after I had my second plane crash nightmare, I have gotten about 3 hours of sleep in the last 32 hours.  As a result, I watched a lot of movies.  Below are my reviews:

Madagascar 3: Sequels are never as good as the original, but this was good mindless funny entertainment

People Like Us: I only watched this because it was on my Chicago – San Fran leg.  It sucked.  The ending redeemed it from getting 2 thumbs down, but just barely.

Dark Shadows: I really like Tim Burton, so I like all of his movies.  Got a little drawn out, but the visuals are cool and it’s an uncomplicated story.

The Woody Allen Movie about Rome:  I can’t remember the title, but its new and it’s in Rome.  Really funny, if you like Woody Allen, which I do.  I think there are like 14 actors in it that you’d recognize.

Friend Wanted for the End of the World (or whatever it’s called):  This was disappointing, which probably makes it the worst of the bunch.  No I take that back, it’s not worse than People Like Us.  It’s an unconvincing love story without much humor and a depressing ending.

I started watching The Artist, but it was too intellectually stimulating.

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“see you later”

I’ve started counting down the hours until I leave, 48 to be precise.  I’ve been saying a lot of “see you laters”.  Not goodbyes.

I feel like when people say goodbye, they always end up having weird small talk as they are parting.  We all know how it goes, you give each other a hug and kinda stand there awkwardly, then someone breaks the silence by asking a question that they already know the answer to, “So you have your wallet right?”, “Yep”.  And in the end, you both just end up waving and saying “see ya later!” anyway.

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Is this thing on?

Victory.  Here’s my first post.  Building a website makes me insane so I am going to the bar to play trivia.

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