Sunday, March 13, 2011

Singapore – high, high end; crowded and clean

Our day in Singapore. We docked at a container port quite a distance away from the cruise terminal so had to rely on shuttle buses to get from port A to Point B – in our case from Port Jurong to the Grand Hyatt near Orchard Street – “a symbol of the City’s economic stature and power”

We chose not to take any organized tours but rather wander the city center ie Orchard Street – I have been here many times and had seen much of what they had arranged so this was fine.

Singapore is an amazing city from many perspectives but the three I use in the title of todays blog are the most obtrusive.

When you drive in from the dock to almost all the places we have been up to now you see a spectrum of society – from slums or poor areas to the wealthiest suburbs and then the city center. Such a gradation is not obvious in Singapore. The streets are wide, well constructed the sidewalks manicured and tree lined. Wherever the workers live is clearly not obvious.

Even the city is clean; we saw this man cleaning the grates in the sidewalk with a tool that clears each grid space! 

Apparently even the toilet facilities were worthy of a pic or two – we’re not obsessive. 

Also very organized - just in case you dont know how to stand on an escalator!!

The shuttle brought us in by 9.15am. Its Sunday. Offices are closed , stores open between 10 and 11am. Already the streets were crowded with people and the subway egress was full of more arrivals.

The shopping areas were very very very high end. It was lovely just looking – although we did drop a few ducats. My focus was on electronics, DVDs and watches and I was so ready to rumble – but restrained myself. We did get some small items at a Newsagent, Takashamaya and at Faber–Castell – do you believe wooden pencils – not the colored ones even; lead ones.

Once we had exhausted the eye candy we caught the shuttle back. Knew we were in trouble on the highway when we slowed to a crawl. Engine fault light was on in the dash. Advice from the passengers was useful – “drive until we catch fire” said one. We stood up to exchange seats – everyone says “where are you going?” we say “we’re walking” – “how far is it?” they ask. An old lady wakes up – “whats happening?” she asks “is it a photo stop?” “No, the bus has broken down” says Ms B; “but don’t worry, theyre sending another one….tomorrow” “Oh” says the lady. Landed up stuck on the side of the highway.

 Sent for a replacement which arrived rapidly – all got off the first bus (lady is laughing not weeping), all got safely on the second – back view of hephalump tells the tale; 

and returned safely to the nest

1 comment:

  1. So that's how escalators work ... very interesting