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Singapore Reunion – February 2013

August 16, 2013

Singapore

The city of SIN. Well at least according to the airport code. Two of my friends from college, Michael and Cassandra, took a sabbatical to travel the world. I had been talking to them about meeting up and they said they would be in Singapore in early February so we planned to meet then. Additionally, one of our other friends from college, JJ, lives in Singapore so we all decided to get together.

Dale and I flew in to Singapore in the mid afternoon and checked into our hotel. We were staying pretty close to where Michael and Cassandra would be. They had spent the prior two months traveling around New Zealand and would be flying in that night. We had planned to meet them at their hostel as we would be the first to arrive, and they didn’t have a phone with them so it made sense to have a fixed meeting location. Dale and I walked over to their hostel and checked to see if they had arrived yet. They had not. We decided to wait outside so I could spot them coming in and Dale could look around at the little trinket shops for gifts to bring home. Naturally it started raining (it is Singapore after all). After a bit I saw these two people in long pants and rain jackets walking down the street and said to Dale “There they are”. He said “How do you know?” My response was “They are the only people who look like they just came from New Zealand.” Sure enough, it was them.

The rain stopped not long after that and we all went out to the marina area to meet JJ for dinner. He took us to this great seafood restaurant so Michael and Cassandra could try their first chili crab. It was delicious.

From left to right: Dale, myself, JJ, Michael, and Cassandra

From left to right: Dale, myself, JJ, Michael, and Cassandra

After dinner we all went for a stroll along the marina. We went across a bridge with lights twisting like a helix, went to the top of the Marina Bay Sands, and eventually walked all the way back to our hotels. A very nice evening.

Just amazing at night

Just amazing at night

We were there during the middle of the week so unfortunately JJ had to work. Dale, Cassandra, Michael and I all went out to see the famous sites of Singapore. One of the first places we went was the Din Tai Fung dumpling restaurant. I may have mentioned these restaurants before and with good cause. They are delicious and a great way to start the day. Michael and Cassandra both agreed (Dale had been to the one in Malaysia before). Now they just need to open one in the SF Bay Area.

We wandered around the Clarke Quey and Boat Quey area checking out a few places including the Royal Selangor Pewter store (more on that later). It was a nice walk and there are lots of bars which weren’t open at 11 AM. They also had some odd advertisements.

I'm still not sure what this is advertising

I’m still not sure what this is advertising

I would have been remiss in my duties if I didn’t take everyone to the world-famous Raffles Hotel Long Bar, birthplace of the Singapore Sling, so we made a “short” stop there that afternoon.

Happy day! Singapore Sling time!

Happy day! Singapore Sling time!

Now Singapore Slings are delicious especially at the Long Bar as they have the recipe just right (they better for the price they charge you) and you can eat peanuts and throw the shells at your friends.

Slinging time!

Slinging time!

We spent several hours enjoying good conversation, Singapore Slings, and throwing peanut shells at each other. I think it’s best showcased in picture form.

Nirvana

Nirvana

Chris must be up to no good

Chris must be up to no good

Yes, no good indeed.

Yes, no good indeed.

Don't try to steal my Singapore Sling

Don’t try to steal my Singapore Sling

After the Singapore Slings we went our separate ways for the night. Michael and Cassandra went to the Singapore Zoo to go on its famous Night Safari and Dale and I went to the airport to pick up my cousin Marissa who was also staying in Kuala Lumpur and decided to come to Singapore for a quick visit. We picked her up and took her around some of the Boat Quey areas to take in some of the Singapore night life but we were all reasonably tired and had a busy day ahead of us going back to school, The School of Hard Knocks.

Remember how I mentioned we went to the Royal Selangor Pewter store? Well we went back there the next day. They have a class you can take called the School of Hard Knocks where you make your own pewter bowl using the delicate tool known as a hammer. It was a blast (and rather loud). If you’re ever in Singapore I would highly suggest checking it out.

After a triumphant bout of beating metal with a hammer!

After a triumphant bout of beating metal with a hammer!

After we finished out bowls we went off back to the Marina district. Our first stop was the famous Merlion fountain. As we got there we came across a much smaller version of the fountain. We had a brief conversation along the lines of this:

Dale: “Well there’s the Merlion” (Please note that he had seen the Merlion before and knew that was not it)

Marissa: “Really? That seems so small.”

Me: “Ignore him. He’s a weaver of lies.”

After the Merlion we went back to the Marina Bay Sands area to check out the Gardens by the Bay. This is a recent fixture to Singapore and is a large garden with a greenhouse and huge artificial trees. These trees take in light during the day and use that energy to power their lights at night. It’s a striking place to both during the day and at night. I’ve been there a couple of times and it always reminds me of Jurassic Park. Probably doesn’t help that they have these huge metallic statues of insects scattered throughout the park.

The artificial trees. These ones won’t drop crap on your car.

The artificial trees. These ones won’t drop crap on your car.

It was a hot day and walking around in the sun in the park made us all thirsty. Luckily there was an easy solution for this. That’s right, back to the Long Bar for Singapore Slings!

Me in the future

Me in the future

We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the various types of Singapore Slings they have and writing post cards home. There also may have been some peanut shell throwing. Eventually we had to go our separate ways as we were going back to Kuala Lumpur the next morning and Michael and Cassandra were continuing on with the rest of their globetrotting. Our stay in Kuala Lumpur would be short-lived though as we would soon afterwards be boarding a plane for Australia.

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