Nestled in our Singapore hotel

We have arrived safely in Singapore where we will spend ten nights before moving on to Sri Lanka. Since we are staying in one spot so long, we moved in to our hotel room at the Amara Hotel. We unpacked our bags, filled up the closet with clothes on hangers, put underwear in drawers, and visited the supermarket to stock up on breakfast supplies. It felt glorious.

We went out for dinner and were reminded of one of Singapore’s best features: the food. We had a spicy tofu appetizer and a Madras curry and rice at what amounted to a pub a block from our hotel. I also had a pint of the local brew, Tiger beer that will probably help me get to sleep tonight. On the way back home, we stopped at a hole-in-the-wall cafe to buy some bao for breakfast. I do not know if he recognized me, but it was the same vendor who I got bao every evening from for the two weeks I spent alone in Singapore almost three years ago. He has kind of a perpetually sour expression and is one of the world’s worst salesmen. He reminds me of a Chinese Abe Vigoda from that old TV cop comedy show (what was that called anyway?) For some reason, despite his attitude, I found him irresistable and bought two bao from him every night for my breakfast the next morning. Kris helps me act more civilized than when I am alone and I doubt that she thinks bao for breakfast is a good idea on a regular basis.

Today was one of our most enjoyable travel days. Pchum Ben is still going on and Phnom Penh is still pretty quiet. So we had a swift ride to the airport. Things went smoothly at the airport and our Silk Air flight was only half full. Silk Air served a reasonably competent hot lunch during the two hour flight. The Singapore airport was also not busy and we did not even have to wait in line at immigration or customs. We waited approximately 60 seconds for a taxi which whisked us from the airport to our hotel downtown.

Note to TSA: Lines actually move faster if you have a few people helping passengers unload their laptops, empty their pockets, and take off their shoes before passing through the security screening. Helpers in front of the metal detectors are the norm in Asia and it makes the security screening process so much more pleasant. But as I may have mentioned previously, all the security people in the airports we have passed through have been very thorough and professional. The metal detectors are set so tight that I have been “wanded” and patted down at virtually every airport despite emptying my pockets beforehand. So the more pleasant screening process has not come at the cost of laxer security.

Our job in Singapore is to rest and regroup. I am in bad need of a haircut, for example. I plan to do some shopping for computer parts and books on parallel computing to help me prepare to teach once I get to Kandy. But we will also be doing some touristing. We decided to take a day trip to Malacca, Malaysia and to spend a day at Singapore’s aviary, so expect future updates.



1 Comment

  1. December 29, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    […] at 9:44 pm (Uncategorized) I have uploaded some photos of birds that I took while we were in Singapore to my Picasa website. Singapore has a wonderful aviary called the Jurong Bird Park. The birds are […]

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