There is definitely a buzz about Singapore. It’s got that busy-bee vibe. The busses are packed full of sweaty commuters whose shirts are wetter than a seal’s belly. Dotted about the malls are yoga-mat carrying chicks oozing cool while sipping on iced matcha tea.
Taking a dip
Haji Lane Wall Art
Rainbow flats, sunshine and haze.
We are gave ourselves two full days to explore the main sights, which included allowing my mum and her like-minded cronies several hours of shopping on Arab Street looking for dress material. The men sat around asking when we could go get a beer.
We explored the city by foot. I wanted to see as much Colonial Architecture as possible because it’s so much prettier than all the glass boxes thrown up around the city.
On our second day we hopped on the metro to get to Singapore Zoo. As a bit of a London Gal I am well versed in Tube Etiquette: I always let people off before I try to get on and will do that passive aggressive head-shake thing if some tourist does the opposite, then I always take my bag or rucksack off my shoulder when standing in the aisles and I never, ever, EVER start a conversation or even make eye-contact with my fellow travellers. Americans, if you’re reading this and planning a trip to London please take note. Not to single you out but some of the worst offending has come from your fellow countrymen. Anyway, I was mortified when an old man on the Singapore Metro told me off for munching on some dried mango. Apparently eating is not allowed on the Metro.
Sidebar: Did you know that chewing gum is also banned in Singapore. Hubs did that thing where he didn’t believe me and so asked a chap in the supermarket where the gum was. It got a bit awkward. Enough Said.
The zoo is huge, which is great for the animals because they aren’t couped up in tiny cages and also a little ironic given that most of Singapore’s people live in tiny apartments. They had the cutest, sweetest, cheekiest Orangutans I’ve ever met.
It took a good few hours to walk around the zoo and even then we missed a few of the animals (I’ve seen enough vicious Macaques in the last 5 months to never want to see another one again in my life). A few other favourites:
Sleepy Koala Bears. Can I please just give one of them a mighty hug?!
Feeding time for this fella’
I loved these two elephants. I wish I’d made a video because they were DANCING, in time! They were totally adorable.
We have been living in Brunei for a little over three months now, which means we are halfway through our time here. It’s fun and all but I won’t deny that there are some things I miss about home (in no particular order):
Happy, shiny people who I love. Enough said:
You can get fresh milk in Brunei but it’s ludicrously expensive and so Hubs and I are having to get used to the taste of UHT. The other issue I have with milk here is that not all coffee shops stock low-fat or skimmed milk, which has led to some seriously irate mornings when Hubs and I can’t get that caffeine fix.
I love walking around London- it’s the best way to explore and get to know the city. If there’s a choice between getting the tube and walking, I’d probably walk. In Brunei however, not all roads come with pavements, which means it isn’t even possible to nip to the local grocery store on foot as the nearest one is more than a mile away and would require rising life and death crossing the roads to get there.
I am a total foodie. I love eating out and London has no shortage of options. Brunei, on the other hand, has loads of restaurants where you can get all the fried chicken you want and then some. There are a couple of really great sushi restaurants and of course the delicious nasi lemak is served everywhere BUT what you won’t find is gourmet cuisine.
Those of you who keep up with my posts will know that the sale of alcohol is forbidden in Brunei although Hubs and I found a speakeasy in a hotel where you can get an ice cold beer. We keep a pretty well stocked bar at home and, as I’ve said before, drinks out on the balcony are great but could someone just please take me to an over-priced bar and get me a proper drink?
A few weeks ago Hubs and I went home to London. We managed to make it to a very fun wedding reception, hung out with old friends in some pubs and ate out at Nandos a LOT and generally had a very merry time. We also managed to fit in a visit to see my parents, who live in the West Midlands. While we were there the weather did something unexpected and threatened to take a turn for the better. So we decided to capitalise on this, like any good British people would, by planning a picnic.
We headed to Telford to see the world’s first iron bridge, which opened on New Years Day 1781 and has been given UNESCO World Heritage Status. And for very good reasons. Pretty much every picture I took turned out stunning:
There are lots of nature trails perfect for walking through the forest if you can muster up the energy. We opted for a short walk over and under the bridge. Just enough to work up an appetite.
I was so impressed by the gorgeous surroundings that I really struggled to stop myself from taking hundreds of photos.
We found a nice quiet spot for a picnic and settled down with our giant spread (my parents, being Punjabi, only do 5 course meals and nothing shorter). We were quite impressed that the weather had held up and we were gloating about how great it was that we were outdoors, soaking up the sunshine and getting some fresh air when, out of nowhere, a bee appeared. We flapped it away. A few minutes later it was back and it brought friends. Hubs knocked over the olives while frantically trying to shield his cup of diet coke. The wind blew away my crisps, which seemed to attract the bees even more. So much for being outdoors. We scoffed our sarnies as quickly as we could and ran back to the car park where an Antiques Market caught our eye, which turned out to be perfect for spending an hour or so browsing. Hubs bought a huge painting of a spitfire and I got some dinner plates so it looks like we are well and truly settling into our thirties. Domestic bliss!
Just a couple more of that gorgeous bridge before I go: