We made our way to our ‘home’ for the week, Sleepy Sam’s, the cheapest place we could find. We weren’t sure we were in the right place because the entrance was cordoned off with tape and inside the dark room was piled full of baggage. This was however the reception area, but we were told our room wasn’t ready so we dutifully trotted off for noodles and beer. We were trying to acclimatise to the sweaty heat and to the news that my sister has to have a serious operation and I might have to cut short our trip to be with her.
When we got back it still wasn’t ready, but what we had assumed meant cleaning the room in fact meant renovating the whole floor! We eventually were shown to our cubicle with a mattress on the floor which separated us from the dorm with a wafer thin wall so we were treated to the sound of every burp, fart and snore. Slightly more elevating was the sound of the call to prayer from the Sultan Mosque at the end of the road.
While we were here we tried to trace a photo taken by Matt’s dad when he was posted here by the RAF just after the war. The photo was taken in Raffles Place, the central business area of Singapore and now utterly unrecognisable from how it was in the forties, today it is full of dizzying sky-scrapers screaming their wealth.
We had a memorable visit to the Asian Civilisations Museum and were amazed at the richness and wonder of this continent we are now in. By happy coincidence we were there during an arts festival and went to see a ‘Centaur’ performance. A horse and rider showing an amazing amount of skill but unfortunately it looked more like control than harmony, and we came away much bigger fans of the horse than of the rider. Other outings were a walk to the Indian district where we drank Singapore Slings out of jam jars, and pretending to be rich and famous at the famous Raffles Hotel, drinking where Ava Gardener and Ernest Hemmingway once supped.
Next stop Cambodia…
More gallery pics below