Date: 11 April.
Location: seat 43G (aisle, thank goodness), Singapore Airlines flight, somewhere over the Bay of Bengal
Notable sightings: the coolest hotel pool in the entire world, fabulous expats Lucy & Jono
Packed evening flight to southern India, only white person on board, have entire row of 4 seats to self. It does cause a girl to wonder: lucky or leper? Significantly relaxed by a sufficient quantity of wines, Tiger beers and the obligatory Singapore Sling, and despite yesterday’s rant, I’m prepared to give Singapore Airlines a second chance and, regardless of whether it’s being lucky or the social leprosy, the whole row to self thing is helping. The stewardesses are probably quite unaware of this though as I’m sobbing my eyes out (fault of movie choice: About Time.) But I digress. Singapore.
Steamy as a sauna, flowers everywhere, tidy enough to please my inner control freak. Plus, it’s so green! By the fourth time I’d asked Jono “is that the Botancial Gardens?” I’d given up. I have little to compare it to in terms of Asian business cities, but I’d struggle to imagine a nicer one. Of course, all of this seems to come at a cost. Importing Bangladeshis to labour and ferrying them off at night to Malaysian borders, maids in bomb shelters, and death by firing squad for those stupid enough to break the narcotics laws.
Last night was spent in the air conditioned loveliness of Lucy & Marks apartment. Somehow, we managed to rid the world of a beer or two before Jono turned up and it all got rather surreal and just like we were in East Melbourne. But sweatier. And on the 27th floor. After taking care of a few more beers, we ventured out to Over Easy to continue the crusade. Across the water from the Marina Bay Sands, that crazy boat-on-stilts hotel with its infamous sky-high infinity pool, we exchanged gossip and caught up (talked about all of you.) Then the combination of heat/flights/jet lag worked its magic and I basically passed out with my forehead on the table. Lucy kindly took me home and put me to bed.
Today was a whirlwind tour of Singapore courtesy of Jono: trendy Fitzroyesque breakfast featuring poached eggs and truffle oil at Forty Hands in Tiong Bahru, meanders down the prosaically named Arab Street in search of a Turkish coffee (found), playing shameless tourist with my very patient host perched at a Long Room bar at the Raffles Hotel with a Singapore Sling in one paw and groundnuts in the other, further meander through the quays to the Marina Bay Sands’s sky high Ku Dé Ta bar for a Tiger beer to watch the storm roll in.
Changi Airport a dream. Check in a breeze. Cheers, Singapore. Namaste, India.