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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 71: Sightseeing and yet more shopping

SINGAPORE | Tuesday, 15 January 2008 | Views [684]

Tuesday 15th January

I managed to get up at a more reasonable time, with a 9am start bettering the efforts of the previous few mornings. After the by now standard coffee break, I once more made a visit to Orchard Street in an effort to put an end once and for all to my shopping needs.

Not only do the shopping malls have an excellent array of stores, but each of them has a giant food court in each of their basements, with some of them having more than one floor full of different types of places to eat. Restaurants, coffee shops and sandwich joints offer extremely tempting food, making it quite the dilemma as to what to eat at times. The standard of food is amazing, but not the healthiest of stuff either, not that I let that put me off. The problem is restricting myself to three meals a day, and the urge to snack is a constant thought.

After lunch of wanton noodle soup, I made a determined effort to leave the shops and take in more of the sights. The shops here have more of what interests me, and have a greater deal of quality goods on offer, while the shopping malls are spacious, with air-con and therefore provide a pleasant environment to spend some time and get away from the heat of the day. There are enough malls to ensure that none of them get over-crowded...Oxford Street it ain't!

I spent the rest of the day wandering about town, which itself isn't that big and it's manageable to see most of the major sights on foot. I was caught out in another downpour and had to take shelter in the nearest coffee shop. The showers seem to be a regular occurrence at this time of year, and I am convinced that they are designed to get people to run for cover, leaving them free to eat and shop while waiting for the rain to die down.

Once the rain had passed, I made my way back to the flat via Chinatown, which makes up a significantly large district in the heart of the town centre. It's also quite different from Chinatown districts that I have visited before, in London and San Francisco. Singapore Chinatown has clearly undergone extensive renovation, with the buildings all looking in very good order, with the effect that it's all a bit more clean and clinical, much like the island as a whole. But, I won't knock that, I'd take that over somewhere that stinks. Some of the restaurants looked very enticing, and I decided to return soon to sample some of the food there before I left Singapore.

By early evening, I was starting to feel knackered. I now understand why women complain of being tired so much: days spent shopping and eating can really take it out of you! Although I had done a fair bit of walking, I felt compelled to go for a swim whe I got back to the flat, to burn off a few calories picked up over the course of the day and to make the most of the facilities while I could.

Later in the evening, Mark cooked some burgers and sausages on the barbecue, and it was a welcome change from eating out all the time (as much as I was enjoying the food). It was really good, the first home-cooked meal I had been able to enjoy since I left home two months earlier. It was nice to sit about the dinner table, relax and talk the usual rubbish that comes out when two Derry lads get together.

Tags: Sightseeing


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