Steve Watson


      Information: Travels: Singapore: Diary







So here I am, in SINGAPORE

No difficulties getting away – except that they took away my toenail scissors at the airport. I thought I’d get away with them in with all the other junk; but no.

Singapore airport would have been a bit difficult to get out of if I hadn’t had a crowd to follow. I didn’t see any exit or luggage claim signs as I got off the plane.

Quickly figured out how the ticket system worked (but had to get change from the service centre.) Went straight into City Hall and had a look around. It was raining outside – occasionally quite heavily – so it was good that everything is underground. Walked about in the Sunteck Centre for a bit and then headed back to City Hall. I’d already phod Jamie to let her know that I’d arrived. I was getting a bit warm at this point, carrying bags and wearing my jacket, so I was pleased to stop and have dinner ($10) at Asian Kitchen. (Pork spice noodles. Very messy. Avoid noodles with chopsticks in future.)

I actually met Jamie at the train station in Sengkang waiting for the LRT, so that was good. I gave her the money that I owed and the copy of Chomsky’s Minimalist Program that she’d asked for. Their flat is quite nice, and the room I’ve got – though it is still mostly storage –  is comfortable.  

There was a parade this evening. Part of New Year celebrations, I’m told.







Woke up quite bright and early this morning, but Jamie had already gone and Jason was asleep. I thought I was locked in, but by 10 am I decided to take a set of spare keys that I found by the door with me. As it happened that was just when Jason woke up.

First stop was the Museum of Asian Civilizations , but it was closed for renovations. After that I just wandered about town, around City Hall, to Istana Park , Orchard Road , etc. I called Jamie at about 1pm and she said to call again at 2 and expect to meet at about 2:30 in Dhoby Ghaut. I had enormous trouble getting change and finding a phone. Eventually I bought a Singtel card. I also recharged the Ezcredit card she’d given me. And after all that she was too ill to come out so I just continued walking about the place. I went up to Fort Canning , which was at least blessed with a water fountain. Then round Clarke’s Quay and along the river front. It’s mostly pure tourist crap around there (a Hooter’s bar for example for heaven’s sake.) At last, I went out to Sengkang Centre just so that I could see their local shops, and had a big Yah Kun Kay coffee and toast. (I had also had that for breakfast this morning in City Hall.) Cheap and delicious.  

In the evening we all went out to an Indian place and sampled some ‘authentic’ food at a non-tourist market. It was scruffy-looking, but interesting.  

Eventually home and, exhausted, collapsed into bed at 11:30. Jamie was asleep in her bean bag in front of the telly, and I read a bit of Tintin ‘La secrete de la Licorne.’ (Jason does some occasional French tutoring.)


On Orchard Road




The Durian

Named affectionately for its external resemblance to a particularly smelly fruit. I've experienced the smell: it's truly vile.


Arty Silk Hangings

Part of an exhibition in the Durian



Near a nasty tourist concentration  


Fort Canning Park


Wet walk

In Fort Canning Park. There are plenty of walks and odd little corners. It was pleasant even in the rain. 







Up early again; this time around 5:50. Jamie was going to a school thing out in the sticks, which she wasn’t keen on (because it seemed disorganized to her) and Jason and I were going on a walk through Treetops in a national park. We’d scheduled to get over there by 7 am, but we didn’t even leave until 6:55. Still, no drama.

It was rather a trying walk with Jason with me in my inappropriate footwear and long trousers and with the humidity and heat – but I think it was well worth the discomfort for the views into the forest canopy from the bridge and for the sight of monkeys in the wild – a new thing for me. It’s a pity the potos didn’t turn out too well.

After that we walked up to a large eating place where Jason introduced me to Bandung, a tingles-flavoured drink (we’d talked about it last night) and we also had some fried dough and prawn pizza crackers. Very odd. When Jamie arrived, she insisted on getting piles of food for me: in particular, some strange iced desserts. I liked one (kaching?) which was a mountain of ice on top of a  variety of fruits of beans and things, but the other one was bleh.    


Jamie and Jason

Preparing goodness knows what for breakfast  


Map of part of Central Catchment


Tree Top Walk


Back by bus. Shower, shave, watch ‘March of Penguins’ and off to Changi to catch the plane for India .