Friday, January 4, 2008

Chapter 3: The Trip (Day 4 - Marina Square/Esplanade Bay)

Trying to flex my body here after a lazy late night sleep and rigorous workout walking to and fro the Marina Square/Esplanade Bay Theater, this is where we witnessed the arrival of the New Year amidst hordes of people around the world and some electrifying fireworks that lit up the bay. It was magical indeed. You can see the pictures. Walking back to the hotel was quite a rigorous activity and you have to be careful with your purse and girlfriend, with so many people walking alongside, no cabs, all roads are closed in the vicinity. You have to walk a distance before you can get a cab, for us it was not a problem, it was like a 20 Mins walk to our hotel.

Like I had mentioned, the choice of this place was good since it was open fresh air all around. Now some things you guys need to note down, first, you need to go these public places early, like we reached 3 Hours before the countdown to the New Year, after my experience you can make that 4 so that you get a good place to sit and have a good vantage point to the fireworks. Also, traffic in these places was shut down when we started out, so there was no cab facility and we had to walk. Now coz you are going so early and probably going to return late, you got to fill your tummies, once you reach the place you are going to have a tough time walking back and forth. We carried a pack of chips and some cola but now on hindsight we should have had dinner coz we were starving when we were returning with no restaurants open. But like they say, where there is a will there is a way, we did not famish last night, read on...

Earlier in the day, we went to have lunch at a restaurant, Chandni (North Indian food) close by, now the thing that irked me is that they guys didn’t serve regular water and insisted on Mineral water, which like everything else in this country is pricey ($ 4 SGP). It’s ridiculous that essential commodities are not served in public places free of charge. With so much money they are minting, now I’m starting to get a feeling how they keep up in shape

After lunch, I headed to the Sim Lim Square which is only Electronics and Computers mall, it was at a walking distance, I purchased media for my DVD handycam. I witnessed the same thing I saw in Mustafa Shopping Center, 4 floors for choices of electronics but the prices are either high or almost the same in India. Now when coming back from Sim Lim Square, I saw the McDonalds Burger joint and it mentioned it was open 24Hrs on Weekends and Public Holidays. And so my friends, after we reached hotel late night, we got the toll free number from the reception and ordered and ate Burgers & Fries at 2:30 AM. Hmm delicious... We zonked off instantly after the meal.

While I’m pondering what I’m going to do next, let me share some experiences which are uncommon in India. Spitting, Begging and Honking on the street is a crime. Not a single street dog . Twice my bro lost something while we were in one of the theme parks and got it back every time he approached the helpdesk. When we used to return from our trip, the house-keeping guys used to do their thing (without requesting and suggesting a time) and you will find every personal and precious thing of yours intact. The cabs cannot be availed on the road from your standing position, you have to walk to the cab stop, same for crossing roads, it has to be done only on the crossing marked near the traffic lights. The cab guys do not entertain you if you jump the queue. No one pays tips. You have to use the side-walk to commute on the roads, it is common sense since vehicles speed at more than 80 mph and you are most likely to end up in the hospital and the driver will be left scot free, if they find that you were in a place, you were not supposed to be.

Another shocker today when I received my laundry, $ 43 SGP for 7 pieces of regular clothing. You know how it translates, carry one pair of clothing for each day of stay. No Laundry. Period. Not sure if you have come all the way to this point reading my blog but if you have, I hope you have enjoyed reading, you can suggest my name for a Pulitzer. Good-bye for now and yes do something nice and good on your first day of the Year.

Pictures of Day 4:

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