To Singapore With Love,
Oh Singapore. A utopia is what you are to me. I have nothing but good things to say about you. Some people might call you dull, maybe even sterile, but what do they know? Yes, you’re predictable – everyone knows you have some rather draconian laws in order to keep things as clean and ordered as they are & everyone knows that you’re way too expensive for a penny-pinching backpacker like me. But I’m OK with all of that, & if an opportunity ever presented itself for me to live with you I would, and that’s probably about the biggest complement I can give you right now.
So thanks for being you & thanks for the last 3 days. You’ve been awesome. Again.
Yes I like Singapore, the small city-state tacked to the southern tip of the Malayan peninsula. I love how this regional utopia just, well, works – it’s organised, structured, clean & things run on time. Of course you can get arrested for littering and J-walking & you’ll get the death penalty for doing silly stuff like drug trafficking. But hey, rules are rules. Of course you need bags of money to fit in around here & walking around the Central Business District (CBD) it’s plainly apparent that lots of people in Singapore have lots of money. Of course I don’t – have lots of money that is – but that didn’t stop me spending up a storm for the 2 days/3 nights I happily forwent a budget on this my second visit to the city (I was previously here in 2003 & I spent a lot back then too).
Club KU DÉ TA Splurge
I spent – no pun intended – a great night partying in the plush Club KU DÉ TA (I don’t know why it’s spelt in capitals but it is) on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. It’s the sort of place that might turn you away at the door if you’re not beautiful enough (although when I went mid-week they seemed to be happy to let anyone in), a bar/club where you’re not going to bump into too many backpackers, & the sort of place where the young, hip Singapore gentry like to get sweaty. Definitely the sort of place where you really shouldn’t worry about the cost of the drinks – it’s one of those if-you-need-to-ask-how-much-then-you-probably-can’t-afford-it places. I just let it rip, threw off the financial shackles for the night and threw my non-platinum credit card at the barman (no one here seems to, shock horror, use cash). Expressing a modicum of relief shortly after analysing my first receipt of the night that a pint of Stella draught cost only SGD$18 (€10+) was one of the better parts of a great night.
While I’m at it, here are a few more Singapore expenses incurred recently.
– $26 (€15): A Singapore Sling in the Long Bar of Raffles Hotel, where the drink was invented.
– $20 (€12): A pint of Tiger beer in the same establishment.
– $26 (€15): A return cable car fare to Sentosa Island. It’s a 10 minute ride people.
– $68 (€40): An off-peak entrance fee to Universal Studios, Singapore. It’s worth every cent.
– $6 (€3.5): A watch in a discount store off North Bridge Road. I guess not everything in Singapore is expensive. Yes, I needed a watch but never thought I’d buy one here.