Saturday 30th June 2007
Singapore City

Singapore City

Breakfast was just bread and coffee on a table next to reception. Someone tapping away on a personal organiser had to move out of the way. I targeted the shopping along Orchard Street. Singapore is the place to come for shopping. They really do excel at these cool oases: One after the other, different styles, upmarket and haphazard all along one street. My ATM card split (the well used plastic backing with magnetic stripe fell off) and was taped back together by the bank staff. I did not buy much just some underwear and spent my time wandering. The payment for goods involved writing on an LCD rather than on the receipt slip of paper. Most places had about six or seven floors to explore: travel shops, designer shops, Sony showrooms (like art galleries) and food malls. I switched from cool to humid and back again. It is all part of the culture here. I treated myself to a coffee and cake at the Hilton Hotel, something that would be ridiculously expensive back in London. The Asian Cultural Museum was cool with so many electronic display stations. I walked along the riverside to the hotel near Raffles for city views near the compound dome architecture. My dress code at the white Raffles lobby was not up to standard (no sandals!) and I was refused entry. I whizzed back to the shopping street and relinquished my travel card after completing my last train journey. The internet PC in the shop down the road was well protected but filtered out some legitimate sites. The dumplings fragmented as I picked them up with chop sticks, entertaining a family sitting opposite. There were friendly and efficient staff everywhere. I should be able to sleep in the dorm as it has air-conditioning.

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