[ UPDATE: I just realized that I haven't been able to update the Election Gizmo that some of you folks have been using on your blogs. Sorry about that ... I'll fix this as soon as I get back. ]
This is my third day in Singapore, and I’ve seen enough to warrant a blog entry so here we are. No pictures until I get back though because the kiosks here won’t let me upload pictures from my camera.
We got here Thursday and it was hot as hell. We’re staying in this crummy little place behind one of the big hotels, which is convenient for commuting, but not much else. The main road, Orchard, is less than 3 km long, but it makes up for its brevity rather nicely by having a shopping mall on every block.@##@
I spent my first afternoon walking around by myself, seeing in quick succession: Le Meridien, Plaza Singapura, Lucky Plaza, Robinsons Centrepoint (!), Istana Park, Midpoint Plaza … it goes on. This is pretty much the entire trip summed up in one sentence: I saw a lot of malls.
Along Orchard Road, every other building is a shopping center, every other shop sells electronics. At a random camera store, I’m offered a Canon 300D at the rather low price of S$1600. I spend the next two days fantasizing about splurging on the entry-level SLR.
The highlight of Day One was eating at this Japanese joint with sushi on a conveyor belt. The food was pretty mediocre but it was fun chasing food down the belt.
The next day we took a short tour of the city which included a trip up to the second highest mountain in Singapore, Mt. Faber. It’s actually a bit of a misnomer because it’s only 105 meters high, so it’s really more of a hill than a mountain.
Our tour guide was barely intelligible, but he seemed like a nice enough guy. I have a whole bunch of tourist-handbook-type facts noted down on my PPC, but I won’t go into all that now.
Day Two’s highlight was two-fold: the first was visiting Funan (7 floors of tech), and the second was deciphering the MRT system, which would have been a whole lot easier if we had prepared beforehand and downloaded the Palm-compatible maps.
I’m not sure what I was expecting at Funan, but I didn’t have that giddy geek feeling I usually get when confronted with thousands of square meters worth of hardware. I guess I was pressuring myself too much to get a good bargain, and it became “work” instead of “fun.” I ended up buying a 512mb Compact-Flash card (S$150) and a Pioneer 8×8 DVD-writer (S$210), both reasonably cheap when compared with how much they’re worth at home. Still, I felt curiously empty when I took the MRT back to the hotel, and I didn’t know why.
They have this curious payment scheme at the train which asks you for $1 more at your station of origin, and then returns this $1 to you at your destination. A deposit of sorts, which I suppose, is to make sure you don’t run off with the cards they issue.
In the evening we had dinner at Chinatown, which is just about the cleanest Chinatown I’ve ever been to. Not a single lump of horse manure in site. They also had really, really good wanton, for only about $3 a bowl. They’d block off the roads at night so you could eat it out on the street, underneath the red paper-globe lights.
Afterwards we checked out People’s Park (Filipinos my age will remember a similarly named complex along EDSA) which was really just a big shopping center full of discount stores. It was getting pretty late and one of the few stores left open was (yet another) electronics store specializing in mobile devices.
This is where I found this little beauty, which I promptly bought along with a Bluetooth headset. I traded in my old-ass Nokia 6310i too, so my pocket will never be leaden with that old dinosaur again.
I had a lopsided smile on my face the whole night as I was playing with the phone back at the hotel … I guess the giddy geek feeling that I’ve been waiting for requires you to do something Really Stupid with your money first, before it comes.
More tomorrow …
(and Internet rental here is insanely priced so I might skip updating entirely until we get back …)