The ATM’s in Singapore dispense solely $50 notes whilst the Metro only takes $5 notes. It is this sort of bullshit which makes our lives ever so slightly more difficult. We found it in the end and decided, innocently enough, to go to the shop. Little did we know that we would have to take out a small mortgage for some breakfast cereal (cereal and milk together cost eight quid!?); I have bought small farmsteads in Myanmar for such funds. As such, ideas to save money such as putting the cardboard from the cereal box to flesh out the contents and selling my body started running through our heads.
After our cardboard-filled breakfast, we made a token attempt at being festive for my birthday, an occasion celebrated globally. Unfortunately, the weather had different ideas and unleashed an apocalyptic flood Noah would be proud of onto our heads that day. We were left pawing at the doors, along with the resident French bulldog Louie (who incidentally seemed quite a frustrated little boy, if you catch my drift), and caught up on Netflix. We went in to Singapore Chinatown; a similar experience to every other Chinatown in existence except 400 times more expensive.
Once again I was made to stare blankly at otters for a solid hour when we visited Singapore Zoo whilst Phoebe planned out her future life which inherently involved feeding eggs to otters each and every day. On the other hand, I saw a naked mole rat; a magnificent creature I often see as my spirit animal, and so was also slightly cheered. Mousedeer, ever prevalent in Malaysia, also made a token appearance on our trip; my opinion has not changed – they are utterly pointless. I didn’t buy a souvenir at the shop but I acquired a nice rash on my arm so I guess I had something to show from the day.
The Gardens at the Bay is a pretty unique exhibit with two indoor biomes: a boring flower dome which had flowers and an amazing cloud forest which also had flowers but the ones that eat insects. My opinion of the cloud forest improved further by the addition of lego carnivorous plants and a rock exhibit (you can’t beat a rock exhibit … (unless you have a bigger rock exhibit)). Apparently the need to throw coins at objects is a trait shared by the world so pieces of amethyst had a nice layer of one dollar singapore coins which meant it was far more wealthy than Phoebe and I put together. Someone rather ominously left a joker playing card – it is nice to think that Batman villains still visit tourist attractions too. We then saw the Marina Bay Sands – a strange building which acts like a black hole but instead with all the money you own (drinks cost $25).
In fairness, Singapore is fantastic – the attractions are incredible and its nice to see so many buildings with ecology at their heart. It’s a shame we are broke, yet devilishly charming, backpackers and therefore could probably not appreciate it in all of its glory…
From Alec the broke ragamuffin and Phoebe the vigilant vagabond, oh and Louie.