After picking me up at the airport, we went back to Liza, Dimiter and Georga's apartment. The housing over here is VERY different than anything I have ever experienced. Eighty-five percent of Singapore's residents live in Government controlled housing. Liza's housing community is approximately 15 buildings, 10 floors tall, with a total of around 500 units per building. She lives in an area called Clementi located on the western side of the island. It's considered the suburbs. Note it only took us 30 minutes in the taxi from the airport (Eastern most part of Singapore) to Clementi (Western edge). Here is a picture out of Liza's window of the building next to them:
If you look real close you can see laundry hanging on bamboo poles outside the windows. No one has clothes dryers here. This is how you dry you clothes... this includes undies, socks and bras. It's a culture lesson just looking out the window!
After a shower, we headed into the city. Liza and I bought two-day passes for tours in Singapore. Our first adventure of the day was on a duckboat on the Singapore River and around the city. Here's a picture of the Merlion and us on the boat.
Next we went on the Heritage Tour on a cute double-decker bus. We stopped at the Asian Civilisation Museum. The restaurant at the museum is Indo Chine, a popular and hip restaurant with Asian fusion cuisine. Liza had a curry noodle dish and I had an Asian salad of cabbage, noodles, onion, carrots and a fried spring roll cut on top. It had a sweet chili sauce that did wonders for my sinus congestion! We browsed the museum and stopped for a fun picture in the children's area. This is a picture of me as a Chinese princess.
As we were checking out the gift shop in the museum, it started raining. When it rains in Singapore, it doesn't fool around! We called a taxi (we had planned to do some walking around... WRONG) and headed back to the convention center area where we caught another heritage tour bus. This time we rode it to the end of the route, China Town. We got off at The Peoples Center in China Town. Here we found a travel agent offering a travel package to Bintan, Indonesia. We are going there on Sunday and Monday. The Peoples Center is essentially a mall with hundreds of shops and stalls. There are probably 50 travel agencies there too. Since Singapore is so small, residents travel to surrounding countries for vacation or a long weekend. We plan to explore more of China Town tomorrow.
We met Dimiter and Georga for dinner at Clarke Quay (pronounced Key). It is an area of shops, restaurants and bars along the river. We dined at The Pump Room, then took a 1/2 hour cruise on a traditional wooden boat. After the boat ride, we walked along the river and saw more of Clarke Quay. We caught a taxi and headed home. I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow!
(Picture of skyline and Boat Quay from the boat cruise.)
More tomorrow. Bye for now.