Saturday, August 19, 2006

Singapore 2

Now, one thing that Singapore IS notorious for is the cleanliness of their streets, which they enforce through hefty fines and prison time for multiple offenders, as well as a good dose of 'caning' to the recidivists!

So one thing you'll NOT see a lot of here in Singapore is graffiti. Although after searching far and wide I found two things which can be seen as sub-divisions of graf: Stickers and Stencils.

Second hotel we stayed at was called the 7th Storey hotel, which was quite unique within the singapore landscape because it was a 50+ year old building surrounded by ultra modern, has managed to survive all these years, and has the country's last and only fully functioning manually operated elevator (complete with a projector handle to move up and down). I suppose one of the ways they paid the bilss is that massive billboard you see on the side of the building.

One night I walked around the city late late late, and noticed these little buddha statues tied to a chain link fence. I imagine they're a prayer offering of some kind, but know no details. Anyone?

Last thing: when in Singapore, do remember to try some of the local drinks, especially the"Uncle Djegot Milk Drink". What's so special about Uncle's Milk drink? Well, you will just have to ask the good uncle yourself, but that self-satisfied look on his face kinda says it all, don't it?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Singapore 1

I will write little to nothing about the Evil Corporation I was working for on the other side of the world, and focus on the country this 'corpo' was exploiting.

Singapore is truly a land of strange wonders - some of the greatest food from the three ethnic groups that reside there (Indian, Chinese, Malay), and a major shopping hub for the rich and devoid.

The first hotel we stayed, paid for by the E.C., was the Grand Hyatt, full amenities, crazy breakfast buffet with imported aged cheese and organic breads, and two (count 'em : 2) televisions in each suite. Oh yeah, the 'shower' was, ummm, these holes in the ceiling of the stall, to better replicate this 'rainfall' experience they were going for. And I was a tad disappointed that they only had 15 treadmills in their modest gym.

I should also say that great food and shopping usually means great architecture, and there was no shortage on this little island. The parkview entrance, for example is sumptious and elegant - the building rises like a fortress over the city.

After the gig was done, we had to say goodbye to the Hyatt and find a suitably budgeted place to hang out before our return flight 4 days later.

The first hotel was in Singapore's semi notorious red light district, the hotel was called Happy Ending over at the Galang 5 district. I say semi-notorious because the red light district in Singapore is where the locals go, not the tourists. It's for the regular Joe who saves whatever of his $100 a week to release stress, get a little bit of 'home', whatever. Not to be confused with the fully notorious red light districts of Bangkok and Amsterdam.

And here (bottom picture, above) is an innocent view out of my red light district hotel room window down onto the street.