For the first leg of our trip, we will be in Singapore. Prior to our departure I didn't know much about Singapore - so I arrived with an open mind but had heard good things. One thing that was apparent from the beginning was that this was an extremely modern, clean, and well run airport. The immigration process was incredibly quick and efficient and before we knew it we were on the train from the airport to our hotel. With only 2 days in Singapore, Estelle and I wanted to make the most of it. While checking into our hotel we chatted up the friendly staff and came up with our game plan.
The first stop was "Little India" - in our heads we had these grand visions of lively street markets and great restaurants everywhere. Arriving we may have been a little disappointed since there was no market but there was this HUGE store called "Mustasfa Center" a 4 or 5 story complex that had anything and everything, especially electronics. We scored a converter and I got some headphones and next stop was the doctor for Estelle. (Note: Estelle has a very acute allergy to shellfish and had been without her epipen since I had met her. The plan was to get her an epipen in Indonesia but they literally don't have them there, but we found that she could get one here in Singapore with a doctors prescription.)
We roamed the streets of Little India until we found a doctors office and found the doctor to be one of the funniest, nicest, and assertive doctors we had encountered! $10 later, yes $10 later, Estelle got her prescription. The doctor had called in her prescription and the only pharmacy in South East Asia that se could get it was...The hospital where she was born, Mt. Elizabeth Hospital.
|(THE "DO NOT SCREAM" SIGN MAY HAVE BEEN A LITTLE INTIMIDATING AT THE DOCTORS OFFICE...)|
Tour Time! We decided to take a tour to see more of Singapore, and chose the "Red Lantern" tour; it promised to give tourists a real experience of Singapore! So, we had to do that! We had an awesome guide and learned some truly interesting insights about Singapore. Including gems, such as:
- For the "right" to buy a car you need to pay $70,000 fee to the government!
- 40% of Singaporeans are foreigners
- Singapore has the 2nd lowest corporate tax, next to Hong Kong
- 20% of Singaporeans income acutomatically goes to a "401(k)" that can be used only to buy a house/condo/higher education
- The hotel we chose happened to be right smack in the middle of the red light district! Whoops! (We learned this as the tour passed by our street and the guide mentioned the 'working ladies')
- There are a lot of parks in Singapore - and they have full on gym equipment outdoors!
- It costs about $500,000 to buy government subsidized housing (we also learned that married couples had first dibs! Our guide, who was single - had to wait a few years to get a condo!)
|(NOTHING LIKE GETTING A LITTLE WORKOUT IN AT THE PARK!)|
|(OUR GUIDE WAS THE MAN!)|
So glad that we did the tour - our guide was great! He even helped me pick out some Chinese medicine for this sore throat I got!
|(GETTING TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE CHINESE HERBAL TEA)|
Our last day happened to fall on July 4th, so as US citizens we felt that we had to be true patriots and celebrate Independence Day. So we went to to Adventure Cove Waterpark at Sentosa! Sentosa is like Disneyland - a huge development with a Water Park, Universal Studios, Aquarium (largest in the world), and many more attractions (check it out: http://www.sentosa.com.sg/en/). The water park was a blast going on the different slides and it wasn't too crowded. We didn't have any towels but tried this lovely device (picture) and it did the trick and fully dried us!
|("DRYING" MACHINE! IT ACTUALLY WORKED!)|
|(HANGIN" IN THE LAZY RIVER)|
Next stop was Mt. Elizabeth Hospital to get Estelle's epipen. Once we got it; what a sense of relief! Traveling and having anaphylaxis allergy to shellfish is scary!
|(MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! )|
After walking around Orchard Road (think Rodeo Drive) we were feeling the fatigue. "Want to watch a movie?" YES!
|(FATE! WE JUST HAPPENED TO COME ACROSS OUR MOTTO!)|
We saw Lone Ranger and we both thought it was one of the best movies we had seen in a long, long time! Highly recommended.
With our time in Singapore winding down - we rushed to go and meet Estelle's family friends that were coming all the way from Kuala Lumpur to come pick us up and continue our Adventure.