I went along this morning to Clarke Quay, where I got on the first cruise of the day. Not as exciting as Venice, but still an interesting view of parts of Singapore. While it was early by Singapore time, there were still lots of people on land to see the Merlion, the symbol of Singapore.
As the guide said, it is unlikely that you would see boys jumping into the river as the statue shows. Singapore has acquired much more sophistication since those times. In reality, the boys would probably be prosecuted if they did …..
From an empty Clarke Quay to the throngs of Chinatown. You could hardly walk here. I was going to take photos, but there were so many people that if you stopped you were jostled etc, so I was not able to get a good photo of this colourful and enticing place. The market place is large with several eating centres spread throughout. Another good meal – roast duck on rice and soy drink – all for about $7. Here is the Buddha temple and also I came upon a ceremonial Dragon Dance – cheap cymbals but quite well done.
I wandered up Ann Siang Hill at one stage – a quiet oasis away from the noise and smells that assail the senses in Chinatown. I think
I am better at ignoring the hawkers. – probably owing to the fact that having replaced my noise-cancelling earplugs (as mine broke en route), I now have the equal of excellent hi-fi speakers in my ears 🙂 I bought some Chinese New Year decorations and have hung one up in my room. The red and gold colours are everywhere in Singapore. I doubt that there will be a lot open tomorrow, so I have planned accordingly.
For the Chinese New Year, I decided (because it is close) to go down to Little India for a good dinner. Little India is packed with……men. Women (apart from foreigners) are simply not in evidence. The men take up the pavement – and spill out on to the road. Must be some cultural thing – the women left at home with children…?
The meal was quite good, though in reality I might have eaten just as well at a market. I would have felt more welcome as well. It is interesting that when in the markets, people have come to my table and eaten and talked – at least a little. Here at the restaurant, I was made to feel quite alien. I left without having any dessert (!), after the waiter first brought me the bill and then, when I tried to order an item, which had just been brought to the table next door, he told me (without checking) that it was not available . Raised eyebrows from the cashier when I paid the exact amount and left…
I stumbled upon a beautiful mosque Masjid Abdul Gafoor), where I felt reasonably welcome, though I was not allowed in as I might disturb their prayers – there were others (followers?)simply going in…..
After that I felt I had enough of the people and the noise and returned to my room to watch the Australian Open tennis – a somewhat quieter way to celebrate the Chinese New Year’s Eve