4:15 a.m. is incredibly early to get up for a flight, unless you went to bed at 8. Then it’s not so bad.
This travel day was so much better than the last time we had to fly. But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit. We didn’t sleep through any alarms and were up and moving on schedule. Our checkout was painless, as I called down beforehand asking for the bill to be ready. Trying to explain what ‘bill’ meant was interesting, but he eventually got it. Our taksi to the airport was ½ the price the hotel charged us on the transfer from the airport, so that was a happy surprise, and we arrived at the airport in record time, thanks to very little traffic so early.
We were on a plane with probably over 100 people, and they were all wearing the same fabric pattern. Sal thinks they were part of a religious group, which would make sense because when we were getting ready to land someone said what I believe was a prayer over the PA system. The flight was about 25 minutes late, but this is Air Asia we’re talking about and that’s practically on time. So no complaints and a basically easy transfer. Huzzah!
Before we knew it, we were descending into Singapore. Now I had heard about how great the singapore airport is supposed to be. I’m not sure what I expected. There’s still a lot we haven’t seen, though, and we’ll spend more time there before our outbound flight. There were only two things I noticed that stood out to me: 1) free foot massage chairs, 2) at immigration they had little candies next to the agents booths. It was very quiet at baggage claim (sorta like Zurich), and you had to have your bags scanned again before exiting completely.
We got some cash from the ATM (there seems to always be a little section at these Asian airports with several different ATM brands), and got a cab without waiting in any line. It was around lunchtime, so apparently that’s a good time to arrive and miss long queues. The cab to the hotel was about $17 USD for about a 25 minute ride.
We got a good deal at the Four Seasons and decided to start the trip in the Orchard Road section of Singapore, which is basically the mall/shopping section, it seems. They let us check in a few hours early, which was great.
It’s a bit strange going from Indonesia to Singapore. Things are extremely clean here and modern looking. I almost feel like I’m back home, except it’s more clean than back home. It’s also hotter. Holy crap when they talk about the humidity here they aren’t kidding. No wonder there are so many malls – people can’t stand being outside too long! Food courts are a big deal here because of the quality of food and the prices. We went to one in the Ion Mall, which is just a couple blocks from Four Seasons. It was crowded and a we felt like we were running into everyone. We got some dim sum and some sweet snacks. In my opinion it was slightly overwhelming, but I think the next time will be easier as we’ll know what to expect. There were tons of different food options and most of them looked quite yummy. We are researching the best food courts in the city, and will check a few more out before the end of the trip.
This is the only pic I took at one of the bread shops.
We wandered around the mall a bit, trying to decide what to do. I have to say, the hot weather is a real issue here. Most of our sightseeing will probably be in the mornings. Anyway, we got some refreshments and sat in the shade for a bit. We then decided to go get an early dinner, as we hadn’t really had all that much for lunch. The original food court place we were looking for ended up being closed for renovations, so we decided to go back to Ion, but to a restaurant we saw on the top floor that was a chain restaurant with a michelin star, Putien. We got there right when they opened. They immediately sat us down and gave us three different menus, with pictures that included English. They also gave us a little ziploc bag to put our phones in so that the soup wouldn’t spill on them. No joke.
It was hard to decide what to try. We asked the waiter to tell us if we ordered too much, as we weren’t sure what the portion size would be. He reviewed our order and said it seemed like enough for two people. Try more like four people, fella!
Notice the gloves by the bun – you put them on to put the pork on the bun and eat it. The other odd thing was that when you ask for water it comes hot. Oddly, it’s not unpleasant to drink hot water.
The excitement of the day happened about ½ way through the meal, when Sal was trying my berry tea drink:
I heard a crash and looked over, and Sal was still holding the glass, while the bottom and all of the red liquid was on the table and Sal himself. It was a clean break, with no glass shards. Sal, “I didn’t do anything!”. We laughed a bit. Sal’s pants proved that they were, indeed, water resistant; it beaded right off. Nice. There was a lot that spilled on his shirt, but that ended up washing out nicely once we got back to the hotel. As soon as it happened there were about 5 people at the table cleaning it and giving him napkins to clean himself. They gave me a new tea. I had to wonder, in America if that had happened would they have offered to at least to clean the shirt? Hard telling, I guess. Oh, well. Made for some excitement, if nothing else! We did really enjoy the food. There was just too much of it!
We walked back to the FS and had a night cocktail and retired to this room view. Not bad.