Saturday, August 05, 2006


I'm not sure now whether I wouldn't have preferred a direct flight home rather than having another stopover. Getting through customs with an overly full suitcase and managing bags and everything is such a hassle. Heathrow is vicious in regards to carry-on and I had to repack my bag while I was there, whereas Singapore is lovely. They're quite happy for people to have several bags of carry-on as long as most of it's Duty Free. I was trying to get back four bottles of French/Spanish wine plus Duty Free spirits by the time I left Singapore...!

The second hotel was definitely much better. There was nothing particularly wrong with the Penisula Excelsior apart from bag security but the Allson was definitely of a higher class. For one thing they had a luggage room behind the concierge and had a security docket system for checking baggage in the day you were leaving. This was brilliant as I had an entire day to kill before the flight and was relieved to leave everything in safety. I also had two double beds in my room!! Random. And a gorgeous, gorgeous hot shower. I swear I was in there for an hour or so :)

I'd already been to Singapore and still had my map from last time. It was nice to know where the internet cafe was and where to find the bakery that I liked (sweet red bean pastries - so good). I went down to the Chinese night markets again nd got the last of my shopping done. I went down to the island of Sentosa for two days. The first day this guy on a business trip ended up tagging along with me for the day. I always wonder with guys that age if they find it flattering being seen with a younger woman or if it's just that they're so used to their wife that they find themselves at a loss without the company. Anyway, he was nice enough and it was nice having someone to chat to for the day. I did all the tourist things - went up the Merlion (Singapre's national symbol), looked at the orchids, did the forest walk, went to the Fort - the island was a British military base until the Japanese took over. The museum there was really interesting.

The next day I went back with my bikini etc... to read my romance novel underneath a coconut tree, swim in a real lagoon and dip my toes off the southernmost point of continental Asia. It was gorgeous. I ended up at a bit of a loss once I got back to the hotel though [the bus only leaves the island once an hour so you're much better to leave early than risk missing the one that you need]. I ended up strolling down to one of the huge street markets but it was the weirdest feeling to discover that I was sick of shopping!!

I was so glad to get home.... Thoroughly and utterly exhausted and stupidly grumpy as I tried to rush through unpacking and Mum was wanting me to sort through mail and stuff. sorry for being snappy. We were in a rush casuse Nick had a week off work and he wanted to get down to the bach on the Coromandel before it got too late. *g* It was really late by the time we got down there and got the fire going. I think I fell asleep in the car!

It was a brilliant week down there. Well, apart from Nick getting really sick - sick enough for me to jump in a manual car for the first time in years and drive us back to Auckland! But it was a relief to be back and look after him when he's sick rather than being on the opposite side of the world and unable to do anything about it. Very very glad to be in the same timezone again :)

Nos da cariad.


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