Jan's guest post
Singapore visit 2007

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Since Ed covered our 40 hour trip over here and the first couple of days, I won't spend any time on that but rather will add some of my observations on Singapore and continue from where Ed left off.

One of the things that I learned real fast was that the cars drive on the left side of the road with the driver in the right-hand seat. You better watch it when you step off of the curb at a corner because the cars are turning from a different lane and direction than you would expect. Another thing I noticed about the cars is that there are no old cars. The government will only permit cars to be a certain age and then they must be dispensed with. The prices are also controlled and you cannot just trade a car for whatever price you can get.

Although Singapore is very tough on crime, I have only seen about 3 policemen in the time we have been here. They are especially tough on drugs. If you are a high school student, especially from another country, you better not get caught in school with any drug, even marijuana. If you are, you are immediately expelled. The school then tells you that they won't turn you over to the police providing you are out of the country in 72 hours.

There are some interesting names for things here, such as carpark (garage), a lift (elevator). Also, when you get off the MRT, there is an announcement "When departing, mind the gap". In other words, watch your step!

We have been doing a lot of shopping (mostly looking) in all of the malls along Orchard Road. The reason I say "mostly looking" is that the people over here are a lot smaller than people from the US and the clothes are smaller. It took me awhile to find an outfit that would fit. Ed didn't have such luck, however, since he couldn't even find a pair of shorts big enough. A size 38 was the largest size he could find and unfortunately that wasn't big enough.

One of the interesting trips we took so far was on Sunday, April 22 when Sandy, Shannon, Ed, and I went to the Singapore Botanic Gardens that is about 400 acres in size. People come here to find some green space since there is very little in the central city. Part of the Gardens was the National Orchid Garden, a huge orchid garden containing 60,000 orchid plants comprising 1,000 species. And, of course, there were the usual gift shops.

On Monday, Ed and I went shopping in another nearby mall. Steve goes here about every day to do grocery shopping and has a shortcut from their apartment through the mall carpark. Well, when Ed and I were going to leave, we tried to find the shortcut and got lost. After wondering around for awhile, we finally got some directions from a security guard. By the time we got outside, it was raining and we didn't have an umbrella. To be safe you should carry one most of the time because it rains about every day at some time or other. We decided to go back into the mall and guess what! I found a nice shoe store and just happened to find a pair of sandals that I liked and they FIT! We got home in time to walk back down to Orchard Road to meet Sandy for a couple of jugs of Tiger beer.

Our tour guide, Steve, took us on an interesting trip Tuesday to an area called Suntec City. We rode the MRT that is the usual means of travel. Suntec City is another huge shopping area with almost 400 stores and eating places. This is also the location of the Fountain of Wealth, advertised as the largest fountain in the world although it was shut down for maintenance. After getting off the MRT on the way home we stopped at another sidewalk bar along Orchard Road for a jug of beer. It was nice and cold.

Wednesday was a day to relax and go down to the pool. Of course, it started to rain while down there. That was OK for Ed since he was in his swimming suit, but not me! We just waited it out under a lawn chair umbrella. Today, Thursday, April 26, it was raining again. After a workout in the gym and with our trusty umbrella, Ed and I walked in the rain a couple of blocks to an outside restaurant called The Coffee Bean for breakfast. The breakfasts there are very good and quite reasonable. We sat there having breakfast and watched the traffic in the rain.

On Friday, Sandy took off at noon so Steve, Ed and I took a cab to her office and then went for lunch at the Hog's Breath Café in Vivo City, another new mall that has about 350 restaurants and shops. The roof of the mall is landscaped. The Hog's Breath Café, located in Vivo City, overlooks the harbor and Sentosa Island that we plan to visit soon. The island can be accessed by a tram that runs high over the harbor. Also, it overlooks the shipyard. Singapore is the largest shipping port in the world.

After returning home from Vivo City, we took the MRT to Chinatown. There were many small shops and stands with lots of items for tourists. There are also many tailors who want to make clothes for you. Sandy and I made some new friends. You can see them in one of the pictures. They didn't say much, but boy were they ever good listeners.

Well, that is all for now. We have a number of trips lined up for next week so we may be able to post another blog before we return home on May 7.

Lawry visit 2007 photo pages
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Ed and Jan in the Orchid Garden

Jan, Sandy and Shannon

March orchids

Lucky Plaza

Centre Point mall

Guess what?

Lawry visit 2007 photo pages
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