Monday, August 2, 2010

What I was grateful for in Singapore...




Okay, okay, as already stated, I like to eat. Life is for eating, right? I mean living, and living requires fuel to keep us going and that fuel is food, and, boy, was there fuel to be had in Singapore!
1. CHILLI CRAB: I won’t lie to you. This is the reason I stopped over in Singapore on the way home. Chilli crab and pepper crab. Extraordinary! I went with Shamini (more below) to we went to the famous Jumbo restaurant to get crabs... so to speak. I really wanted to go so I could wear a bib, because I am always seeking opportunities to wear a bib in public (see pic), NOT!
2. SHAMINI FLINT: The other real reason I stopped over was to hang with local writer Shamini Flint – I like her name because it rhymes with Lindt! And she’s very, very funny. And I am always grateful for the laughs. More importantly, Shamini is a deadly writer and publisher of kids’ books and novels. I’m currently reading the first of her Inspector Singh crime novels, 'Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder' I was grateful that in the middle of her busy writing, publishing, touring and mothering schedule, the lawyerly author found time to crack some crab legs and throw some peanut shells on the grown in the Long Bar of the famous Raffles Hotel.
3. DAVID AND KERYN: As a bonus to the chilli crab and Shamini the lovely David (whom I’ve known since he was in shorts and long socks in primary school) and his gorgeous girl Keryn hung out with me in Boat Quay before a quick pic with a fire-engine for my character Libby Cutmore, then a view from the 70th floor of the Equinox restaurant. I was grateful that the generous young people took some time out with ‘Aunty Anita’. Although, the low point of the night was when the waiter asked if I as Keryn’s mother! No tip for you Mister!
3. ORCHARD ROAD: Ok, so this is why a lot of people head to Singapore, and I like to shop, but in all honesty I was shopped out after NYC. Having said that I did find two Tiffany’s stores along the way, and if nothing else I was grateful to head into the air-conditioning of the endless stream of shopping malls on a day that was 84% humidity.
4. NATIONAL ORCHID GARDEN: I was grateful for the serenity that a short visit to the National Orchid Garden presented me. I’m not a gardener, I mean I am capable of killing cactus, but I do like flowers. And wow – who would've known there were so many varieties of orchids. I lost count, but there’s a pic of one of my favourite above.
5. EVERYTHING’S CLEAN: I think Singapore is the cleanest city I have ever been in. I never saw a piece of litter of any description at all on the street. The malls were clean. The cabs were clean. The amenities were clean. It was a real pleasure to walk around in Singapore, and a lot safer after being in Barcelona where you have clutch your handbag as if it’s a bodily organ you can’t afford to lose.
6. EVERYONE’S FRIENDLY: I can’t remember being anywhere on the planet where everyone was as helpful, friendly and as kind as they were in Singapore. I was overwhelmed by the extraordinary level of hospitality in my hotel, as well as every single cab driver giving me touristy tips and just chatting and laughing (ok sometimes neither of us knew what the other was saying but both driver and passenger were happy).
7. MASSAGES: Reflexology, shiatsu, Asian oil... I had it all and loved it and needed it after pouring over my mss for 10 days typing in BCN.
8. ANDY’S HANDS: I was particularly grateful to Andy at the Reflexology Centre in Raffles City Mail. He had the best hands on any man I’ve ever met.

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