Monday, April 15, 2013















After 30 incredible days in Bali, Eat Gay Love continued to Singapore. To say that the two places aredifferent would be an understatement; jetting from the most rural, dusty towns and villages to one of the financial capitals of the world was a study in contrasts; we found ourselves spinning as the cab flew through the clean and expertly-manicured streets of Singapore. It was like being woken from a quiet sleep, thrust into this tidy urban centre. Something like arriving home with ill-advised Mexican hair braids, we suddenly felt unprepared for a long weekend in such a glamorous place. Our brains were wired for the comforts of the beach or a motorbike ride through a rice paddy, and then forced to recalibrate in an instant. Our khaki shorts seemed dank and worn, four weeks worth of "laundry service" now exposed as kinda janky. A quick run to Uniqlo got us a fresh pile of shirts, though I was stunned to see that in this part of the world, I classify as an Extra-Large.  

But after a few swirling, culturally-shocking hours, we leaned-in and got to know this fine, fine city. It's best-compared to a large outdoor shopping centre, paved and landscaped, with fountains and shops and restaurants everywhere. Cabs are affordable, the transit system is cheap and efficient, and the melting-pot culture is familiar, reminding me of Toronto in many ways. 

Like Canada, Singapore is an extremely young country made up of many ethnic groups. There are few native Singaporeans as it's only been a nation unto itself since the 1960s when it separated from Malaysia. Historically it has been an outpost for the East India Company, then a British settlement  for a time before being occupied by the Japanese during WWII. In 1963 it aligned with other British territories to form Malaysia before gaining its independence just two years later. 

Only 63% of the 5.18 million living here are citizens, while the rest are permanent residents or foreign workers. There are four official languages (English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and Tamil) and it really feels like each is represented in a significant way. These factors make the city feel incredibly dynamic, shifting all the time in an effort to form its cultural identity. Like I said, it reminds me of home.

Now we're headed back to a quieter place where our clothes are perfectly suitable and a sweaty line down our backside doesn't feel so déclassé. We'll spend a month in Thailand, poking around its various parts, before we head to Cambodia and maybe Vietnam. We'll see where these balmy winds take us. Thanks for reading.


MAP BY PAUL DOTEY


CURRENTLY
LOCATION: Changi Airport, Singapore
DATE AND TIME: Monday, April 15, 2013 5:00PM Singapore Standard Time/Monday, April 15, 2013 5:00AM EST

Again, please keep up with my Instagram feed for daily bits and bobs.

10-SECOND REVIEWS 
Location: The Republic of Singapore
Accommodation: Days Hotel 
A good location near enough to major MRT stops, but out of the CBD, therefore more affordable. The hotel is brand new, so ultra-clean with attentive service and lots of amenities. Our room was quite small, but stylish and modern. 
Food: We had some truly spectacular meals in Singapore from super-authentic dim sum (Mongok DimSum) some of the best Indian food ever (Ananda Bhavan Vegetarian) and a long-desired charcuterie board at Wine Connection, one of the few places in Singapore where you can get affordable wine. While we spent far more on food here than we did in Bali, it was all really great.



 RATING OUT OF FOUR BASED ON OVERALL EXPERIENCE.





2 comments:

  1. I can't wait to see Thailand through your eyes! Take lots of food pics, please. I LOVE Thai food.
    xo

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  2. I am so excited to see your photos from Thailand and read about your experience! I'm living in Beijing right now and spent the two weeks I had off for Chinese New Year in Thailand. It wasn't nearly long enough! I went north, to Chiang Mai, spent a few days in Bangkok, and then some time in the south, on the islands of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. My favourite part was Chiang Mai because I spent a day at an elephant sanctuary (http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/), where I learned about these amazing beings, fed them, and bathed them. I don't know if elephants are your thing, but it's worth checking out! And oh my word, Thai food! I would love to have some green curry right now!

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