Posted by: danguard | June 19, 2009

Day 12 – Random rants and ramblings

Bonjour. Ca va? Ou est la piscine? ‘Splish splosh’? (sorry, this isn’t completely random. Some guy in the lift thought I was French today)

Well, I managed to get a little lost this morning trying to find a post office. Though on a map this city looks fairly simple and well-designed, in reality I’ve never been so confused about a place, and I’m usually an ‘excellent’ navigator. First, you have a myriad of complex underground labyrinthian malls which serve as the city’s high streets but provide no real geographical bearing to indicate where you actually are. I only found out the other day that every day for the past week I’ve been walking back on myself ten minutes away from the destination I wanted to get to, so a journey that should have only taken 15 mins or so was taking me 35 mins! And in the sweltering morning sun that’s no fun (hey, that rhymes!). No wonder I was the only one regularly dripping in sweat when I arrived! Then, I’m sure the street names are all pointing in the opposite direction, you know, like rugby union referees point in a different direction to football and rugby league referees when they’re awarding a free kick? Or perhaps I’m just imagining that.

What hasn’t been helping my sweat problem is the fact there is a whole different system to crossing the road here which it appears only the locals know about. Most pedestrian crossings seem to take a good couple of minutes before the man turns green, a long time when you’re literally being cooked in broad daylight. What I noticed today when I was standing at one such crossing, however, was a man walk out of a nearby shop, up to the button to press it, then walk back to wait in the shade of the building. Genius! All this time I imagine there have been dozens of Singaporeans quietly sniggering behind my back, watching this idiot speaking to you stand guard at the crossing while they wait in the comfort of the shade. Well not anymore!

'1 for 1'? You must be joking!

'1 for 1'? You must be joking!

Another thing that has perplexed me here are the numerous signs outside bars, restaurants and stalls, advertising a ‘1 for 1’ offer on drinks. In the UK, this wouldn’t be a particularly enticing deal, as you expect to get one when you pay for one. Usually you’d want at least ‘2 for 1’ to be enticed into such places. And if ‘1 for 1’ is the special rate, then what is it normally, ‘buy one, receive half’? Crazy! Needless to say, I’ve been staying well clear of such unscrupulous establishments. You have to get up very early in the morning to put one past me!

I can’t wait for the first British Lions test tomorrow night and seeing some live (broadcast) sport which isn’t Brunei FC vs the Singapore Armed Forces. Thankfully the match falls at a decent time out here (9pm), and I plan to go and watch it in an Irish pub. I just hope there’s not a ‘1 for 1’ offer on the guiness…



  1. Thanks for cheering me up. I nearly split my sides, reading about the 1:1 offer!

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