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Singapore beginnings ( Autumn 2011 trip back to OZ)

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 4:34 AM

Having spent ten months getting to know the chap a little, what better way to crack on with some quality father-son bonding than a trip to your local red light district. Its 3am, and we find ourselves in the wonderfully noisy and noisome Geylang district of Singapore. It’s the second day of our “last hurrah” trip to Australia. The girls are sleeping, or trying to. Fraser and I can’t. We try; he cries (or more like squeals in the highest pitch you ever could imagine for a boy); but we just can’t. I know jetlag well from my time when I lived in Singapore going back and forwards to Europe. This is new territory for him and he is quite disorientated, though not as unhappy as when he doesn’t get fed in a time he thinks appropriate. Singapore, as most people know is hot and humid, it is never anything else. Either that or it rains. The aircon in the room is going at full tilt trying to keep out the tropical heat. So having divested ourselves of our clothes, we head out the door. Our hotel was booked from the UK. I had done a lot of homework before we came away, like where we might buy a pop top caravan in Australia, or a solar powered torch to light our way to the outdoor dunny, or how we were going to get a table reservation at world famous Tetsuyas in Sydney which has a six month waiting list; yet I had neglected to book a transit hotel in Singapore till the very last minute. Only problem was the last minute coincided with the Singapore Grand Prix. In a mad frantic dash for the line, I tried every possibility I knew in the centre of town, even hostels which I thought had been condemned when Sir Stamford Raffles was last in town. But we were out of luck, there was no room at the Inn anywhere. That Hamilton fellow and his chums had gobbled the lot up. So, Geylang in the so-called badlands of Singapore was our only choice. As red light districts go, it’s kind of fluffy and faux. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure your fair share of mind-bending kinky rinky sex gets a run out here, but it’s the kind of place you could bring your Gran to and she would be none the wiser. Just a bit annoyed she was being kept up past her bedtime, just so you could show her a few men in frocks on their night out. “I’m even sure the “girls” would provide a babysitting service, if that’s what you needed,” remarked my wife Vera as we checked in the day before. Well I just want to set the record straight V, we just went window shopping. Fraser wasn’t fussed at all by the lights, the din of the traffic, the pimps and their sisters they kept threatening to wheel out for our delectation. He was just laying back and dreaming of dinner. We spent a happy hour or so nosing around, dodging the traffic. Eventually finding our way back to the hotel again just as the dawning sun was beginning to smear itself over the Singapore skyline. Emma is not sure this was such a good idea once she had volunteeredThe next day was spent chugging around the city. We got on the delightfully cool MRT underground to Sentosa, the little island off the slightly bigger island of Singapore. It had been a down at heel, scruffy kind of resort when I lived there. Since then it had morphed into this overblown concrete monstrosity known in tourism parlance as a “destination resort”. Quite hideous. But we ticked the time off quite well, traipsing round the least dreadful attractions. A Cockatoo sat on Emma’s arm, which was nice. Next stop Sydney. Huzzah - lemonades all round.

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