A Couple of Chores

Tue, 06 May 2008 11:00:47 +0000

Cooling my Heels Index Singapore to KL

Some people might think it's boring of me to refuse to do any touristing in Singapore, but really the place doesn't have much to offer someone like me. I'm far better off taking some time out to relax, and clean up a couple of todos on my list.

The first of those was getting some malaria pills. This time I got mefloquine, so I only need to take them once a week instead of twice a day. It was a real chore in South America, especially since they are deliberately made so bitter. Eight pills will nicely cover my time in south-east Asia plus the four week period you're supposed to keep taking them afterwards.

I also conceded defeat and bought myself a cheap pair of thongs to wear instead of my hiking boots. I like my boots, since there are lots of sharp, disgusting, or unhealthy-looking things to step in out there in the world. But they were designed for hiking up mountains in the Alps, not strolling the safe streets of Singapore.

It's been many years since I wore thongs, and my feet weren't ready for them. I went down to the train station just to figure out where it was, which involves quite a long walk from the subway station. The thongs quickly gave me blisters. That poses the dilemma that if I return to wearing my boots all day, the blisters will probably get infected, whereas if I keep wearing the thongs they'll never heal. I guess I'll figure out some kind of compromise, and try to spend as much time as possible in hostels with my bare feet up in front of a fan. It's a tough life sometimes.

I also made a futile attempt to pay for my Chinese course at a local HSBC branch. Futile because a UK HSBC account does not entitle you to make international transfers at any HSBC branch in the world, and I know this perfectly well. But I thought I'd ask anyway. No, I can't do that. It's probably going on the rapidly-growing list of things to do in Perth once I have proper Internet access, a proper computer, and a telephone I can make international calls on at a sensible price.

I realise I haven't mentioned any food in Singapore yet. This is because although the food is good, and wonderfully cheap, I haven't been eating anything surprising. I've mainly been eating at the massive food court thing just up the road. Lots of tiny stalls cooking various simple meals. I tried a couple of kinds of noodles.

I also got a chicken biryani from a diner in little India, but copped out and ate it with a fork, instead of using my fingers like everyone else in the place. First time I've eaten off a palm leaf, too. And lastly, I was lazy tonight and ate in the pub next door to the hostel. Chili fish, with of all things an Erdinger Weissbier to drink. It was alright, but I should have been more adventurous. At least my diet is much healthier than it's been for a long time - lots of vegetables, and snacking on fresh fruit. I still haven't tried durian though - it looks messy.

Cooling my Heels Index Singapore to KL