If it’s Saturday, it must be Singapore…..

When I arrive someplace new and I’m tired and jetlagged and hot, my favourite thing to do is take a boat trip.  My family hates these hoakey things, but I confess that I love them.  They may not be cool, but they’re cool, if you know what I mean.  Now, I’ve been to Singapore once before so I have a basic idea of the city, but I arrived late last night, I have an appointment later this afternoon and actually, thirty minutes tootling along the river was just what I needed.

I must admit that in my most cranky moments, I’ve called Singapore “the Epcot of the East.” Just like that part of DisneyWorld which no kid wants to go to, Singapore is a series of iconic (perhaps trite) distillations all in one place. Every bit of Asia has its own little section.  But I’m not so tired and cranky anymore and I know that such an assessment really isn’t fair.  Setting it’s politics aside (ahem) this is a small island that grew from nothing into a big city which has old and new co-existing, and an extraordinarily diverse population all living together.  Plus, if you’re a city lover like me, it’s really beautiful.

 The river along the main business area is studded with statures like these of centuries-old merchants hawking their wares and kids jumping in for a swim.

The river is lined with quays that show the old shophouses backing up against the towering skyscrapers. These shophouses are now mostly restaurants, and beside the crazy amount of shopping here, Singapore is known for its food.  More on that later…..