Thursday, September 23, 2004

Walkin in town

Spend the whole day walking in town. Started out with going to Tiong Bahru to have an 'old style' breakfast. Then went on to the Chinese embassy to pick up my passport and new visa. Then I went to Lavender to the Immigration Office to see if I could extend my Singaporean visa. When I got there I found out that I needed a 'sponsor', i.e a Singaporean's signature and IC to hand in the application. So, instead I took the MRT (the subway) to the border, walked out, and walked in again. That way I got a new 14-days visa. What a waste of time.

On the way back I wanted to visit the Kranji War Memorial. The bus driver probably misunderstood me even though I showed him the entry in the LP, so we went all the way in to town. I fell asleep more than I dozen times during the trip. So no War Memorial this time around.

In town I had chicken biriyani and ice-coffee in Little India. Then I walked over to Bugis and sat down to watch people. Where I sat there came a series of Chinese sales persons. They put up their stands, talked uninterrupted for about half and hour, packed up, and then came the next person. I tried to understand what they said. The first one was selling an ointment made from snake. He had couple of baskets with snakes with him and sold quite a lot. Thereafter came a guy who sold electric knife sharpener. After that a Buddhist who put up a portable table and started to teach. He spoke some dialect so I couldn't understand anything. He's the guy on the picture.

To compensate instead went to a nearby Buddhist temple. It was a very active place and to my surprise was most people praying my age and girls. So I sat there to 'observe' for a long time ;)
They first get a container with a bunch of sticks and shook them until one fell out. Then they had a little wooden piece that they threw up and watched it separate into two pieces when it landed on the carpet. I know very little what that was about. Considering they were Chinese it probably had something to do with wishing for money or a lot of boy babies.

Saturated with traditional stuff I went to Suntec city, a central shopping paradise and later to City Hall MRT, where I met up with Sam. We took a quick stroll down to the Esplanade and sat chatting by the river and looked at the skyline of the CBD (Central Banking District). After having spend an hour contemplating what to eat we decided to go to Newton and eat seafood.

The Newton food court was a lot more touristy and overpriced than I remembered. Maybe it was the same, but now I have spend so much more time in Singapore that I can notice the difference. Another stingray had to be sacrificed to please us.

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