I started out all excited for my day in Singapore and wondered how I was going to fit everything I wanted to do in to get back for my flight. But what followed was a series of errors, by me, that sabotaged the day and meant I was well over Singapore between 12 and 5pm, and just wanted to get on to Bali, my next destination. Having had no sleep the night before with a 6am flight, and knowing I wouldn’t be getting any that night may have added to the confusion / irritation.
1. Singapore Chilli Crabs
The first error was made in hunger. As soon as I got to Clarke Quay I made my way to Jumbo’s Restaurant ready to try this chilli crab Singapore was so famous for. There were no prices on the menus, the place looked pretty standard and I felt the £20 vibe from my surroundings. Expensive I thought, but recommended and I was only going to be in Singapore for two meals so might as well make them good ones. I also hadn’t eaten since the night before and as I was up at 3:30am. It was approaching midday and I was ravenous.
I can safely say I’ve never found a ruder set of staff in a restaurant than at Jumbo’s, which made what was to come even more annoying. The crab arrived. Huge. I checked the receipt they’d put in the pot on my table. Still no price. I wore my Jumbos bib and got to work with the nut crackers snapping legs off and sucking out the meat after scooping it out the body. Delicious. About 45 minutes of slurping along with my fellow diners and I was absolutely stuffed.
“Bill please?” of course accompanied by the international sign for ‘bill’. It arrived and even though I was still unsure of the exchange rate I knew that to see $100 on there was bad. Real bad. I quickly xe.com’d it on my phone and found it was £50. FIFTY on one lunch! By myself!
I’ve been surviving on £2 meals, tops, for the past few weeks. Even in London I’d get upset if it was over £15. I got them to take the service off to soften the blow a bit, but bollocks, I’d just spent an entire week’s food budget on a kilo of crab. I should’ve known.
2. Non stop rain and flip flops
I left the restaurant and it was absolutely chucking it down with rain. Hot rain. Not ideal when you’re in flip flops, beach trousers and a strappy top. Definitely not ideal when you realise the streets are made of smooth, read slippy, paving. I almost slipped over numerous times over the next few hours, and actually touched the floor with knees twice. I cried the second time, after bashing my knees into a stone wall. Not funny.
3. Stupid FunVee Sightseeing Bus
Thanks to my lack of research I’d been sold a dud sightseeing bus ticket at the airport train station. Instead of the official City Sightseeing one I wanted I ended up with a FunVee bus that I guess the sales lady was paid to push. This one only went every hour rather than every 15 minutes and with just a little book of street names for reference it was impossible to find any of the stops. Ee Oo Tong Street is over a mile long – how am I meant to know where it goes from? I tried for approximately three hours. Three hours chasing this stupid bus around Singapore – I even saw it twice and tried to make a dash to see where it stopped. Hence the slip sliding over.
As soon as I gave up I was a lot happier.
I complained when I went back to the airport and tried to get my $20 (£10) back but the woman seemed like she’d seen it all before and said they don’t do refunds.
Don’t buy the FunVee Pass in Singapore!
4. Didn’t recharge my battery
Add to this my phone ran out of battery. Although I’d managed to remember to bring my spare battery pack before checking everything else into left luggage, I’d forgot to bring the lead to connect the two. I pretty much rely on Google Maps 99% of the time so I was stranded in Singapore – until I found a charging station a few hours later in the Marina Bay Sands Shopping Mall that is.
5. Dangerous water fight
All this trekking around Singapore and not really getting anywhere was thirsty work. I went into the Cheers convenience shop at the Harbour and found myself some cool, refreshing water. As the fridge door closed behind I somehow got my finger trapped and the over zealous rebound mechanism hurtled toward my poor little pointing finger. It was all I could do not to shout that fridge down but I restrained and now just have a blackening nail.
But as I sat down outside the shop to nurse my pointer, I noticed these two shops next to each other, and realised everything happens for a reason.
Gardens by the Bay
Now that my Google Maps were back in action I decided to make my way to the Gardens by the Bay. And all of a sudden my day in Singapore got a million times better. More on that tomorrow!
I’m a bit gutted I didn’t have the Best Singapore Day Ever as expected, but thanks to a total lack of research and preparation mixed in with torrential rain and a bitter taste after a £45 crab what can you expect?