My last full travel day was spent in Singapore. I arrived early in the morning and took Singapore Airlines up on their offer of free transit to the Little India area of the city. On the way, I met a girl from France who was travelling to New Zealand to study English. I was thrilled to meet someone I could practice speaking French with – I’ve had very little exposure to French over the past 8 weeks, and really wanted to speak and hear more of it before returning to Ottawa. And she was glad to find someone who spoke English and French (even if it may have been difficult for her to understand me at times). I think it really helped her out to have someone who could ask for directions and make sure we would get to where we wanted to go.
And we sort of got lost anyway. We spent a few hours doing the walking route around Little India, following a map and guide book. That was fine and I think we both enjoyed seeing this part of Singapore. Then we decided to try catching one of the tour buses to see more of the city. That’s when things got complicated. We probably just missed the bus we wanted and then tried to find a different stop to catch it or another bus – and we didn’t know where to go. The maps for these buses aren’t exactly precise, and the very friendly and helpful locals aren’t actually all that knowledgeable about the specifics of where and how to catch tourist buses.
Eventually, we got caught in a sudden rain storm and a young Singaporean who was waiting for his girlfriend to meet him offered to show us how to take the subway. This was so nice of him! The system was familiar, but it made things much easier to have someone to show us the steps and point us in the right direction. From the stop we got off at, we could walk underground past numerous stores to get back to the meeting spot for where the bus would bring us back to the airport.
So I helped Sofie get back there in time for her afternoon return to the airport. Since I still had hours before flying out, I decided to take the city bus tour (and the bus happened to pull up right in front of me, so I hopped on). It was still rainy, so I didn’t want to get out and explore at any of the stops. I had already done so much walking that day!
After the tour, I walked back to see the 16 storey high National Library. It’s a national library and also a public, lending library. Since it was Good Friday and a holiday in Singapore, the library was closed. Still, the outside of the building is impressive and the area surrounding the library is very inviting. I had to follow in my vacation tradition and photograph the library and its signage, of course.
I also stopped by the Raffles Hotel, famous for the creation of the Singapore Sling (and other things, I’m sure).
Eventually, I headed back to the airport where I was looking forward to taking Singapore Airlines up on its other offer of a free shower (offered to anyone who takes the shuttle bus into the city). After a walk in the hot Singapore morning and rainy Singapore afternoon I was really looking forward to this! Finding the Rainforest Spa shower area was more difficult than I had anticipated, though. I eventually found it, and just hoped that my fellow traveller from France had been able to find more easily!