Last year I went on a trip to Australia, with a stop-off in Singa­pore along the way. I’ve finally star­ted sort­ing out the photos and writ­ing a zine about the trip. Here’s some photos from Singa­pore- they’re all phone photos as I left my suit­case at the airport for conveni­ence as I had to fly to Melbourne the next day and I real­ised the battery char­ger for my camera was in it too late. Wander­ing round eating food and sight-seeing for just one day, you don’t come into much contact with the author­it­ari­an side of Singa­pore, but I will expand my thoughts on that in the zine.

Arrival at Chan­gi Airport in Singa­pore. There’s a roof garden to get some fresh air right as you arrive.

Someone told me about the staff canteen at the airport- anyone can go in, and the food is really good and cheap. Except for this “Brit­ish Menu” (£1=$2 SGD). I guess they went for chick­en because there are a lot of Hindu Singa­por­eans.

Food court setups with a circle of stalls surround­ing a common seat­ing area are very common in Singa­pore- they have both indoor and outdoor versions. All of them have Malay­si­an, Chinese and Indi­an food options, and lots of them have special­ist stalls for partic­u­lar items. I went for the veget­ari­an Chinese counter in the airport canteen.

I just told the woman to give me a bit of everything- I ended up with seit­an fake char sui pork, some kind of marin­ated tofu, and fake seit­an chick­en, plus a glass of tamar­ind juice for around £3.

This elab­or­ate flor­al arrange­ment next to the left luggage office was GONE when I came back the next day. Myster­i­ous.

I was stay­ing in Geylang in the east of the city- cheap and conveni­ent for the airport. It’s a strange mix of red light district, frog restaur­ants, duri­an stalls and bars. I guess all the things the author­it­ies don’t like in the glossy centre. It was a perfectly safe place to stay however and had more life than some of the cent­ral areas.

I was very temp­ted to get this Snoopy craft book, but it turned out to be really expens­ive as it was impor­ted from Japan and I think also included some supplies.

I did however get this knock-off Totoro glasses case from a street stall for around £2. A year later the picture is pretty badly rubbed off, and I’d forgot­ten how bright it was when I got it.

Anoth­er cheap food court meal- a really nice vegan katsu curry for about £4. It was monsoon season, so I had to stick to the indoor food courts.

No stinkers allowed aboard. More on duri­ans later.

I wanted to go to the Botan­ic­al Gardens in the daytime, but it was rain­ing heav­ily all day. It was also open in the even­ing though, and there were plenty of other women walk­ing around by them­selves as Singa­pore is a very safe place. It was still pretty spec­tac­u­lar at night, but hard to take photos.

As the rain had stopped I could also explore Little India a bit. People do a lot of things at night in Singa­pore anyway because of the hot trop­ic­al climate.

Late-night jewellery market.

Hindu temple next to a Hilton hotel.

I went to Daiso as well- it’s the Japan­ese version of Pound­land, but their stuff is much nicer- espe­cially the station­ery.

Less than a tenner well spent

Septem­ber is Moon Fest­iv­al time in Chinese culture. These moon­cakes are a season­al speci­al­ity (although the origin­al recipe has red beans instead of ice cream). Swensen’s is an odd one- an Amer­ic­an chain that seems to have died in the US but is every­where in Singa­pore, with all their branches decor­ated in that Tiffany Lamp style that was all the rage in the 1970s, like some­thing from the Cheers set.

My indi­vidu­al moon­cake. It was so so good. I still crave anoth­er one. Chewy pastry outside with dark chocol­ate and fudge ice cream centre.

Didn’t fancy a preserved duck egg though.

They really do love Garfield in Singa­pore, huh?

Stinkers! Duri­an, the gorgonzola of fruit. There were loads of these stalls around my hotel. It’s illeg­al to take them on the train or bus (and I bet taxi drivers aren’t very keen either), so they also had a picnic table and a handy machete for if you wanted to eat it there and then. Three for a tenner isn’t bad though.

Blade Runner opti­cians near the hotel.

Side street altar outside a bar.

Sex shop. These dummies seem to have all been in terrible skiing acci­dents though.

Grem­lins shirt I got for about £3 from the reduced rail at Uniqlo.

Thanks for the though­ful hospit­al­ity, hotel. (Yes, this is powdered instant tea with milk and sugar included- they also like condensed milk in tea in Singa­pore)


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