We did not have a long time to experience Singapore. We arrived in the afternoon and we left the following evening on an overnight flight. Singapore has many strict laws. You are not allowed to chew or even possess gum. It is strictly enforced that you only cross the streets with the lights, at the crosswalks. I am sure that in some ways this makes it a difficult place to live. To us, after being in the rest of Asia for over six weeks it seemed like paradise! There are sidewalks, flush toilets, real stores, and consistent power supply. What more could you want in life? It was, however, the hottest and muggiest place that we have been. It is quite close to the equator and you can really tell. We went to dinner at one of Andy’s favorite restaurants, called Lawry’s. They pretty much only have prime rib on the menu. They wheel a giant silver cart to your table. The chef opens it, unveiling an actual portion of cow. They then cut you a slab sized to your liking, big, bigger, and jumbo are the choices. After dinner we walked down the main shopping street. Even though it is not a particularly christian country they had Christmas decorations everywhere! Enormous, elaborate ones. It was better than looking in the windows of Saks and Macy’s because the decorations were better and it was warm enough to wear a t-shirt! We stayed at the Raffles hotel for our one night in town. It is a beautiful building from the early 1900’s. It is the flagship hotel in the Raffles chain and one of “the grand-dame hotels” in the East. It is also famous for being the birth place of the “Singapore sling” cocktail.
Our whole reason for going to Singapore was because Andy wanted to fly with Singapore airlines. I guess they have a good reputation. As it turns out they are the first airline to put the new Airbus A380 into service and it is on the Singapore to Sydney route. Lucky us! Andy was really excited to find this out. I was not. It is an enormous plane. Two floors that run the entire length of the plane. It can be configured to seat 850 people! Singapore has it configured to seat 471. This did not make me any less nervous. I kept drawing comparisons to the Titanic in my head, as it has only been flying for a couple of weeks. It turned out to to be fine. The seats were large and folded into a flat bed. Each seat had it’s own TV with multiple programing options. Because it is so big, take off and landing were a bit odd. At take off it seemed like we were hardly moving and we were already in the air. When we landed we had to taxi a long way to get to the terminal and if you looked out the window it was as though we were driving a five story building around!