What a wonderful weekend in Singapore! Hosted by James and Katherine Murray (and their 4 children!), they generously put us up (which is something when one of your party wakes up in crying fits every few hours!) and took us to all of their favorite spots to enjoy the restaurants and the outdoor lifestyle that is Singapore. It was a real treat to spend some quality time together and to get to know the Murray kids (Sam, Alice, Pipp and Angus). Thanks James & Kath for your wonderful hospitality - we just loved dropping in on your life for the weekend!
The minute we got off the plane in Singapore it was clear that we were a world away from Delhi. The heat and humidity (think Florida in August instead of a dust bowl), the lushness of the tropical greenery (the airport has the nicest plants I've seen anywhere - orchards galore) and the order and cleanliness - only a 5 hour flight away but a place wholly different from India.
Singapore has a planned feel about it. The highway are landscaped immaculately - large groomed trees lining the main roads, flowering bushes adding just the right amount of color, ferns the size of trees reminding you that the equator is not far away. There is a nice sized downtown with large glass tower office buildings, an impressively large port, nice residential neighborhoods and shopping complexes that remind me of Bethesda. This place seems to be really booming -- gobs of construction -- condos, new office buildings and big sports complexes popping up everywhere. There's even a casino in the shape of a large ship built on top of a tall tower hotel with a 700 tree garden (sort of like a flood came and a casino/ship that was out for a sail got stuck on top of the hotel so they just left it there)! They allegedly fine you hundreds of dollars for littering or spitting and I did not see either (again, the polar opposite of Delhi where public spitting is all the rage).
For my friends who don't live on this side of the world, Singapore is a Southeast Asian city state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. The British took control in the 1820s and Singapore was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. In the 1960s Singapore became part of Malaysia but separated to become its own country a few years later. Singapore is one of the "Four Asian Tigers", is the world's fourth largest financial center and has the worlds fifth busiest port. It's a real happening place! The population is Chinese, Malay and Indian with a large expat contingency. It is a very interesting place to visit and the strange part to me was how unstrange the whole place was and . . . . how good the whole population looks in skinny jeans!!
Oh, now, there we are . . . . not that you all are boring me, but I just nodded off to sleep - we are on a flight to Melbourne - and I woke with that neck whiplash you get on planes because you are sitting upright and each time you relax into sleep your neck muscles let go and your head goes flopping down to your chest and bam -- shoots of pain and you're awake again. Gives me a little empathy for Princess Neve and her neck issues, but not too much. The little Miss was not at her best last night so I am not at my best today! The thing is, the volume of the communication is very clear but sometimes the source of the problem is a total puzzle!
Anyway - Singapore continued the adventure and we loved exploring a new city/country. We are now on route to Melbourne where Neve will meet her first set of grandparents and many other family members and friends. We have rented an apartment in Port Melbourne and it is supposed to be a few blocks from the beach and in a good area for walking to shops and restaurants. Will report back once we get in and settled!!
G, H & N
Neve & Angus -- it looks like love!!
Sorry James, I could not resist this one!!
Brunch with the Murray clan.
Neve's first polo match!