First Day in Singapore – Graffiti, a Mosque, Cats and a Rooftop Party

September 22, 2017

Reunited with my luggage

First things first: I have my luggage again! Even this last step of having it finally delivered to Singapore did not go as smoothly as planned: as soon as I got off the flight from George Town to Singapore, I got an SMS that my luggage had finally made it to… Bangkok! That was our initial destination on the flight from Milan, so I guess they just sent it there (albeit 8 days later…) instead of following the instructions to send it to Singapore… So after more frustration, talking to the lost&found services in the Singapore airport and to the Bangkok airport, my luggage made it on a flight from Bangkok to Singapore and into my loving arms at around midnight that day.

Accommodation in Singapore

We’re staying with our friend Chris, who was so kind to put us up on very short notice, and even to offer his excess luggage storage services for the extra backpack that I now have. Chris lives in an apartment in a fantastic condo made to resemble a resort in Bali – and I can confirm that they achieved that purpose! There are several pools between the apartment buildings, complete with palm trees, a free to use gym and barbecuing units (equipped with fridges, couches, TVs). It’s amazing to me that something like that exists in the middle of Singapore. Chris says it’s common for apartment buildings in Singapore to have their own pool(s), but I bet the condo where he leaves beats them all. Of course, the first thing we did when we woke up on our first morning there was to go for a swim in one of the pools!

Sightseeing in Singapore

Since we’ve been in Singapore before and have seen the main tourists sites, this time we opted for going to places slightly off the beaten path. Chris recommended that we visit the Sultan Mosque and the nearby Haji Lane. We could not really go into the mosque – tourists were only allowed to look inside from the entrance. And both Daniel and I were given some extra clothes to wear, since our outfits didn’t meet the requirements.

Graffiti at Haji Lane

Haji Lane is a small street in Singapore full of nice little shops – and although I thought I would never go shopping again after the experience with my luggage, I could not resist and dragged Daniel into a few of the shops, bought a few things and had a long discussion with a French shopkeeper about world politics in one of the shops. All part of the experience :)

What makes Haji Lane really special, though, and the initial reason we went there, is the graffiti that you can find at one end of the street.

Next Stop: A Cat Cafe

Just around the corner from Haji Lane, there is a cat cafe, which is a more or less normal cafe, except that: there are several (5-8?) cats living there; you can play with any of them while you are enjoying your coffee/tea/juice and maybe a piece of cake; you have to take your shoes off when you enter and disinfect your hands before stroking any of the cats; you pay an entrance fee, which includes a drink and the first hour you are there; if you stay longer in the company of the cats, you pay more.

Since we’re both cat lovers and we miss our cat Ranja (who remained in Switzerland with Daniel’s parents), we had to go to this cat cafe. The cats are very cute, very spoiled, and very well fed. The wifi password in the cafe was “oreoisnotpregnant” (Oreo being one of the cats, and so fat that most guests think she is pregnant…). Anyway, who could resist these balls of fur? :)

Celebration in a rooftop bar

As a final stop for the day, we went to the Loof rooftop bar for dinner and drinks with Chris and some of his friends, since one of them was celebrating his birthday. The bar was nice, the food ok, the weather great for being out all evening, we had a lot of fun together, but… the bill was less nice. While Daniel thought he was paying around 7 CHF for a beer (which is already a lot), it turned out that that was the happy hour price and the normal price (which he paid for all except the first beer he had) was about 12 CHF :o Together with the cocktail I had and food for both of us, we ended up paying a lot for this evening. But the experience was fun and we got to know Singapore’s expat community a bit.

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