….but we are all fabulous.
We arrived in Singapore at around 4.50pm (9.50am UK time) on Sunday. The airport was really clean and modern and the toilets were a dream and set the tone for the trip so far. Someone once said something about how much of one’s time spent travelling is concerned with figuring out the basics that you take for granted at home – how to find toilets, food, water etc. Well here, all of those things are incredibly plentiful, easy and good quality, enabling us to relax and enjoy the sights.
Water has to be readily available because as soon as we left the airport and its air conditioning, the next thing that hits you, almost literally, is the heat and humidity. Not unpleasant exactly, at least in small doses, but you immediately understand why people here move in such a languid way – you just have to slow your pace down or you become exhausted very quickly (heat-related lesson number 1).
Still it’s lovely to be warm and when it gets too much there is usually somewhere cool within reach since all taxis, buses and buildings are air conditioned. People sleeping rough here seem to do so in the atriums of metro stations where it is cool, although we haven’t seen the obvious signs of poverty like begging in the tourist spots that you would see in London or Paris.
Thanks to the work my OH will be doing while we are here, the University has put us up in a very nice serviced apartment. The complex has student accommodation as well as visitor accommodation and is really very nice indeed. We’ll be checking out the 2 swimming pools once I have posted this 🙂 I’m relieved it is serviced on a daily basis because heat-related lesson number 2 is ANTS. Food remnants left in a bin overnight leads to ants, a crumb on the floor – ants, a cupboard with an open packet of anything – ants. They come in various shapes and sizes and having seen 3 different varieties in 2 days, we have now moved everything to the fridge.
Heat-related lesson number 3 – UV exposure – the weather report states that UV levels are E (for extreme). This is significantly higher than in the UK and so everyone needs to take care – high factor sun cream is a must (you don’t see people here with sun tans really) and in the case of my special vitiligo skin, long sleeves and a rather fetching hat as well 🙂
Last but not least, the people we have encountered have all been friendly and helpful. So, first impressions are very favourable.