Lee's Birthday - 24th January 2005
I awoke on Monday to find that Joo had decorated my dorm bed with banners and then handed me my pressies.
We were planning on a trip over to Sentosa Island, but I didn't really fancy it.
Instead, we went over to Sim Lim Square for some shopping. Sim Lim is the gadgets mecca of Singapore and as it was my birthday, Joo let me have whatever I wanted - well almost.
I managed to bag myself a slimline 80Gb portable hard drive and a new USB hub. We also headed over to Bugis Market and picked up a T shirt, Joo got herself some Birkenstock sandals too.
I thought it was MY birthday?
We headed back to the hostel, the excellent Inn Crowd, and they'd bought me a fabulous chocolate birthday cake. Thanks a lot to Ping, Hai, Karen, Zack, Justin, Jen and Katie.
After devouring the birthday cake, we got scrubbed up and headed out to Chijmes, a former nun's convent now developed into restaurants and bars.
Joo booked a table for us at Ocho, a tapas restaurant - my favourite grub!
I know we should be eating Chinese in Singapore, but remember it's MY birthday!!
Fed and watered, we then headed over to the New Asia Bar & Grill. Located on the 71st floor of Asia's tallest hotel, the Swissotel Stamford, the New Asia has floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views over Singapore and the neighbouring countries of Indonesia and Malaysia.
Your ears pop in the lift on the way up and your eyes pop when you see the view.... and the prices!
Back down to street level, we then wandered over to the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel and had the obligatory Singapore Sling.
The Long Bar is designed in the style of the old Malaysian plantations of the 1920's, with many drawings of flapper girls and young men in their dinner suits and top hats.
You can easily visualise Noel Coward in his smoking jacket, tinkling the ivories of the piano, while he sings songs about mad dogs and Englishmen.
Suspended from the ceiling are rows of wicker fans attached to motorized contraptions that turn a pulley and cause the fans to twirl.
It's an ingenious early pre-air conditioning method that wafts a cool breeze over you as you sip your drink.
In the bar there are bowls of monkey nuts and it is slightly ironic that tradition dictates you drop the shells on the floor when littering is actually an offence in Singapore.
The nut shells on the floor are supposed to disguise the sound of cockroaches crunching in the old days, apparently.
The age must already be setting in, as by 11 I was ready to go home. We did have a few more back at the hostel with the rest of the gang and ended a great day with a beer in my hand.
Thanks a lot everyone!
Me and Joo at Chijmes
Our tapas food at Ocho
The view over Singapore from New Asia Bar + Grill
Lee supping a Singapore Sling
Us two sat at the Long Bar, complete with Singapore Slings