Friday, July 11, 2008

Playing tourist before we go

J and M on the bum boat

J and B in our lift

Both B and J leave today in different directions. J goes first to Phnom Penh then B leaves to go back to Wellington and the cold. While B was here for his two week semester break we thought we'd try and squeeze in some touristy things before we leave for Cambodia. Ironically since J has now officially finished at his previous employer we are now on tourist visas instead of our employment/dependent passes for a month. It turns out two weeks isnt a very long time to fit in sightseeing when you are having medicals, immunisation jabs, a cultural briefing and meetings with prospective moving companies so we didnt manage to fit in as much as we had hoped.

We did manage to get in some shopping (we were being tourists remember) including buying ourselves a new coffee machine and replenishing the towel supply although we ended up buying king size sheets online from New Zealand as the Asian king size is a lot smaller than our kiwi matresses. Everyone got some new duds. B discovered how great he looks in pink, M yeilded to his artistic self and bought some coloured skinny jeans and J and I bought linen (a bitch to iron but oh so cool to wear).

Earlier this week we went for a walk in the Botanical Gardens after dark. How many other countries in the world can you safely do that? There are gardens in New Zealand that are open at christmas time with strings of lights drapped through trees and mirror balls lighting pathways but the gardens here are open until midnight every night and while there is lighting on the pathways it is still pretty dark. We entered from the Glen Eagles entrance and walked towards Bukit Timah Rd. There were plenty of double backs and short excursions down pathways we thought were going in the right direction and a somewhat grumpy teenager threatening to bail if we didnt figure out where we were going. We finally made it out the other end dispite a general lack of signage and maps that kept changing and caught a taxi home tired but not too hot.

Yesterday we went on a bum boat ride on the river. This is definately a must do even if its just for the disneylike commentary. A roundtrip from The Fullerton (not the coolest place to wait in retrospect) down to Clarke Quay then back up the other side to the Merlion Park and back took half an hour. It was a different view of familiar onshore spots in cool, breezy and ecofriendly (the boats have just changed from diesel to electric) transport. It was the coolest way to see the famous Merlion which is usually a sweaty walk from the nearest MRT station.
I think B has enjoyed his holiday. He has been talking about working during the Christmas holidays, which is fair enough a boy can only live for so long without an income of his own, but it does mean we see even less of him. I am hoping a free ticket means he comes for Christmas week at least!

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