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David D. Levine
14 February 2007 @ 02:24 pm
I'm sitting in the Singapore airport on my way to Thailand. Changi airport has just about anything you could possibly want in a stopover -- shopping, food, free city tours, comfy chaises longues with built-in alarm clocks, free movies, and free Internet access. But the Internet access is limited to 15 minutes per session (wifi is available but isn't free, alas). I have 10 minutes left.

Singapore has been very, very cool. Please see kateyule's latest post for her first take. Highlights for me have included...

The food has to be tops on my list. Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Malay, and many other cuisines are available singly and in combination and everything we've eaten has been wonderful. I'd say the worst meal we've had was at the Maxwell Street hawker center, where my curry rice was merely adequate, but the bustling atmosphere more than made up for it. No where else, man. Phenomenal Indian at Raffles Hotel. Incredibly tasty nasi lembak (rice on a banana leaf with various flavorful things on top). Surprisingly complex flavors of Chinese at a place with no atmosphere at all. Yum.

The Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo let us see many animals that usually don't go out at all during the day, up close and active. The fruitbat looked back at me, artificial moonlight glinting in its eyes. Civets and small deer close enough to touch. A leopard, stalking equally close (but on the other side of glass this time). Owls. Tiny sugar gliders, incredibly cute. And the capybaras.

We took a cruise on the Cheng Ho, a name that will be familiar to readers of A Fire Upon the Deep. The cruise was only so-so except for the stop at Kusu Island, where we visited with tortoises.

The faces on the street. So many different ethnicities, languages, religions. Visits to several very different temples. The smells on the street: anise, sandalwood, diesel, grilled meats, sesame oil, garbage, peanuts... such an amazing place.

We'll be back.

Time to go now.