Just before my flight to Singapore I found myself in a very unhinged state of mind and wishing I was anywhere else BUT in Dubai. I was literally itching to take off on that big jet plane and land as far as it can get me.
I desperately needed a change of scenery and oh my – what a change it was! Singapore is the more mature, more cultured and more beautiful older sister that Dubai is trying to imitate. Everything is so clean, organised and well thought thru. And also very expensive. It is a truly remarkable city.
The thing that strikes you as as the first and the most obvious one is how very cosmopolitan Singapore is. Not just the airport (naturally) but the streets and bars and restaurants are full of people from all around, the city is buzzing with different nationalities and languages. And to my great relief – everybody understands and speaks English. Even an old man tending to his little street cart selling water.
I was told that Singapore is all about food. To me Singapore was all about cars. And by cars I mean supercars. I’m now quite used to seeing Bentleys and Ferraris on daily basis since I live in the part of the world where Porsche is the new Ford Focus… still in my beloved Sandpit supercars feel very… well.. superficial. Yet admiring a Rolls Royce driving past me in Singapore I felt like the car was made for Singapore. It was so perfectly in sync with its environment- it belonged there, the street complimented the car and the other way around. And as I continued walking I saw it also worked for Astons and BMW’s and Mercedes. Singapore is by far the most luxurious place I have seen. I walked in circles for miles and miles alongside the roads admiring those four-wheeled beauties and occasionally raising my eyes above the street level to snap pictures of the wonderful architecture and luscious greenery that surrounded everything.
The night we arrived I followed some of my crew colleagues to The Marina Bay Sands Hotel because as it turned out that night was a ladies night in Singapore and apparently ” one has to go out when in Singapore on a ladies night”. So I did. The club I was led to was called Ku De Ta and it’s located right next to the famous infinity pool on the top of he hotel. We were partying in style that was far beyond either of our financial situations but at least we were provided with an absolutely stunning view of the entire city. That was- arguably- for free… I admit it with pride – I was the party pooper that night. I went I saw and I left. That’s pretty much my night out in Singapore all summed up. Well not quite – I did have a drink or two and little dance before I sneaked out to avoid having to explain my early departure.
The next day I woke up relatively early and set off in a quest to find the botanical gardens I saw from above the night before. That’s when I got side-tracked car spotting. Couple of hours and bubble teas later I remembered my mission and regained the general direction towards the gardens. It has proven to be a task far more difficult than it looked – the heat and especially the almost 100% humidity were taking their tool on me. When I finally reached the gardens I couldn’t be less bothered about it. I was drenched in my own sweat, tired and dehydrated. I was starting to turn into a very unhappy Gremlin. That’s when you – my dear readers- saved me from myself. I thought “this layover is so far not even worth posting about, c’mon suck it up !”, bought a bottle a water of the earlier-mentioned old man and took an hour long tour thru the gardens. It was beautiful and I’m very glad I did that but I was also very glad when I finally reached my hotel room and crashed out. I love Asia and I love what its humidity does to my hair volume – but man it also drains the heck out of me !
I came back home to Dubai refreshed but happy to feel the dry desert heat on my skin again… Sometimes you have to leave to fully appreciate what you are leaving behind.