Spidey in Beijing; Singapore Recap

This morning, I boarded SQ802 non-stop from Singapore to Beijing.    While I can’t say I minded leaving the heat behind, I carry with me a very positive feeling about Singapore and look forward to going back.

(If I can fly again on Singapore Air, I’ll go every time.  Six hours today in a massive business class seat.)

Singapore, not surprisingly, had a European feel to it.  After so much time in Beijing (I’m on my sixth trip since September) I wasn’t prepared for that.  Yesterday, I was in a shopping mall that included a glamorous Starbucks, a massive grocery store, plenty of food and, for you health nuts, a GNC.  Plenty of high fashion here and clearly people who want to have fun.  There was fantastic seafood – love those tiger prawns!  I’ll also give in to stereotypes and admit that it was a very, very clean city.  You can’t really walk along the streets and smoke.  There are designated smoking areas.

So now I’m in Beijing for 8 days.  It’s 50 degrees cooler and, as usual, no real sun to speak of.  I guess that means it’s time to get work done?

Spidey in Singapore Day 2

Did I mention yet that it’s hot here?  The Weather Channel app on my iPhone says 75% humidity.  That turns a livable 86 degree day into a 96 degree day.  It’s just past 10:30am on Sunday here, and I’m firmly entrenched in my hotel room waiting to meet a colleague for lunch at 12:30.  Curried fish heads, I’m told.

I had pepper crab yesterday for lunch.  Think Maryland Crabs – but instead of Old Bay spice, imagine lots of pepper.  I mean lot’s  of pepper.  The crabs are slightly bigger as well.  Thank goodness for the lobster bib.  From there, we trekked over to the island of Sentosa.  Sentosa is where Singapore’s first casino is located.  They are building an amusement park there and a few hotels.  There is a beach and a few other attractions.  Unfortunately, the view from the beach is port of Singapore, complete with tankers and cranes, etc.  Not very appealing.

We braved the heat to go down the Sentosa Luge.  We went three times.  Think less about a luge in the winter olympics and more about a sled on wheels going down a hill.  The best part of the ride was how it cut the heat of the day.

After a well-earned nap (and relaxation in my private massage chair in my hotel room!), we went out to Newton Circus Hawker Centre.  Here think a big, outdoor, over-priced, tourist-attraction eatery with local Singapore seafood cuisine.  We had large tiger prawns, calamari and sting ray.  Then I got to experience the Singapore MRT, the very clean subway to get back to the hotel.  It’s SGD2, per ride, which is about USD1.40.  However, you get 1 Singapore dollar back, if you turn in your fare card at the end.

Day 3 promises to be a bit calm, with work taking over.  After all, work is the reason I came here.

Spidey in Singapore

Arrived in Singapore yesterday morning.  I have one word to describe Singapore — f*ing hot!  Ok – so that’s two words, and, as “they” say, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.  My hotel is about three blocks from our office here, but I was sweating like a pig by the time I got there.  I have my room set on 10 degrees Celsius – about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, just to keep it at a reasonable temperature.  I’m drinking a lot of cold Diet Coke but, like many places outside the U.S., ice water itself is tough to come by.

Nonetheless, I’m very excited to be here.  I’m on to Beijing on Tuesday, but I have plans to come back here for a longer trip in early April.  That means that, among other things, my plans while I’m back home including buying some summer weight dress pants!

To get here, I took Singapore Air 21 direct from Newark to Singapore – that’s over 18 hours in the air direct.  It’s a great flight.  I slept for about 10 hours and arrived refreshed at 6:30am local time.  I was able to work an entire day and head out for a few drinks at night.  Our first stop was the New Asia bar on the 70th floor of the Swissotel.  (Those you who follow me on Twitter already know this! http://www.twitter.com/LifewithSpidey)  Our next stop was a restaurant called Indochine.   It was a large place, but we sat out near the water.  It was still hot, and two Tiger beers did the trick.

Today (already Saturday), I’m going to try to get out a bit to see the town, after the Caps-Lightning game finishes on Slingbox.  It’s 1-1 in the second period as I write.  I’ll settle down to work tomorrow and Monday.  The trip is also giving me some good face time with my new boss.  She’s been a friend for a long time, but I think we’re making a good transition.

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