Saturday, May 24, 2008

Buh-Bye, Asia

We've got just over 24 hours left in Asia, after eight months of white rice, woks, and teeny tiny people. Our arrival in Singapore four days ago heralded the beginning of the return to Western civilization... for starters, we're hanging with Henrik and Kate in "Swengland" (Sweden/England), eating American breakfasts and having Starbucks coffee multiple times daily. Singapore is also chock-full of McDonald's, fish and chips stands, and Haagen-Dazs shops. I don't even miss the chewing gum.

Last night we visited a fascinating bar called "Clinic", where the waiters wore green scrubs and the waitresses wore vaguely pornographic (or at least fetishist) nurses costumes. We sat in gold-coloured wheelchairs at steel exam tables as other guests lounged on stretchers. Lighting was provided by surgical lamps. To top it all off, shots were served in 100cc syringes (no needles, thankfully) and drinks came in IV bags, complete with poles. The security guards scolded us when we tried to ramp up a wheelchair race through the promenade. I didn't even ask if the syringes had been thoroughly sterilized before serving. After all, this IS Singapore.

(Photo Courtesy of Travelpod)

We leave tomorrow for New Zealand, land of hobbits and sheep. Til then, here are the things I will (and won't) miss about Asia:

I Will Miss:
  • tropical fruit.
  • amazing seafood.
  • Hello Kitty everything.
  • iced coffee.
  • orchids, bougainvilleas, frangipani, and other beautiful tropical plants.
  • the heat, the sun, the ocean, the beaches.
I Won't Miss:
  • the heat, the sun, the sweating.
  • the pervasive refusal to take blame for anything (e.g. "You didn't read the menu correctly, it's not our fault we forgot to process your order and you've been waiting for 40 minutes while the other customers have come and eaten and gone.")
  • the inability to understand "Skinny DRY cappuccino".
  • the public nose picking and spitting (not so pervasive as it used to be).
  • the impossible task of buying clothing and shoes for anyone in regular Western-sizes.
  • the impossible task of finding things like dental floss, regular plain hair elastics, and anti-perspirant.
See you on the other side! (Southern Hemisphere)



I've been reading your posts ever since I heard you were taking this journey. What an adventure! Enjoy the rest of your travels.

Laurie G.

Wendy said...

Wow, what a weird bar!