Category Archives: Singapore
Occupy Business Class!
After more hours than I care to count sitting in the cookie cutter seats in economy class, I was pleasantly surprised today when Qatar airlines upgraded my wife and me to Business Class. I have not flown Business Class since I stopped working and an employer was buying my ticket. I had forgotten how much better it is to spend 7 hours in a fully reclining seat with incredibly good food and service beyond the pale.
The seat not only spread out to a flat bed, it vibrated.
The flight from Doha to Singapore was absolutely full. Today was the start of the second Eid of the year. Eid
is a week long holiday where the faithful head for the Haj in Mecca or Medina. Many choose to go the other way, to, well, go the other way. Because I am now a gold tier member of the Qatar FF society, we were upgraded without asking.
It almost made me feel like I was in the 1%! Nahh, they have their own jets!
So we are now in Singapore for a 36 hour layover on our way to Bali.
Singapore is a very pretty town. It is the cleanest big city I have ever seen. We stayed at the Traders Hotel which is part of the Shangri-la family. It richly deserves it 4 stars.
Singapore is unlike other Asian cities we have visited this year. The first thing I noticed was an almost complete lack of motorcycles. I would therefore expect terrible traffic. However, Singapore has a very effective and inexpensive mass transit system. The busses are full as are I imagine the subway system cars. Singapore has a very elitist way of limiting automobile traffic. In order to purchase a car you must buy a permit from the government for about US$70,000. Just for the permit to own a car. On top of that they have about a %100 import tax on automobiles. So yeah, people take the bus.
Maybe the best way to see this city as a tourist is to use one of the many hop on / hop off double decker busses. As like anywhere else, they have no driver on the top. They follow a must see route and come around every half hour or so, so it is easy to get to the museums and such, then keep going later in the day.
The city is a fine city. Litter? $1000 fine. Spit? $1000 fine. Possession of narcotics? Death. Fart in church? I did not ask. But it is consequently a very clean city. It is really a city state. Singapore is in the country of Singapore, which is the city of Singapore. It is quite expensive, with apartments beyond the cost of anyone not making a lot of money. 70% of the people live in government subsidized high rises. Even these look quite livable, these are not like “the projects”.
Singapore is of course the home of the Singapore Sling. This might be there real reason we stayed here for 36 hours.
Now we were off to Bali. We almost did not get into Bali, because Mary Ann was denied entry! You’ll have to read the next post to find out why.
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