We did not have too many “adventures” in Singapore. We resisted buying a handmade rug to have shipped home, bought some cloth for Judy in China to make some shirts out of for us, visited the Gardens By the Bay twice, were disappointed with the hotel, and met our first billionaire – yes billionaire.
We started our day on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Hotel – the one that looks like it has a boat on top of it. We were at the prow.
Singapore makes its money from tourism, banking and being a huge container port. Highest individual tax rate is 25%. You can get cheap medical treatment or expensive medical treatment; you can find cheap accommodation or find expensive accommodation; you can get cheap meals or get expensive meals.
Over the past couple of years whenever we have come across people from Singapore and asked them what there is to see or do, they have been very hard-pressed to come up with anything. Don’t know why. The Gardens by the Bay complex – 101 hectares – is pretty impressive. Lots of outdoor greenery plus two large conservatories. One has plants and flowers from all of the regions of the world, and a larger one has vegetation from all the different elevations in a tropical climate.
The elevation tower of plants was pretty cool. It had different climactic conditions as you climbed – getting cooler with the elevation. It also had a 6 story waterfall.
Sunday we started off with a western style breakfast. As I said in a Facebook post “The creamiest scramble eggs ever, the sweetest roasted cherry tomatoes ever, the most flavourful fried mushrooms ever, the most incredible sausage ever, the most perfectly toasted brioche ever and the finest latte this side of anywhere!” Now my personal dietician was across the table, so how bad could this have been for me?
From there it was off to an unusual museum – The Red Dot Museum. (Ed. note: They seem to use the term museum for gallery here.) The museum” pieces are not artifacts, but rather winners of global design contests for new or improved products. The range was fascinating.
All in all, it was a very interesting, albeit unusual, place.
Next time you get to Singapore you may want to find this shop. It is three stories – each one progressively larger than the one below. It is crammed with stuff – no themes and anywhere there was a space to put something the owner put something. Reminded me of someone’s garage…
They are preparing for February 18 and Chinese New Year
Meet Tom Kaplan
Sunday evening we went to Blue Ginger for dinner. We had a wonderful time for three reasons. First, the food was fabulous. Second was Tom Kaplan. A group of five came in and were in discussion about where to sit with a couple of them wanting to go upstairs and a couple to sit next to us. I said to one of them “The sooner you sit, the sooner you can get to drinking” “I like your style” he says and sits down the rest following. (Ed. note:It’s a small world aside: “Where are you all from?” “U.S. and Canada” “Where in Canada?” “Vancouver” “Where in Vancouver?” “Port Moody – Just off Forest Parkway”) They said something to him and he replied that he and I were bonding. Then he looks at my shirt, which is funky large cat thing and says that he loves my shirt. He says that he is THE big cat guy. Told him he would have to pay me $100. He had it out in a flash – but since I had nothing to wear home, I told him I would send it to him and got his card. Now, remember, I know nothing else when I made this commitment. I get home and look him up. He is worth – sit down – 1.3 billion US dollars and heads something called Panthera which is a charity to save big cats. He and his wife, over the past 5 years, have donated a total of $75 million to the cause. I am going to send the shirt and give him three options. 1. Look at a post about spreading kindness and carry it on, 2. Donate $50 to his favourite charity, if he has one, 3 Buy me a glass of single malt scotch if our paths ever cross again. I am playing dumb (easily done) about knowing who he is.
At the Singapore Airport was this piece of art (Ed. note: You may need to give it time to load and I suggest you go to full screen for the best effect. There is only background noise. Terry could have stood and watched it for hours!)
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