Cold air conditioning, hot doona, jet lag. Reasons to write instead of sleeping at 4:00 am.
We touched down in Singapore to the welcome from the hostess over the intercom that should we enter Singapore with drugs, the penalty is capital punishment. My mind rummaged through my cases searching for those various pills, lotions and potions that had labels written next to a guillotine image. I’ve tried dozens of remedies for my hay fever and the current nasal spray could only scratch a “needs improvement” at the best on a report card. Thinking that this had to be the only real drug I was carrying, I concluded that the Singapore method might be the one cure for my hay fever that really works.
One drug I did need after an uncomfortable flight was coffee, thinking of the 90 euro cent shots I had become used to each morning, “Cafe solo, Senor. Gracias.”
I was immediately reminded of where we were when I ordered and was asked three times,
“You want two shots of coffee in a cup? No milk? Nothing else with it?”
I received it in an extra large paper cup, a half inch of the golden liquid way down the bottom. As he handed me the cup, he said “Is this what you want, Sir?” giving the coffee a look which really said, “Are you really going to give me $4.00 for this?”
The coffee was good.
I read somewhere when we were in Portugal that the one thing people from that country miss when they travel away, is their coffee. I know what they mean.
The hawker food stall we ate at in Changi Village two years ago was just around the corner from our hotel.
It’s where the locals from the nearby housing estates come to eat at tables where food is prepared in small kitchens. It’s a busy place and though we were there early just after six, we usually eat at ten, the clanging of metal spoons on woks came from every kitchen. The airline magazine said that Singapore imports 93% of its food but we were hoping to eat something fresher than the Coles, “baked fresh made in the Netherlands two months ago sourdough” we eat at home.
We browsed for a while, receiving some casual looks from the locals as we were the only foreigners in sight. We considered the mushroomed chicken feet but settled for a fine fried rice, BBQ chilli chicken wings and a chilli seafood goreng which all went down a treat.
All good for $10 and much better value than the hotel tourist price we paid for two glasses of wine to wash it all down later. For $28 we could have fed ourselves for another three nights around the corner. They sold San Miguel beer, another percent on the food import, and I chatted to the waiter about Spanish beer and food and forgetting where I was thanked him, Gracias, senor.”
Which reminded me of an incident in Roses when we bought sandwiches at a Netherlands Supermarket. When asked by the tall, blond, blue-eyed Dutch girl if I’d like mayonnaise, forgetting where I was, I replied, “Yes! Oui! Si!.” Which made us laugh and for someone to write it as a joke in the SMH the other day.
An Australian, a Frenchman, a Spaniard and a German are walking down the street together. A juggler is performing on the street but there are so many people the four men can’t see the juggler. So the juggler goes on top of a platform and asks: ”Can you see me now?” The four men answer: ”Yes.” ”Oui.” ”Si.” ”Ja.”
Si ja soon.