Wednesday, 24 September 2008


I've been crap at blogging for the past week, because I had a madcap last night (slash last morning, since it ended when I arrived back at my guesthouse at 6am, waved to that underage sex worker who works on my block, and took a quick nap) in Manila, then flew to Singapore, where Tiffany and I promptly tromped around Malaysia for two days and then walked the entirety of Singapore. We did what we do best, which is sitting in cafes, going to zoos, and wandering aimlessly while devouring whatever gets in our way.

So that was awesome, even if the fact that Tiffany bore the brunt of being the first close friend I've hung out with in two months. (A sample conversation: "I'm worried that nothing motivates me anymore.") I got back from Singapore this afternoon (and then tomorrow I fly from Manila to Dubai, and then I fly from Dubai to London and arrive on Friday), and I'm way too wiped to narrate the past week. But I have pictures (although no picture of Tiffany and I together, so you're just going to have to take it on blind faith that this isn't just an elaborate, totally pointless ruse), and those are worth like a bajillion words.

Yay, Jonker Street! Tiffany watched patiently as I stopped at every stall, multiple times. I bought a Chinese chess set and was stoked about it, until we realized that neither Tiffany nor I know how to play Chinese chess. (And you can't just fake it and play checkers, because geometry gets the best of you. It usually does.)
And then we walked back to our traumatically sketchy hostel, which a) only admits Westerners, b) wouldn't let Tiffany's cousin enter because she wasn't a guest, and c) seems to be geared exclusively at students and vagrants, so we had to be very evasive about the fact that Tiffany was job-hunting. (Apparently, being temporarily unemployed doesn't suffice, you have to be like permanently unemployed, and also poor.) The problem was that the owner has a very rigid concept of the place as a "traveler's home," which he kept pressing upon us with increasingly ill-conceived illustrations like, "it's like an old folks home, JUST FOR THE OLD." And I was like, similarly, I won't be remotely surprised if we get bedsores and you become verbally abusive when our family drives off into the distance. At we ate our complimentary breakfast (bread AND jam!), I was also attacked by a bunny. Probably a killer bunny.
And this was a temple in Singapore.
And this was the temple with Buddha's tooth in a reliquary, which was awesome. Mostly because it was beautiful (like, orchids and 10,000 Buddhas on the roof kind of beautiful), but also because there was tea.
And after Chinatown, we roamed around Little India for a bit. It was Deepavali, which explains the many, many Deepavali signs in this picture.
We ate things like this, which involved rose syrup, cane sugar, corn, red beans, jellies, and a yellow syrup that we couldn't identify. When I eat something in spite of a mysterious yellow liquid, you know it's transcendent.
And then we went on the Night Safari, because errybody knows that Tiffany and I are fucking AMAZING at zoos. We saw lions and tigers and (sloth) bears, and this tragically ugly rhino-type monster and a giraffe and a zebra and bats, and we did not just see bats, we WALKED THROUGH A BAT TUNNEL, hunched over, making high-pitched squealing noises as they dive bombed at face level. In retrospect, high-pitched squealing noises probably aren't helpful in a bat tunnel. Anyway, we conquered it, keeping the score at Ryan and Tiffany: 2, Zoos of the World: 0.

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