So, finally, we decided that meeting relatives and getting our cheeks pinched is too much of an ordeal to bear. We headed to Komala’s in Little India for a safe first meal of Chola Bhatura and Parota. Little India is that part of Singapore where you can find litter on the footpath and people randomly crossing the road. Seeing a flower stall with garlands and women wearing loose fitting salwars had me seeing it as a futuristic version of Chennai for a while. In fact, the arch that was visible from our table at Komalas, had ‘Welcome to the New World’ written on it in the exact same font that the Government of Tamilnadu would have selected to write ‘Welcome to Chennai Mahanagaram’.
Once we had the SMRT figured out, we headed to Orchard Road. Now, the SMRT station for Orchard Road, opens into Ion mall which is very convenient to get lost in. When we finally found our way out, my first view of Orchard Road covered a Prada hoarding, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dior. I am still walking around stunned by the commercial megapolis that Orchard Road is. We walked in and walked out of shops, checking price tags and tut-tutting at how everything was so much more expensive here. Like for example, stuff that I had just day before yesterday purchased from Mark and Spencer’s was three times the price at the M & S here. We did find our share of good bargains and steals, but decided to put off shopping till the end of the trip and just soak in the ambience today. Orchard Road is full of beautiful buildings. There was one that changed colours from hot pink to purple to gold. There was yet another that sparkled like it had diamonds embedded in it at regular intervals. There were buskers everywhere on the promenade and it was worth a sight. One day this week, S and I plan to walk down there and pay more attention to them and a little less attention to the overpriced shops.
After hesitating to enter two, three adult shops, on finding House of Condoms, we entered and delighted in the displays of entirely awesome things from glow in the dark condoms to penis shaped candles. Little kid in candy store syndrome, yes.
I had coffee from a roadside stall just at the end of Orchard Road. Best ever filter coffee for just S$ 1.50. I was glad I picked this over the Starbucks that was enticing me to come its way. Starbucks and being star struck by the long orders can wait for later this week. S got smokes meanwhile and I must say, the images on cigarette packets here are quite graphic and scary. S plans to remove them from the packet and dispose the packing as soon as can be done.
Hungry, we headed back to the food court we had sighted at Ion mall to hunt for vegetarian food. Studiously avoiding the North Indian food stall, we circumambulated the food court multiple times before settling on Pupella Pizza Bar’s Mushroom Pizza and Aubergine Pizza. At S$7.50 each, the pizzas were yummy as yummy can get. It reminded me of the time in Kasol when D, M, S and I pigged on Aubergine pizzas. S is as determined in not succumbing to the pressures of being a vegetarian and as intent on avoiding eating at Indian joints as I am. It helps that we both are mushroom lovers.
Now, back in the hostel at 11, S and I are dead tired from all the walking around. Dad called. I suitably shocked him by saying that I intended to go on the Night Safari. In spite of me then trying to convince him that it was absolutely safe, I am sure he’s not going to have a peaceful thought in his mind the entire of next week. And then,
Dad : So what kind of a place are you staying at again?
Me : It’s a backpackers hostel.
Dad : Backpackers means those people who roam around with that big bag on their back, no?
Me : Yeah. Mostly students are staying here though.
Dad : Be careful, ok? Don’t talk to strangers. Is it a girls only hostel?
Me : No, it’s a common hostel. Don’t worry now! S and I have a room to ourselves.
Dad : Oh, ok. How is the room? And is there an attached toilet and all?
Me : The room is tiny but really comfortable. Bunk bed. And no, it is a common toilet.
Dad : What?! What about the boys? How do you use the bathrooms?
Me : Dad, relax, ok? The bathrooms have doors. And I am sharing a room with S, chill.
I wonder what he’d have said if I’d told him one of the two bathrooms has the frozen glass kind of door. S says it’s better than what she expected; she expected only shower curtains and no doors apparently. I’m glad for the other bathroom with the solidly opaque door.
Anecdote of the day :- I was in the mood for desserts, but it was already 10pm and the stalls were shutting down. I finally spotted one that was open and hurried to the cashier and ordered a regular milk ice cream cone. As the regular ice cream was over, she suggested that I try the ‘matcha’ ice cream. Now, as I eyed the image of the seaweed-ish green spirals heaped on a cone surreptitiously, she explained that it was ‘Green tea’ ice cream. Long story short, tried it and loved it; especially the tiniest pieces of green tea that you can taste right at the end.
Tomorrow, we are confused between whether to do the Zoo and the Night Safari or head to Universal Studios in Singapore. Either way, loads of fun. I should get some sleep.
Lesson learnt – Remember to get enough water. All I had today was a lemon juice that came with my meal at Komala’s and a highly caffeinated coffee. Forgot to buy water entirely. Thirsty as hell now. ‘Water water everywhere, not a drop to drink?’ Argh!