08.12.2007 -17 °C
Thursday, Aug. 9 - Sat., Aug 11
We had planned a couple of quieter days, but I wouldn't exactly say that they turned out that way since Jenn suddenly got sick. She spiked a high fever and chills Friday just after lunch. The symptoms were bad enough and close enough to dengue that we went to the Singapore hospital. The Doctor said it's probably just a viral infection, prescribed some medications, and were were out of there in an hour, having paid just $90 (SD). Great system, very modern. Jenn's fever is gone now, as of Sunday, but she still isn't back to eating everything.
As my Dad likes to say, "other than that Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?" Well, August 9th was National Day in Singapore (celebrating their 42nd birthday) and we went to see the fireworks at night. The crowds were the biggest I'd ever been in. It was the first time they held the parade and fireworks on the waterfront, and it seemed a test of their freedom vs. rules/security balance. The fireworks were fairly good, but most spectacular were the ones launched from the top of the 72 floor bank
We had also enjoyed lunch that day in Lau Pa Sat (the "old" market). It's a hawker centre in a huge, filagree-iron, open-air building. Built in the 19th century, it's essentially the old, Victorian-England railway station style. There are probably 200 hawker stalls to choose from (in Canada, at a mall, we would say this is a "food court").
On Friday, we went up to Little India and had lunch there, and looked there and the Arab Quarter. Already Jenn wasn't feeling too well, and it was very hot, so we didn't get much out of those neighborhoods. We did like lunch at the Tekka Centre, a much wilder hawker centre with more touts and a "wet market," too. I had Roti Prata for the second day in a row, but also got Chicken Briyani at a popular stall, which was great. Anica stuck to having a cheese prata and a honey prata, but also survived a bite of
my spicier chicken.
An older woman came to our table, smiling. "Finland?" she said. "No, Canada," we replied. "Oh, my daughter, she marry a Finland." Then, a minute later, she returned, with tears in here eyes and told Anica, "you make me very, very happy coming here today. You look like my granddaughter." Jenn and I nearly cried then, too.
Jenn, despite being sick after lunch on Friday, wanted to move on to Melaka, esp. since we couldn't get our room for another night. We already had our bus ticket and hostel booked. Luckily, the bus was clean and A/C, and there were a couple of chances to get to the washroom when it stopped. When we arrived in Melaka, the taxi-drivers were asking a lot more than we expected, so we opted for the town bus. We had met two Estonian girls, also heading for "The Traveller's Lodge." After getting off at the right stop, all five of us went in every possible wrong direction together before finding the hostel. Luckily, it's a very nice place. We have a big room, good A/C and a bigger bathroom than in Singapore. The whole place is incredibly clean; it's like an oasis. One quirk: no shoes allowed inside - anywhere. The Muslim hostel managers said, "It is our culture, and the easiest way to keep clean." My mom would be horrifed, but here it seems right.