Well, where to start? I flew out of Delhi on Malaysian Airlines, not without a little concern if I’m to be honest. Their track record with good fortune is not the best these days, and it is said that this might explain their lack of popularity and the lower prices they offer. Being on a proper airline for a change is nice, even if I’m not a snob, and I quite deliberately, often go searching for the mixing with the common people, just for the cultural enrichment. That said, being on row 5 of cattle class on a 6 hours flight, when row 5 is in the little cabin between business and the proper cattle class, is a vast improvement on sharing naan and curry at eleven o’clock in the morning on the way to Delhi on Talibán Aerlines. I have a window seat, unusually as, when I can, I always get an aisle seat, in this occasion, however, it allowed me to take a couple of nice night shots of the sky over Kuala Lumpur.
But let’s get to the point, why am I stopping in Singapore? Well, when I was in Texas, back in November, David and PY said they were going to be there for Chinese New Year, would it not be great if I went and passed it with them? The invite to spend this most important festivity in the Chinese calendar with a Chinese family was, for the true experience vampire like me, to tempting to resist.
Almost as soon as I get into Singapore, before checking into my hostel in Chinatown infact, I meet David. He has only been in town for a bit more than 24 hours and we pass the first day, which is Chinese New Year’s Eve, walking around town and catching up on the unusually short time since we saw each other last. Then I get introduced to the family for the first of many delicious meals I will have with them. PY families is lovely. I get to meet in successive days both sides of the family and, I have to admit, they show me a level of hospitality and tolerance for my badly adjusted western clumsiness that is totally heart warming.
After the eve’s dinner I make my way back to the hostel. While rather tired from the long flight in from Delhi and the hitting the ground running, I get back to the exit of the MRT in Chinatown just minutes before midnight and that offers me the unexpected opportunity to join into the street festivities and fireworks with the rest of the Chinese Singaporean community. But short after the bells it’s bed time for me.
On successive days David and I get to spend a lot of time together while PY spends, understandably, more time with her family which she gets to see only once a year. On the actual new year day we are joined after lunch by PY and we go to spend the evening with some of the friend David and PY had made in the twelve years they were living out there. The evening is enjoyable and among the other things I pic up what will prove to be a golden tip from one of David’s friend to do with where to go to take a scuba diving course.
On the last day in town I meet up again with all the guys and, after a super lunch in one of their favourite Chinese restaurants, we go for a walk in one of the Singapore parks.
As well as another incredible hulk t-shirt and a camera, of course what I am bringing away from these few days in Singapore is a bunch of new friends, a wonderful experience meeting PY family and always the pleasure of spending time with two of my best friends.