Mar. 6, Monday 9:00pm. We arrive at Singapore tomorrow around 10:00am. We will take an all day tour to see the city, the botanical gardens, a Hindu temple, Chinatown (a meal provided in a Chinese restaurant), and a large bird park. Very busy day. Did you find out about Wiley Post?(first to fly a plane around the world). How about the Durian fruit? (When it’s cut open it has a extremely foul door).
Singapore sits one degree above the Equator so it’s gonna be really hot. We have to wear long pants and take off our shoes to enter the temple. Long pants on a hot day plus my neuropathic feet. I’m looking forward to this day!!!
This was our sea day today: breakfast at 7:15; pickle ball at 8:00; Phuket presentation at 9:00; Emelia Earhart lecture at 10:00; lunch at 11:30; Ping Pong at 12:15; down time from 2:00 to 4:00; magic/comedian show at 4:15; dinner at 5:15; Ventriloquist show at 7:30; back to our room at 9:00 for bed. Really a busy day! Tomorrow we’ll have breakfast at 7:30; prepare for our excursion (passports; ship cards; credit cards; licenses; excursion tickets; immigration cards); pack our backpacks(hats; umbrellas; snacks; water; first aid kit; phones; books; binoculars; sunblock; insect repellant; notepads; pencils; glucose tabs; hand sanitizer; camera (extra battery; extra SD card); sunglasses; dollar bills for tipping the tour guide and bus driver; exchanged money to buy things in case they don’t take credit cards; shopping bag (if we buy something); and a towel(to wipe our sweaty bodies. Ugh!!!). This is basically our normal procedure for all our excursions. We have it down pat!!
Tonight, one of our eight table mates at dinner was sick. The Maitre D’ asked us if we would mind having a guest to join our table since we had one chair available. The guest was a very handsome 2nd officer from Latvia (look that up to see where this country is located). His name was Deniss Chernikov and he was one of the helmsman of this ship. He had us enthralled for the entire dinner. Very entertaining fellow. Great experience for us. We learned a ton of info about driving this ship. His duty shift was 8am to 12am and 8pm to 12pm every day. Catch you later. Got to hit the sack!
Mar. 8. Wednesday, 7:00pm. Two very full days in Singa Pura. I’ll tell you a few things we learned about Singapore. The average amount of ships in the harbor, every day is 1000. Every three minutes one comes in or goes out. I saw a container ship come in last evening and I counted over 3000 containers on it. Huge. This little country has more shopping malls than any other Asian country. It is a large, clean, modern city. (Over five million people) They have McDonalds 24 hour delivery. Now that’s 21st century!! Now, about the two days we spent here. First day: Very strict customs and very strict rules here. Remember the long pants rule? I wasn’t going to wear my brace but El said we may walk quite a ways. OK, OK, I put my brace on under my slacks. Went through customs (passports, immigration card, ship card). No problems so far. Went down two flights to ground level and low and behold, A scanning machine!!! Oh! Oh! My brace is UNDER my pants. So I took my pants off—-no, you guys would believe anything!!! But panic did set in but I was able to pull my pant leg up high enough to get it off.
8:00pm. This is what we did our first day in Singapore after my brace fiasco: Fed some parrots. One bit me on a finger and made me spill half the nectar from my container. Ouch!!; Went to Chinatown and had a Chinese meal. We had no idea what we were eating!! Went to two temples. One awesome and one not so great; and visited the most beautiful orchid gardens we have ever seen. Interesting but long, long day.
This is what we did today: We went to breakfast at the zoo. We didn’t know if WE were going to eat breakfast or WE were going to be breakfast for the animals. Well, we ate breakfast and then went through the zoo. We had our picture taken with a family of Urangutans (Urang means forest and utan means man). Saw many animals(what else would we see at a zoo?) including a couple of rhinos. We were told rhinos sometimes communicate through the smell of their poop. Whoa!! I have been communicating with Ellen this way for many, many years. Who knew!!!
Here’s something nice that happened today. A woman on our tour turned 90 today(imagine!) and the tour guide found out and bought her a small cake with one candle. She blew out the candle and the entire bus sang “Happy Birthday” to her. Really nice touch to end a great day in Singapore. Over and out! Sea day tomorrow and Phuket, Thailand on Friday. Signed, Captain John Smith