Monday, August 15, 2005

Chinatown Adventures

This is my first in my series of my continuing adventures in Singapore, particularly the ones around the area I am staying, Chinatown.

Now, Chinatown in Singapore is actually very nice. The place, contrary to what everyone will lead you to believe, does not smell. The place, contrary to what everyone tells you, is not a hellhole. The place is quite lovely in fact, and as a real bonus to hostel living fellows, is cheap as cheap can be, living in Singapore. Allow me to make a small diversion at this point.

There exists no concept of MRP at all in this City. Walk a hundred meters to a new shop/supermarket, and the same items could cost double the amount, or more. If you want to know how to get stuff cheap, two things are a must. You have to explore your options, and you have to be open to bargaining, because in Singapore, and especially in Chinatown, haggling goes.

My hostel is in this small lane(Pearl's Hill Road) behind a very large apartment complex, and at the base of a smallish but not all that small hill, called, no surprise: Pearl's Hill. The entire hill itself is a very large park, which is amazingly maintained by a local secondary school, under the "Adopt a Park Scheme" of Singapore. The park, being on a hill, is three dimensional, and in the words of Ankit Guglani is "A short walk with a bit of a climb". The place is green and beeyootiful, and has very large trees with great big roots, which come out and extend themselves in multiple directions. A short walk into the park leads you to a small pond, with great benches all around. I have actually never visited this place during the day, and thus have only seen what it looks like at night. This is not a bad thing at all, it's well lit, and looks pritty at night. The wildlife also comes out around that time, and as you walk along, frogs jump out of your way. You can hear them croak all the time, too. A short walk and a bit of a climb later, you're back to hostel, and life is good again.

Look out for more Chinatown Adventures, and indeed Singapore Adventures regularly now, for I have found the library, and have ingratiated myself with books, the nice comfy sofas, and indeed the computer terminals.

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