This is an old journal, from our trip around the world in 2002, taken from the diary I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs, they are scans of prints taken with a compact camera and images from the scrap book I made afterwards.
16.11.2002 - 16.11.2002
We both wake up late with a hangover. There was an amazing storm in the night with lashing rain, deafening peals of thunder and dramatic lightning. The light is flashing on our telephone which means that the hotel reception has a message for us. We go down to check what it is and are delighted to find out that they have arranged a 12:00 check-out for us rather than the normal 10:00. That’s very good news, it won’t break up our morning such a lot. Not knowing what’s around the area, we take breakfast in the hotel. It’s good but rather dear for what you get.
With some time to spare we walk to the e-mail café we discovered last night to check out Hotmail. We’d received messages from mum and dad, Jan and Andy, Laura and John. Jan was saying she felt really honoured that we have found time to send her cards and e-mails while travelling. It makes it all worthwhile when people appreciate it! We sent a further 9 others, including one to the Bebbingtons to proclaim the sad demise of Miles. It was a difficult message to send.
After a light lunch at the Subway (one of my favourite fast-food outlets), we walk through the Mall to look for Immodium. I seem to be going through it at the rate of knots. When we get back to the hotel the pick-up driver is already there waiting for us – half an hour early. The journey to the airport is only short and although there is no queue for check in, it still takes absolutely ages. It could be something to do with the four Norwegian girls confusing the desk staff.
We have taken so many flights on this trip; we feel a little blasé about it now. The film showing is said to be very funny (My big fat Greek Wedding), but I find it incredibly boring and fall asleep half way though. The fact that you need binoculars to see the TV screen could have a bearing on it. The food is less than appetising. It is billed as Moussaka, but a Greek would be horrified at that description. In reality it is nothing more than a lamb casserole served with pearl barley.
At Changi Airport in Singapore, a Tour East driver is waiting to take us through terrific traffic jams to the Traders Hotel. Evidently the traffic is always this bad on a Saturday night with the shopping malls opening late with people making for Orchard Road to eat.
We merely deposit our luggage in the room and head for Tanglin Mall next door to the hotel. On the pavement outside there is a public parade of line dancing. Different! In the mall, some of the shops are already closed, including one full of teddy bears just like Miles. So close but yet so far. I almost claw at the windows, but however hard we look; no other outlets have anything of the sort. I never thought a teddy bear would be so difficult to replace!
We choose a Thai Restaurant for dinner without looking closely at the prices. It turns out to be somewhat expensive. The food is good nonetheless, and awfully spicy. David has minced chicken with chilli and basil while I choose the prawn and pineapple curry. With pineapple rice, broccoli and two beers each, the bill comes to £42. It wouldn’t be so bad but for the fact that I have to rush to the toilet to bring it all up again!