My mother and I visited the Singapore Zoo. The first animals we saw were the crocodiles. We were right above them.
Next we saw some of our cousins. We didn't know any of them were visiting Singapore.
Next we saw 2 specimens of the extremely rare and nearly extinct Polar Bear!
We saw lots of other animals like rhinos, lions, zerbas, etc.
The giraffes were being fed.
Then we came to the snake section.
Then finally we came to the animals that I have always wanted to see. The komodo dragon. this is a 2-3 meter long dinosaur/lizard.
On Monday September 28 we left Singapore. Woke up at 6:15am. Bernard Young and his wife had offered to pick us up with the church van at 7:30am. It was only about 20 minutes or so to the airport, traffic wasn't very busy. Here the church van at the airport:
Nice piece of advertising!
Overall, we found Singapore to be quite a nice city, clean, crime free, and not too hard to get around. Getting through the airport wasn't too hard either. Next a 7.5 hour flight to Brisbane. With Singapore airlines. They had power, even in economy class! Unfortunately I had checked in my car adapter, not even sure I had an airplane plug with me. Something to remember. If one has power on an airplane, a trip can be far more productive, not just lost time.
We arrived in Brisbane at 7pm, already dark. And cool. Much cooler than the last 4 weeks. Very pleasant.
We also spend the Sunday, September 27, in Singapore. Bernard Young was so kind to pick us up. He also took both services on Sunday, and he told us he took the services on Wednesday as well. His workload is just huge. In the morning he preached on Mark 5, the story of the man with the unclean spirit, dwelling among the tombs: "And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,"
We could just picture these things in our head, the going from Tiberias to the other side, the mountains (actually hills), the cliffs that go steep down into the lake. But Bernard Young could picture the spiritual reality of these things.
In the evening he spoke on Judges 6 (with Judges 7 D.V. the next Sabbath): "And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?"
We were invited for lunch and dinner by the Youngs, which was very kind of them. It was also very nice to meet the people there, and see this congregation that didn't exist 15 years ago.
Ida had tentatively booked Ali's Nest. This was in Little India, a colourful section of Singapore. The reviews weren't very good though. If there was no air conditioning, we already had decided we wouldn't take it. According to their website, they had though. When we arrived, Ida had a look, and indeed, no air conditioning. The shuttle driver was so kind to drop us off a few hundred metre from there, were there were lots of other hotels. Due to the F1 racing that was going to start on Friday, hotels were very full, and most had raised their prices as well.
After checking a couple of hotels, one even with smelly rooms, we settled on one that had cheap prices: basically a box with bed and airco, but cheap, and we would manage there for our 4 days in Singapore. Everyone had a shower, and we got some breakfast at an eating place below.
But with our body at 4am, and the Singapore day at 10am, we didn't have much energy. We proceeded to the nearest MRT (underground) entrance to buy day passes. They didn't have them, so we had to buy a single ticket to the nearest office who sold them. After that we visited China town and did a short walk there. Next to the harbour entrance where we had an ice coffee (and the kids some drinks).
We were close to Sentosa island, and according to our maps, there should be beaches there. So we went back to our hotel, got our togs, went back into the underground, next unto the monorail to Sentosa island, which brought us close to this beach.
Pretty busy shipping lane.
View somewhat higher up.
For breakfast we ate prata, some kind of pancake. The kids ate it with sugar. It's quite cheap, $2.20 per prata.
On Friday everyone went shopping (that's the main thing you do in Singapore, and one of the few possible things), while I worked on maintaining the blog.
On Saturday, I went with Auke and Dieuwe to a big shopping mall to see if they could buy the WII console any cheaper in Singapore. It appeared however that a Singaporian console wouldn't work in NZ, or more precise, games you buy in NZ don't play on a Singaporian console, due to region locking. That's how companies make life frustrating for customers, thanks very much Nintendo.
On Tuesday September 22 we left Cairo for Egypt. Below a picture of the entrance into our hostel. It's a building used by many others, the hostel is just some rooms in this building. We were on the second floor or so, so you can't really see where we were from the outside.
Here at Cairo airport, and our plane to Singapore in the background.
We arrived at Singapore airport at 6.30am, still dark, and 12am according to our body, but we still had an entire day to go!
We're now in Singapore. Took a while before I could get an internet connection. No usuable wireless at our "hotel", and the $18 SGD (same as NZD, so $18 NZD) M1 SIM card I was sold, wasn't the right one. So today, Friday 25 September, I went to the closest M1 shop on foot, 1.9km from our hostel. Ida and AnneRoos where shopping, and Auke and Dieuwe were looking for a wii and going to Sentosa island afterward.
At the M1 shop they sold me the proper threeday mobile broadband card, another $18, but was unusably slow. Luckily I tested it out at a cafe near them, and I had just enough bandwidth to access Google to access a post by a guy who also had bad experience and suggested SingTel and mentioned the SingTel shop was oppose the M1. So I bought another three-day broadband SIM card, and that one was fine. Just downloading a video at 170KB/s, so that's good.
Now on getting the backlog of posts on Israel done.