So kaya toast has been added firmly to the list of “shit I enjoy applying liberally to my facehole.” We went to Ya Kun Kaya Toast where you can choose from set meals which include two soft boiled eggs cracked into a bowl and a cuppa, and when I say soft boiled I’m talking only just cooked. If jelly whites of eggs you could probably consume through a straw make your throat contract in horror you should probably skip the eggs and go straight for the kaya jam stuff on toast with the bucket load of butter. Tarrant isn’t meant to have dairy, she asked for hers without but they put it on there anyway, fortunately they don’t spread it, they just chuck a slice on there and leave it.
I wouldn’t have even thought about it until Tarrant started peeling her butter off and piling it up on her plate. Guys there’s half a fucking block in each serving. I’m not even shitting you, there’s enough butter there to congeal every single artery in the human circulatory system and stop a heart dead in seconds. I slowly munched my toast, watching as the butter mountain grew bigger and bigger, knowing I should be disgusted but every time my brain thought about removing a couple of slices of butter my taste buds responded with threats. Dammit, it’s delicious. I added soy sauce to my eggs and wondered how much longer I had to live.
Chinatown then. You can pretty much kill a day here and we almost did, it’s sort of a sensory overload of all manner of cool stuff including shops, restaurants, juice bars and temples, plenty of places to shelter from the rain, and I guess you’d call the historic Pagoda Street the beating heart. According to signage it’s been around since the 1840’s and is named for the towers at the entrance to the Hindu temple at the end of the road. Except they’re not pagodas, they’re gopurams. But anyway, the road was known for opium dens and “coolie” traders, which is what they called slaves. Apparently the two trades fed off each other with the coolies turning to opium to take the edge off life, and the colonial authorities quietly encouraged it. Which definitely sounds like something Britain would do.
The aforementioned Hindu temple is Sri Mariamman Temple which you can visit as long as you leave your shoes at the door, part with a couple of dollars for a camera fee and cover up with the shawls provided at the entrance. It’s one of those fantastically detailed efforts I loved in India with the gopuram adorned with hundreds of full colour deities. You could stare at it for hours and keep seeing something new. We wandered around it and took some photos then headed to another temple, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple not too far away.
Yeah, it’s everything you’d expect from a Buddhist temple. Statues and gold colour everywhere, ornate decorations, offerings, the works. Apparently it houses an actual tooth from the actual Buddha but we couldn’t find it, I believe it’s available for viewing somewhere, I just don’t know where. I don’t know how they know it’s his either. I’m a cynical bitch, unless I personally see it being pulled from his trap I’m generally quite dubious of claims like that. It’s probably something to do with that “faith” thing that people bang on about. I only have faith in things I can prove, like wine and cheesecake.
We contented ourselves with a clockwise stroll around the main floor and I swear, I’ve never seen so many statues in one place, and I’ve been to the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. There are hundreds if not thousands of tiny Buddhas on every wall. Then there are statues of Personal Guardian Deities which apparently correspond to your Zodiac sign. So this is actually kind of cool. I was born in 1981, the year of the rooster, so according to Chinese Buddhism I can choose Acala Vidyaraja as my Personal Guardian Deity who’s this badass looking blue dude with fangs and a fuck off sword and he’s so fucking tough he’s basically on fire. He looks like the neighbour’s dog just shit on his lawn again and he’s going to do something about it. I wouldn’t want to cross him.
Tarrant is year of the pig so her deity is Amitabha Buddha which is also kind of cool but he doesn’t look like he’d win in a bar fight whereas my guy doesn’t just look like he’d annihilate the opposition, he’d take the bar down with it using only the wrath of his squinty left eye. But I think I’m missing the point. Buddhism confuses me quite a lot. Out of all the religions I hear about and try to learn about, Buddhism is the one that makes the least sense to me. Not the teachings, I can totally get on board with the Middle Way, but the mythology surrounding it, the gods and the deities, I just don’t get it, I don’t understand why all of this had to be built up around the teachings of a guy, a mortal man, who made a shit tonne of sense and I’d totally love to go for a pint with him, but wasn’t he just a guy? I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I just genuinely don’t understand.
A mate of mine was here recently and she told us about a viewpoint on top of a residential building called Pinnacle @ Duxton so we located it on a map and jumped on a bus. I have no idea how you’d find this if you didn’t know it was there. We found the building easily enough, you can’t miss the fucking building unless you have knives in your eyes, then we proceeded to walk aimlessly around and around said building in search of some manner of main entrance which might indicate where the great unwashed could possibly purchase a ticket to go up to the observation level. We ended up having to ask a woman who pointed us in the right direction, where a bloke who may have been a resident lead us to a door to a tiny room where he knocked and woke the occupant up.
You’re going to need your EZ-Link card (your tourist travel card will do) and S$6. The sleepy guy in the tiny room will register your card, relieve you of your cash monies and point you in the direction of a lift which will take you to the 50th floor. It’s a view! You can see miles away. Well, you can see until the tower blocks which block your view to miles away. It was raining again by this point so we dodged from shelter to shelter and took some panoramas. The panorama function on my phone is working overtime in this country. It’s just view after view. My eyeholes aren’t coping.
This evening we’d planned to get drunk. Not obliterated, you can’t afford to get obliterated in Singapore without hocking an organ or two, preferably not your liver. Just a little bit tipsy. During our online searches for happy hours a bar called Loof kept coming up on account of its unique approach to getting you intoxicated for cheaper. From 5pm til 6pm, spirit mixers and glasses of wine were S$5. From 6pm til 7pm they were S$6. You see where we’re going with this? It goes right up until 8pm thus leaving you to drink as much as you can in these alloted hours. Challenge accepted. A mate of mine I chat to on Instagram, Skylar, joined us once she’d finished work and as soon as Loof’s happy hour finished we made our way around Singapore, sampling the cheapest boozes she knew of.
Tap Craft Beer Bar is a good choice with its S$10 pints of actually really fucking good beer. We went there for one. But once you’ve thrown a metric shit tonne of vodka into your facehole as quickly as possible it’s hard to go onto beer, so we ended up at a bar called Five Tapas Bar on Cuppage Road for S$5 spirit boozes. Oh, everything has tax added onto it by the way. Everything. Apart from the food at the hawker stalls. Maths is a bitch when I’m sober, nevermind when my brain has been marinated in vodka, and when you don’t pay until the end you’ve literally no way of keeping track of your spending. Fortunately Skylar doesn’t hold the British belief that eating is cheating and insisted we ordered food, I’m so glad she did or I’m quite sure a very significant portion of my grey matter and, indeed, my dignity would have been spread out along Cuppage Road that night.
Stayed at: Adamson Lodge