Monday 25 June 2001 – Singapore
Looked at camping shops – of which there only seem to be about three in Singapore, all down near Town Hall MRT – as I need a larger back pack for my adventures in Malaysia and Thailand. The first shop I went into, on Stamford Road, showed me a very nice backpack that fitted like a glove – and then told me the price, which was almost $1000! I nearly fell down then and there. For that sort of money, I’d expect it to carry itself. I found some cheaper options in other nearby shops, but put off purchasing for today. I’ll have a quick look in JB in the next couple of days, not that I expect there’ll be much available, but if there is, it may well be cheaper as prices in Singapore tend to be inflated by comparison.
Had lunch with Su-San Hay, who works for the SSO, but is fairly independent of it. She manages the ABRSM – British-moderated music examination board, which does most of the music examinations in Singapore. She was a very interesting and talkative lunch partner. She was born and spent her first eight years in the UK, and studied in Canada and the US. Her first job in Singapore was working in the Internal Security department, keeping tabs on racially motivated gang violence. She has quite a substantial team of administrative staff to oversee the examination process and is proud that she is able to keep them all working happily together, a talent that is noticeably lacking in the rest of the SSO.
Called at the supermarket on the way home to gather the ingredients for a beef salad, as I’d offered to cook for Ric and Ryan this evening. All of the ingredients, even the mint, were available after a bit of a hunt around in the Japanese-owned Isetan supermarket. Unfortunately it transpired that Ryan had to work late and that Ric was feeling miserable because of a head cold or the flu, but he said he enjoyed the meal anyway. Ana, the maid, however, declined to partake of the meal (‘Yuk!’) and made her own arrangements.