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9:37am on Sunday, 19th August, 2007:

Shopping in Singapore


So, today I went shopping in Singapore.

This is probably just as well, given that there's little else to do here but shop. I'm not actually a shopping type person, and it's not entirely because I never have any money to spend — I find shopping rather tedious. However, I have to buy stuff for my family or they won't let me go on trips again, so off I went.

I knew the shops wouldnt really start opening until 11am, and that's when I began. I went to Suntec City first, as that's opposite the hotel and contains some of my favourite shops. Well, contained — the Australian toy shop has gone now, but the jigsaw shop is still there. As for the Italian restaurant I mentioned yesterday that I had intended to visit but hadn't, well it seems no-one else visited it either: it's now a Chinese restaurant. Or maybe a carpet shop.

Having found nothing suitable at Suntec City, I went to the Marina Square centre. This one is actually attached to the hotel, if you know which secret door to use, and again, I liked it when I was here last and was looking for stuff for my wife. I did find some suitable clothes for my kids here, but sadly they were from shops like ESPRIT which we have back home.

I took the new subway link to Raffles City, which used to be one of my favourite centres, too. They lost their main shop, Sago I think it was called, but they still had Robinsons. The large atrium space was being built on, though, so my hope that there would be 40 craft stalls there was dashed somewhat.

By now panicking that I might not actually find anything to buy, I went to Clake Quay and the silk shop I used to go to. This place, Isridis or something like that, sells silk blouses my wife liked enough actually to wear to work, so I knew it would be a safe bet. If only they hadn't moved out and put another restaurant there — augh! They'll have moved somewhere else in Singapore, but as to where...

This being Sunday, and most of the boutiques' being shut, I decided to go to Chinatown. Nothing gets in the way of commerce in Chinatown. And yes, there, to my relief, was a street market at which I was able to buy some stuff. Not much, and the sizes are all crazy (how can they describe a top as being size "small large"?), but I got enough to save my bacon.

It wasn't much, though, so I decided I'd pay a visit to Little India next. This is quite a walk away, is pretty hard to find, and as I recall from last time is a bit of a dead loss when you get there, so I diverted to Raffles Hotel and bought a pack of cards there. I set off again, but when I came across another street market on the way near Bugis I had a mosey around that instead of continuig. Then it was 3pm so it started to rain, and I ducked into a shopping centre, where an ordinary shop not geared up to selling to tourists had just the kind of stuff I was looking for, so I bought some.

Then I came back. Now I have to upload this in 2 minutes and get down to the conference registration.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).