This afternoon, I visited Jill in hospital and found her sitting in a reclining chair, looking much better after her first shower. She had her dressing inspected today ( day five) and will have her stitches removed on day fourteen. The Physio had her up and walking again today, so we are making progress. It came as a bit of a shock this afternoon when the hospital asked me to pay $30,000 ($17,000 for costs to date and $13,000 in advance for anticipated costs). I’m sure that our travel insurance will cover it, but that is almost the largest credit card transaction I have ever made! The Physio still expects that Jill will require around ten days of Physio in order to be able to manage the flight home. Tomorrow, she is being transferred to a new wing that operates as a rehab centre where she will be until she is ready to be discharged.
In the meantime, I am exploring Singapore and finding my way around. I am moving hotels tomorrow as our travel insurance will only cover about half the cost of my current room. Singapore is not the cheapest place to stay, but I will move to the same hotel that we stayed in a few years ago when we travelled with Cathy and her girls to Europe for Christmas. That will be much more affordable.
The roads around my current hotel are all being fenced in preparation for the F1 race towards the end of this month. They make it quite a challenge to get around, especially to find how to cross the road. I’ve found that if you know where to look, there are subways under the road that connect to the Mass Transit System stations. They remove the risk of being run over, but you have to know where to look. I found one this morning, wandered around a shopping mall and got totally disoriented. I came back out onto a different street and had to use the app on my phone to find my way back to the hotel.
Yesterday, I did some exploring around the area of Little India. This is a busy area and apparently once had a racecourse, cattle herders and brick kilns. In the 1840s, Europeans lived here, mainly for the racecourse, where they met and mingled. When cattle trading took root, it became a mostly Indian trade as traders hired Indian migrant workers. Certain goods and services took off, and mosques and Hindu temples were built.
Little India today is one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts. Along Serangoon Road and nearby streets there are Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches.
Cathy had asked me to find some handicraft type earrings that she had bought once before. As hard as I looked, I couldn’t find any. The Indian cultural centre didn’t have any and directed me to the ‘many jewellery shops in the nearby streets’. These would have been great of you were of Indian descent and wanting to invest your savings, but they were totally irrelevant to my search. There were indeed dozens of shops all selling the same gaudy necklaces, gold bracelets, ear rings and stuff. They had more gold amongst them all than Fort Knox, but none of the simple $20 earrings that I was looking for.
At night, I decided to walk down to Marina Bay and see if I could photograph whatever there might be of a sunset. There was some golden colour in the sky but it was too overcast for much of a good sunset.
I waited until it became almost dark and took a few photos of the Helix Bridge with the Marina Bay Sands Hotel behind it.
Only the way back to my hotel, I found a small ‘pop up’ Hawker Centre. Hawker culture in Singapore is a key part of the way of life for Singaporeans, where people from all walks of life gather at hawker centres to dine and bond over their favourite hawker food. Many hawker dishes originated from the food cultures of different immigrant groups who settled in Singapore. Over time, they have evolved to become distinctive local dishes.
I found a table and bought some satay, a beer, aonther nice dish (Indian, I think) that has a name that I cannot pronounce, let alone spell. It ws a very nice meal out in the balmy evening air and a good change from eating oil the hotel.