We’ve both had a busy day today – Jill in hospital and me out in Singapore City.
I moved hotels today. Perhaps, I should have done this a few days ago but I was enjoying the luxury of the 5-Star Parkroyal Collection Hotel at Marina Bay. The problem was that it was not a good financial deal – costing about twice as much as my travel insurance allows per day.
I packed my bags and moved a few kilometres to the Holiday Inn Atrium which is not far from Robertson Quay on the Singapore River. It’s quite comfortable and I have some knowledge of this place as this is the hotel in which we, as a family, stayed on a stopover on our way tio Christmas in Europe a few years ago.
Basically, I have swapped this view:
For this one.
It now costs around half of the previous taxi fare to get to Jill’s hospital. There has been an interesting evolution of taxis in Singapore. Quite a number of years ago, the regulators decided to put prices up. Taxi usage declined and drivers went on went on strike to get them reduced. Can you imagine people actually striking for less!! Prior to Covid, I understand that here were around 30,000 cabs in Singapore. Business was bleak for the taxi industry during the Covid lockdowns and white tourism is now increasing, it is still well below pre-Covid levels. There are now only about half the original number of taxis operating as before.
You can go to a taxi stand and wait for a random taxi to come along but generally, you’ll wait forever. I understand Uber and the taxi companies have merged and its much better to use their iPhone app to order one. Like Uber, you just enter your departure point and destination. The app then gives you the price (this depends on the weather, time of day and taxi availability). Today, I had my second trip with the same driver as I had the other day. He was one of the drivers who had good English and could understand a joke. The odds of that are about 1:15,000
Meanwhile, for her birthday, Jill has had as good a day as possible in hospital. She was remembered by about thirty of her friends and contacts who sent birthday greetings to her. When she had her morning medical exam, the doctors and nurses formed an impromptu choir and sang Happy Birthday to her.
I arrived for my daily visit just in time to have a piece of birthday cake that the hospital had bought for her.
Tonight she sent me a message saying that a second cake has arrived for her. I don’t know where this one came from but it looks beautiful and whoever sent it was very thoughtful and kind.
I found out that the hotel that I moved to today only opened yesterday after Covid. In fact.l I am one of the first guests. I went to the club lounge on the 27th floor tonight for a drink and a snack. It only re-opened tonight and apparently I was the fist guest. There as a wonderful spread of hors d’oeuvre on the buffet. I felt rather guilty as I tucked into them but as I was the only one there, I concluded that it would be disappointing for the chefs to find that no one ate anything. With a couple of glasses of wine, that was enough for my dinner.