I've been trying to think of a name for my great adventure, along the lines of Robinson's Grand Tour and Robinson's German Journey - the names of my first two long-distance trips.  Robinson Round The World sounds too portentous; Brace Yourself, Sydney sounds too flippant for a trip involving 10 flights, 3 train journeys and 2 ferries.

And then it occurred to me...

There's a book called The Place Beyond The Pines.  It's recently been made into a film - which Virgin Atlantic chose to show on my flight from London to Hong Kong.  And outside my hotel when I got there, there was a poster advertising the selfsame film.  Someone, I decided, was trying to tell me something.

All the places I'm visiting will follow on from my viewing of that film, so I'm calling my 'journey of a lifetime' The Places Beyond The Place Beyond The Pines - TPBTPBTP.

I love it.

While you digest that priceless piece of trivia, take a look at this lot...

 This utterly exhausted family was sitting next to me on the flight from Hong Kong to Singapore; this is what happens when you bring a boisterous toddler on holiday, I suppose...
 The baggage hall at Singapore Airport.  
It made me realise that I was only about 80 miles north of the equator.  I was in the tropics!  
Most building interiors here are air-conditioned, 
so Singapore is where your glasses steam up when you step outside...
 My hotel - the Lai Chun Yuen - is a converted Chinese Opera House built in 1887.  The atrium used to be the auditorium; all the rooms run off this area on four galleried levels.  It's quite something...
 Scenes from Chinatown's street-life - completely captivating and irresistible, 
like the Chinatowns you imagine in books or see in films - only real and here and now.
 Erich - serving up a bratwurst on the right - has been in Singapore for 17 years.  
As his stand proudly says - his is 'the last sausage kiosk before the equator'.
 Men playing Singaporean draughts - there were many groups like this.  
The game is taken very seriously and the onlookers are highly, and very vocally, partisan.
A coconut man.  You pay two dollars (£1); he hacks off the top and gives you a straw and a fork.
 A Thai pomelo stall.  Don't ask because I don't know. 
 Two stalls selling lanterns, blow-up fish and birds and weird netted bags of treats (below).

The Temple of the Buddha's Tooth Relic - it's just behind my hotel
A full moon above the Temple on my first night in tropical Singapore
 It seems to be a legal requirement for high-rises to be 
adorned with hanging and rooftop gardens like this; they're everywhere - and very pretty
 The entrance tower of the Sri Mariamman Temple at the bottom of the street.  
As you can tell from the next photos, I was transfixed by the decorations there

 Singapore - ancient and modern
 There are mosques and churches in Singapore, too - and everyone seems to get along just fine.
In fact, harmonious co-existence is government policy.  
There are severe penalties for being unkind or disrespectful of other cultures.
As I was writing postcards this afternoon, this old man sat down opposite me, 
folded his legs up under himself and fell asleep...

And sleep is beckoning me, too.  Tomorrow afternoon I'll be flying off to Australia - to a rendezvous with my cousin...

Distance travelled so far:  7,882m / 12,685km

Watch this space...


John said...

Wow, Singapore looks amazing, I thought it would be a bit soulless but clearly not. I can't believe you didn't pack sandals! Well actually I can believe it, I'm surprised you remembered your passport... Enjoy every nanosecond.

Val said...

Another Wow! Relishing the words and pictures.
Earlier this year I took some photos of the temples from the top deck of a sight seeing bus, and of the hanging gardens building which is a hotel.
Hong Kong looks like Singapore in as much as it's a city of huge contrast - bold, brash and modern yet fiercely traditional, with a bit of colonialism thrown in.

Hildie said...

Oh, I was hoping you would call your latest adventure
I just forgot to tell you!
I hope you are still having a
totally awesome time with your family in Perth. I bet they are
chuffed to meet you.

Hildie said...


had I only known your
address, I'd have sent
you a real, proper
birthday card!
I hope you have a
brilliant day, pet.
(Facebook told me
it's your birthday.)