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September 29, 2013

Day 17: Singapore, the Lion city

A fluffy, small and white thing called Yakao (toothpaste in English), that happened to be Huang´s dog, welcomed us to start our first day in Singapore. After some indications from our host, we headed to the Sim Lim Store, a “must visit” place for everybody who, like us, loves technology and gadgets. We spent there the whole morning checking phones, computers and tablets and had lunch in the food court in the basement. Some pig organ soup was on the menu but we chose to eat something less… how to say… peculiar? :P


After lunch it was time for some real sightseeing. We walked around Little India, Chinatown and Clarke Quay, getting lost among the restaurants, shops and bars. I couldn't stop admiring the incredible buildings, the cleanliness of the streets, the glamour of the local girls and the politeness that flows from every citizen. It is true that Singapore is full of rules, fines and laws that seem strange to us but, sincerely, without all these rules, the city wouldn't be what it is today.

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Next to Chinatown there is a little food market where we finally found some Durians already sliced up to little portions. Adam already talked about them and their strong smell in his former post, but this time… we tasted them. It has a soft consistency; it is sweet but at the same time tasteless and, after eating, your breath smells exactly like the fruit: basically, you smell like fart... Huang told us that you have to try it at least 5 times to like it, well, what can I say? I had enough with one bite.


After sunset, we went to the Marina Bay Sands hotel for the incredible light, music and laser show. We stayed around until late waiting for Ankitt and Arendt, two friends of Adam he had met in his last visit to the city with Paul. While waiting, we discovered a restaurant called Catalunya, named after the part of Spain where I come from, and we saw the emblem of the city: the head of a Lion. Why is a head of a Lion the symbol of Singapore? Let me tell you. In the 13th-century, a prince from Indonesia was shipwrecked and washed ashore to an island. There, he thought he saw a lion so he named the island "Singa Pura" which in Malay means “Lion City”. From that, the name “Singapore” was derived.

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