We arrived in Singapore at 3:00am this morning. Without a trace of regret, we departed the Rhapsody of the Seas at 6:00am and arrived at the Pan Pacific Hotel.
I have never before known the meaning of the word "sumptuous," but the Pan Pacific has taught me what it means. It is so fancy and elegant, yet so friendly and homey, it is almost a staggering assault on your cruise-wearied senses.
Pan Pacific had our suite ready and waiting for us, and we collapsed in a warm bed with a damned fine mattress. After about a three-hour nap, which totally refreshed us, we went out for lunch. We dined at a restaurant called HotPot Culture. Family-founded and run by the charming son of the family, we were introduced to some real Singapore cuisine. Some of it we really liked, some of it we didn't. Doesn't matter, actually. It was a grand experience.
The shopping in Singapore is legendary, and now I see why. The mall that we have seen (it is adjacent to Pan Pacific) is a curious and alluring mix of Asian style and English sensibilities. That is to say, everyone speaks English here. All of the signs are in English. Yet much of the merchandise is straight from the Retail Heaven that is Japan.
I've tried to limit my shopping, as we are already stuffed to the gills in our suitcases, but I must admit that I dropped a bundle today. Not necessarily on myself, either. Cities like Singapore make it awfully fun to be an Aunt Laura. I must admit that I focused entirely on my little niece, Josie. Sure, I am bringing a treat home for nephew Anthony, too, but he can be kind of funny about things like clothes. As in, he refuses to wear them sometimes.
Josie, on the other hand...she's at such a fun age to shop for. I bought her some charms for her Crocs, and I hit a 70% Off sale at United Colours of Benetton. So now she has a new Benetton logo sweater, camel-colored with navy letters, just like we girls wore back in the day in the 80s (how retro!), and a grey top with bright pink shiny writing that will look great with jeans.
I'm a bit under the weather. I seem to have caught a cold, and have the kind of nagging and vicious cough that has everyone viewing me as Typhoid Mary. The wonderous staff at Pan Pacific have kept me well supplied with tea and lemon and honey, but it doesn't seem to help much. It seems to me that I always get this terrible cough when I am in Asia.
The Internet is readily available here at Pan Pacific, unlike that shithole of a ship upon which we sailed (a scathing review is to follow, upon my return to the States). To be honest, in retrospect, I wish that we had more time in Singapore, and had spent less time in Viet Nam (more on that, too). This time tomorrow, we will be packed up and planning our journey to the airport, and that just simply isn't enough time.