Today we had to wait for our bikes, and as we had told Arnaud that we would only be at his house for two nights we set about finding a route our of Singapore and a cheap hotel (cheap in Singapore is expensive for South East Asia) to put our things so that we could explore the city.
We found a budget priced hotel that was having a sale, payed the $50 Singapore dollars (around $40) stashed our bags (all ten) and set about exploring the city. By this time however it was just after 2pm, but fortunately our hotel wasn't too far from China town, which was much like the Aussie China town except that there were more markets, it was cheaper and there were a whole lot of Indian dudes there measuring us up for new suits, kind of an odd paradox I thought... Just when I thought we'd seen the last Indian suit maker in China town, up popped another Indian man selling T-shirts, and offering Sam a 'very cheap' suit, which for a moment, Shanna considered... lol.
It was then, just as we were getting into the Singaporean China town swing of things we saw a sign that said, 'Chicken Rice- $2.' Once inside we were strongly persuaded that we didn't really want the plain old chicken rice but that what we really wanted was one of the more exotic, and more expensive dishes on the menu. Needless to say we stuck to our guns and went cheap, and boy were we glad we did; the chicken was succulent and the rice was perfectly cooked, and just when we thought it couldn't get any better in Singapore for $2, out came the funky bowl of soupy stuff, which we poured over our rice before devouring it.
Next we were on to see the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which Shanna had seen in our street directory and thought sounded interesting. Who wouldn't want to see an old tooth? It was just around the corner and soon we arrived. We were glad to see it was free entry and we could enter even in our shorts, after Sam has pulled his down a little...
We enjoyed the continual chanting music, the overpowering smell of incense, the constant signs asking for donations and the promises that if we bought this or that our family would be blessed with prosperity. But what we didn't enjoy, was the lack of a tooth. Any tooth. There was not even a fake gold tooth, let alone a musty old relic. We'd been lured into this temple under a false premise.
After searching six levels to no avail, including the 'relic chamber' on the top floor, where a couple of monks sitting at a table had temporarily got our hopes up, it was time to go get to our bikes. We caught the train to the station nearest the bike shop, then walked for an hour, getting to the store just before it closed at 6:30pm. It was a short and fun 6km ride back to the hotel, flying past cars, buses and motor-bikes, we couldn't believe more people weren't doing it (Singaprorean's don't like to cycle as they believe they will be perceived as not having a car). After some local halal tucker, which we've already forgotten the name of, we went to bed debating whether or not to leave Singapore in the morning...
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia