Dubai

Made it to my suite. When it’s 99degrees at 11pm you get upgraded to a suite.

More tomorrow. Nite nite time for me now😎

Layover in Sri Lanka

The dark green seems to be coconut trees. Plantation style. Don’t know if they are still working plantations.

It is a gritty airport with very few female passengers. The plane lands and you walk down the stairs like in Kona.

The first plane was a very old never refitted A320. That was actually a good thing, the seats where like the were 30 years ago.

Next stop Dubai.

Singapore – wrapping it up.

More public art

I was tired of seeing stuff today, so I just went walk about. Found some cool public art.

Old houses.

Also found an entire street of lovely  old town houses that have somehow missed the wrecking ball  

Sign

One of those elegant old houses had this sign out over the front gate.

And, I don’t know if you can read the sign, amongst other things it is directing folks to a Surgery Centre.

I keep imagining the receptionist saying “now for your bunion  operation, turn left at Jimmy Choo,s”

Everyone, taxi driver, hotel doorman, barista, they all say that I should head out to the airport right after breakfast for my 3:15 flight. Apparently the airport is that wonderful. I should want to spend an extra 6 hours there.

And, I finally have lodging in U.K. one night London, four nights Edinburgh, and then Four nights in London. then Bermuda, then back to the Asylum. I have no way to get to and from Edinburgh yet. But, I don’t imagine it will be much of a problem.

Singapore has been great. I would come back in a wink. It’s like Japan only hotter and the streets have names and I can read the signs.

One from yesterday-The Lost World

Singapore – Another garden.

For Car ton.

Riding the bus this morning, I spied this fountain. That is so Carlton.  Thank you, Mr C.  (But, I hope you don’t mind that I took a cab back to the hotel.)

The Sands hotel seen from inside the Flower Dome

Today was devoted to the Crazy Rich Asian part of Singapore. The biggest difference in in the old part of town, you will likely be run over by an Aston Martin, in the new part of town, you’ll be run over by a Ferrari. 

Went to see the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest green houses. One is 3 acres and the other just 2.5 acres.

Waterfall in the Could Forest.
Looking down from the top of the waterfall.

And finally: Crazy Rich Asian dog walker


Dog walkers amuse me.

Oh, those huge green houses are air conditioned. The cloud forest one uses forced air. The flower dome has cooling coils in the concrete. I actually got chilly.

Singapore – it’s a zoo out there.

Not all the animals are in cages

But seriously, Singapore has a fantastic little zoo. It seems to be very well funded.

White rhinos

They have a small herd of white rhinos, according to the wayside in the 1890s there were fewer than 100 white rhinos. Now there are about 20,000 mostly in zoos and preserves. Much like the North American bison story.

Ethiopian baboon troup

The zoo has lots of baboons and orangutans. No gorillas. The orangutans are pretty much able to go where they want to go. The zoo calls them “free range” orangutans.

And then there’s this.

Public Art – zoo style.

There’s a lot to love about Singapore.

Singapore – 8 miles of fun.

Not a big art museum fan – but I love public art

Google and I started our day with me being lost. But, I found this. And eventually I ended up where I wanted to be: at the Singapore biological garden.  

Lots of interesting floral arches.

the orchid section was superb, but if you thought that orchids grew in the shade you would be wrong  Their orchids are out in the blazing sun and 90 degree (feels like 101) environment  

By the time I made my way to the hotel I was soaked  right through all of my clothes.  Even My watchband was soaked through. So it was time for another shower and a little laundry. Plus a rehydration rest.

Then I was hungry.   Off to China town for an early dinner.  At a one star Michelin restaurant.  Dinner was $6 Singapore (about $5 US).

Exterior
Shoyu chicken with rice

truthfully, any baby luau on big island  the shoyu chicken would have been   just as good   But, it was fun and well worth $6 Singapore.

then time to go walk about in China town  

Never can tell when you will need a nice dried lizard.

Found the homeward bound bus stop. Came back to my hotel. 8 miles walking today.  Not sure I can do 8miles in 90degrees again tomorrow.  

To quote Carlton – if you think you are having fun you are having fun. And I am really tired tonight…

Singapore and transit day.

Singapore hotel. goodwoods park.

Safely tucked  away in my room at the Goodwoods Park Hotel.  It is an old  2 story colonial anachronism  in a concrete and glass 50 story world  

I checked my bag today.  But it arrived. My plug adapters work. This is huge.  I am having Tiger Beer for dinner. My hotel seems to be fine, but the Tokyo Station Hotel ruined all other hotels for me. It’s all good.

Amazing light – South China Sea. from the plane.

Some notes while enroute to Singapore.

Going to Singapore. I haven’t been to Singapore in 50 years. This will be all new for me.  I am guessing/hoping that it will be easier than Tokyo was. For an old person Tokyo is like being a really old person. You can not understand what people are telling you. Never mind that they are being really nice. You can not read signs. Or newspapers. Everything goes too fast. Everything is harder than it used to be.  
 
Don’t get me wrong I am glad that I did Tokyo. And, I hope I get go come back to Japan. Remembering that “nobody is promised tomorrow”. 
 
The flight was about an hour late leaving.  They blamed it on the rain. And it was pouring this morning. Those of you who travel more than I do may have seen this. But I hadn’t. The Japanese are very orderly. They really know how to queue up. My flight had thee queues: Regular boarding, Business class boarding, and Priority boarding. The longest line was Priority boarding. And nobody seems to use their phone for boarding passes. Also, people don’t seem to print their own boarding passes.
 
Hopefully I will not regret this but, I checked my bag.  I was happy to not have to get it through security.  I will be happier if it arrives in Singapore.figure that while a wait for my bag I can try to understand the local transit system.
 
I am looking forward to Singapore. In the short run, I am looking forward to lunch and a nap.  And some downtime on the plane.
 
Had a fine little nap. And a coffee. Getting excited about Singapore. Which will happen in 55 minutes
 
Starting to look a little frayed around the wedges.

 

Tokyo – Game over.

The JR Station at  Harajuku

Today, I realized that being a tourist in Tokyo is like playing a really good VR game.  You are always on the lookout for tiny little clues that help get you to the next level. 

I had planned on talking a day off, but hey I might not come this way again. So, the Imperial Palace which I knew I could find on foot.? Or the Meiji Jingu Shrine which would take a couple of trains. I was underwhelmed with the Imperial Palace on my last visit. But I was willing to give it another try. I consulted with Michelin green guide: the palace got one star and the shrine three. Meiji Jingu Shrine wins  

So, off I went. It was grand.

There were massive tori gates
Wedding parties and babies being carried in by proud formally dressed parents.
The were iris
This being a Shinto Shrine there was sake. Lots of sake.
And fabulous bonsai.

 I will rest tomorrow on the plane  but now I must get ready to get on the plane if I make it to the plane that is. It will be a train and a monorail  I will leave early  

Tokyo street scene

Next stop Singapore. 

Tokyo – Trip out of town today

Headed to Yokohama today.
Made my way from the train station to a rather festive kid centric part of town.
Because, I am seeking The Cup of Noodles Museum.

yes, boys and girls, there is a Cup of Noodles Museum.  It was very busy, but rather charming.  Cup of Noodles as we know it came on the market in 1971. And, it is called Cup of Noodles in Japan. 

Yokohama street scene. I love skinny streets with over head wiring.

 I am getting tired, so, it’s find the subway, find the train and get back home time.

Knocking down plums.

Fortunately yesterday’s paper announced it was time to “knock down the plums”.  Apparently this is done to encourage more plum blossoms next spring. And the rather large green plums are apparently sold to residents who make pickled plums. This was outside the hotel.

A very orderly school group outside my hotel.

Tokyo – lost and found

Home Sweet Home – 8pm

Yes, I was out “late”.

By the time I was coming home, I felt like these guys.

Big fuss here in about requiring women to wear high heels at work. The Labor Minister agreed that it was necessary for women to wear heels while working. Seems to me that unless you are a pole dancer or work at Jimmy Choo’s what’s on your feet doesn’t matter. (Safety shoes notwithstanding.)

Today didn’t work out like I had planned. But it was fine. I had planned on riding the only street car left in Tokyo around. But google and I couldn’t find the street car. Most of the day I was lost and wet  

Another Buddhist temple

But, I found this charming small temple.  Most unlike the one yesterday.

The Chinese Ambassador Gets a ride.

A little diplomatic silliness played out in front of my hotel this morning.  Remember my hotel used to be a train station.  The new Chinese Ambassador was scheduled to present his credentials to the Emperor. So, as he has done for the last hundred years the Emperor sends a carriage to collect the Ambassador at the train station. Needless to say the Ambassador came to the hotel/train station in his limousine.  

About five this evening I ventured out by subway.  That was rush hour. But it was no worse than the Metro orange line.  

I wanted some night shots.

Night shot
Another night shot

I walked 7 miles today. Thinking it’s time read a little and go to sleep.

 

Tokyo – playing tourist today

Girls in yukata-my favorite image today

This was in Asakusa. A shopping street maybe 4 blocks long. And every shop just sold one thing. Hair sticks-but not hair clips. Hair clips would be a different store. But, I am getting ahead of the story.  First I have to get here.

Okay, how hard can this be?

Actually, pretty damn hard. I figured out that this was the train station and I needed to find the CORRECT subway station some where underground. This whole underground thing is problematic.  In my part of Tokyo there are 3 to 7 layers of underground. Folks who work blocks away from the station can walk from their office building to the train/subway without stepping outside. These aren’t simple passageways but underground shopping mall type things. Google doesn’t know about this. And my phone GPS isn’t spot on accurate in Tokyo. 

On the Ginza line

Eventually, I find the correct subway, acquire a 24 hour pass, and make in on the correct subway and successfully transfer.  

Asakusa.
Sensoji Temple

I always get a fortune. I got a “good “ one  Among other things it says: There is a little bit of worry about traveling. 

Sensoji Temple

And now back to the shops.

The natural bristle brush shop

After all this sightseeing and window shopping, I head back to my hotel.  Had no problems until I tried to find my way out of the subway system.  Finally popped out some 3 or 4 blocks away from where I should have been. But, while wandering lost and looking for a way out, I passed a 7-11 and got a ham and Brie sandwich for dinner. 7-11 in Japan has the same name and the same logo. But it isn’t the same. No Big Gulps for starters. There’s a 7-11 bank. They sell food that you can actually eat without getting food poisoning.

I took a nap when I finally made it home.  At my age, one adventure a day seems to be it.  

Tokyo – lazy day.

School kids on a field trip

People seem to like to get their pictures taken in front of my hotel.

I didn’t do much today. The spirit was willing but the body said wait just a minute. So, I give into advanced years and took a nap and didn’t venture far from the hotel. But that didn’t keep me from getting lost. I did find an ATM Machine that gave me money. And I found a Starbucks. If I can ever find the Starbucks again, then I can find the ATM Machine again.

Found this robot- but it’s not a cat.
Found a$135 bunch of grapes.
Found lots of cute bento box meals.
And something that looks a lot like French fries topped with earthworms.
Tokyo Station Hotel

The end of the hall is not my room. It’s a dogleg turn and I am at the end of a second  equally long hallway. One would think that the hotel entrance would be in the middle.  But it’s not.  It is at the far right end and my room is the last on on the left.  Get my steps in just coming and going.