January 19, 2005 GMT
Hotel Poaching

Tomorrow morning I'll ride the bike into a container at the port, and in theory I can collect it in Darwin on February 2nd. All very painless.

The BMW Club here are very friendly and helpful. Ai Ling invited me round to her flat so I could upload more pix on her broadband link, and it turns out we have exactly the same tastes in music. We've also been to the Singapore Swimming Club (she's a member) which is frightfully colonial and all that.

Riding in SGP is great. Although you can't actually go very far before you fall into the sea, at least it makes it impossible to get completely lost, and some of the roads in the parks around the reservoirs are pretty nice (so long as you avoid the monkeys). I've gone native, of course. I wear helmet and gloves, but to be honest the thought of wearing much more than a T-shirt in this heat and humidity practically makes me faint on the spot. The one-way system is rather impenetrable, but you can always find your way around in the end. The only fly in the ointment really is the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP); all vehicles (including bikes) have a unit which accepts your Autopass card, and when you pass under a gantry on the way into the city centre between certain hours the money is automatically deducted from the card. I don't have one of these gadgets - just the card which I top up at any 7-Eleven to pay my S$4 a day to use the roads in general. This means I can't go into the city centre on the bike and have to be a bit careful which bit of one-way system I'm on, but isn't really too onerous.

Yesterday morning I nipped over to the hotel across the road (it's a couple of rungs up the ladder from mine) to make a couple of photocopies and send faxes. The Desk Manager enquired as to the terms at my (then) current hotel, then offered me a much better room at the same price and including breakfast. So this morning I checked out of the Sloane Court and checked into the Garden. I've never been poached by an hotel before.

Posted by Cynthia Milton at January 19, 2005 08:23 PM GMT
 


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