Saturday, February 04, 2006

just about a week left before returning to melbourne...i'd say its just about time. been stuck here in singapore for way too long. of course, i've had a great time lounging in the comforts of home and being a total glutton on the delicious, cheap food here. plus enjoying all the conveniences of a modern metropolis.

i just got back from bintan yesterday, terribly sunburnt. apparently the med school mantra of "slip, slop and slap" with regards to sun protection didn't really register with me. but it was great fun riding the waves in the south china sea. not a bad place for a quick getaway, though i feel its way too commercialised and quite a rip off sometimes. the indonesians obviously think that singaporeans are an obscenely rich bunch of people, which is not always the case. its not that i can't afford it, but i just hate having to pay first world prices in a third world country. i honestly.... S$75 for a taxi ride??? I don't even pay that much in singapore itself if i ride the taxi from one end of the country to the other! thank good ness there were free shuttle buses.

it was quite an harrowing experience eating nasi padang at a local indonesian hawker centre on the first day. being rather gung ho travellers, we decided to go off the beaten path and shun the tried and tested tourist places. so we got some recommendations from the indo guy at the hotel and went for the local food.

i was pleasantly surprised to find that the hawker stalls had hygiene ratings on them, similar to those in singapore. probably a way to reassure singaporean tourists. i was less impressed though, by an attempt by a hawker to charge me 65,000 rupiah for 2 plates of nasi padang! hey man! just because i look singaporean doesn't mean that i'm filthy rich! and if u wanna rip me off, do it within reasonable limits!

perhaps indonesian hawker centres have become more expensive than singaporean ones!

bintan worth some mention. its not in the league of carlsberg, of course...but quite comparable to bavaria or chang. heard some ah beng scoffing at me for ordering bintan beer, but i couldn't be stuffed with such LC people. they were being rather rude and impolite to the indonesian waitress, and i thought to myself, perhaps it is because they are nobody(s) in singaporean society, so when they come to bintan they wanna behave like some singaporean bigwigs with cash to burn. hence being rude to the indonesians give them some sense of superiority which they so crave for.

the beach at the bintan resort. definitely a good place for singaporeans looking for more decent and substantial beaches to hang out at. riding the waves from the south china sea was pretty fun too.