Friday, January 20, 2012

Around the World: Solace in Singapore

January 20, 1992

Arrived in Singapore very tired.

After the fiasco on the train to Bangkok, I finally settled down enough to fall asleep.  Anna decided to open a bag of those durian king fruit, smells-like-dehydrated-death chips at 3am and the stench wafting out of the bag startled me awake.  I was certain that someone nearby had died, until I heard the telltale crinkling of her hand reaching into the bag.  I get a break from Harvey for a few days before we meet up again in Indonesia.

Shirley gave me a name and vague directions to a hostel in Singapore, but between new surroundings and fatigue, I could not, for the life of me, find it.  I did find a coin operated phone and called one of the numbers for the short list of hostels I had brought with me.  The first place I called was full, but the person on the other end of the phone gave me the number for another, which was also full, but again, apologies with a phone number for another place.  Finally, the fourth place I called had room and wasn't that far away from the phone booth I was calling from.

I'm staying at the Peony Mansion for $7 a night, including breakfast.  I'm so happy to have a place to stay, and a bed to sleep in, I can forgive the exaggeration in accuracy of the hostel's name.  The "mansion" is actually a two bedroom flat (two bunk beds per room), with a fridge for a kitchen and a toilet and sink in the bathroom.

Not far away from the hostel is a restaurant that's a bit out of my budget, but I feel the urge to splurge after last night's train trip of ignorance and noxious aroma.  I've earned a treat, and the Indonesian food is delicious and filling and I learned too late that the most expensive item on the menu is the juice.  Right now, I don't care.  There's a bed with my name on it waiting for me and the most obnoxious smell in the room is the comforting odor of my sleeping bag.

• ¤ •

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
~Robert Frost