MIDLIFE TRAVELSFor those who've seen my Facebook posts, you would know that I spent last week in Singapore with my very fit, and much more adventurous than me, husband - who should be renamed Bear Grylls the Second! We chose Singapore because it offered lots of variety seeing we like completely different things. So lets kick off Singapore Week on the blog today by reviewing a few life lessons Singapore style!
1. My idea of "a hike" and my husband's completely differ.
Case in point - number one thing on my husband's to-do list was the Southern Ridges walk - a 10km round trip through three of Singapore's biggest parks. Sounded fine to me - after all how bad could it be strolling through tropical parkland in the shade and stopping at a cafe somewhere along the way? WRONG!!
We started at the base of Mt Faber - can you see where this is going? A ridge walk involves getting up to the ridge - I have never climbed so many stairs in my life! Then there were upward ascending paths, tree walks, board walks, footpaths, roads and goodness knows what else. I got quite giddily excited when we started descending down one of the looooong boardwalks - only to find we were climbing back up again to get to Mt Kent - holy cow this was no walk in the park!
By the time I staggered out two hours or so later, I felt like I'd ascended Mt Everest (twice!) except that it's cold there, in Singapore it was 30 degrees Celcius and 90% humidity - we were swimming in our own sweat - and then we had to find a taxi home - see Point 3!
2. My idea of browsing the markets and my husband's completely differ.
One of my to-do's was to wander through the Bugis Street Markets - a version of Singapore's China town - where there is a rabbit warren of several hundred stalls (under cover and sort-of airconditioned.) He kept losing sight of me because he was forging ahead through the middle while I ambled along, getting sidetracked by all the little knick knacks on display - my tourist dollars were burning a hole in my wallet!
In the end he walked slightly behind me - that way he could keep an eye on me at all times - and when I stopped, he stopped and we managed to stay connected through the throng of tourists and locals. That being said, he could not wait to get out of the miasma of people and find somewhere less congested to recuperate!
3. My idea of planning our route and my husband's completely differ.
I Google map everything - I check and double check how to get to and from a destination. My husband has a general idea - mostly it involves walking off in the direction he thinks we should go, realizing it was the other way, turning around and claiming 'it's all part of the adventure' while I whine about the extra walking involved.
He also didn't check how to get back from our Ridge Walk - instead we wandered aimlessly down the mountain looking hopefully for a taxi until we ended up somewhere remotely civilized and I finally convinced him to let me ask someone for help. They called a taxi for us and I think I heard the angels singing as I slid into the air-conditioned back seat and headed back to our hotel!
4. My idea of foreign food and my husband's completely differ.
I will admit right here that I am the most unadventurous eater around. My idea of eating "local" involves finding something that generally resembles Western cuisine and playing safe - with a little touch of local flavour as my concession to being out of my comfort zone.
My husband on the other hand will try anything - he picks the weirdest thing on the menu and laughs if it tastes like rubbish and looks smug if it actually tastes good. He has sweated his way through a heap of curries - tried every nationality he can find on the street cafes and generally has a great time - while mocking my less than exotic tastes!