Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lion City

Hello from Singapore, where the temperatures are steamy and the hotel rooms are tiny!

Or at least mine is. I'm here for a work conference, along with 700 of my closest friends and colleagues, and my friend J. and I wanted a hotel with some local character, instead of one of the big cookie-cutter conference hotels. So we're staying in Chinatown, in a hotel that does indeed have plenty of character, and having a running debate about whose room is smaller. (I'm pretty sure mine is. Or maybe it's just that I'm bigger.) They are configured slightly differently, but each has just enough room for a single bed, a "desk" which is really a foot-wide shelf attached to the wall, and a bathroom that doubles as a shower stall and is about the same size as the one at home in Canberra. No closets or cupboards, and even if you can fit a guest in, you can't use the toilet while they're there because the bathroom door is made of glass. But it does have a teeny-weeny fridge, big enough for one bottle of water and a can of Coke, a 12-inch
flat-screen TV, some of the friendliest hotel staff I've ever come across--and FREE internet!

And I really like it. I've hardly been here--we just finished the second day, which was a "light" day for me: only about eight hours at the conference. I was quite happy to come back to my cozy little nook in a real neighborhood, after we had strolled down the road to eat a fantastic dinner in a sidewalk food court, surrounded by locals and stunned to find out that we had just stuffed ourselves with two mains, a side, and Cokes for a grand total of 15 Singapore dollars for the two of us (that's 12 Australian dollars, 11 US dollars, or 7 British pounds).

I'm going to crawl into bed now, in preparation for tomorrow's 12-hour-plus onslaught of meetings, workshops, and gabbing. I'll be back as soon as I can to report on the fascinating mishmash of cultures here, the creative things conference organizers dream up to entertain you, and cooling off with a gin & tonic in the courtyard of the legendary Raffles Hotel.

Until then, rejoice (or despair, according to taste) that you don't (or do!) live in a place where the temperature is a muggy 90F/30C pretty much 24/7/365.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...