Down in Chinatown

The next morning Alex obviously was not well. We gave him fluids and rest but eventually it came time to check out of the hotel. Wanting to keep him out of Singapore’s heat we decided to take him to a airconditioned shopping centre. But B was determined to visit Chinatown, an area that had seemed very tacky and boring back in 2005.

From the Singapore Post shopping centre by Paya Lebar station we purchased some electrolyte solution for Alex. He seemed fairly okay at that point, as we boarded the MRT.

We emerged into a lantern covered street of stalls in the Chinatown area. Most sold tacky souvenirs, so we crossed back over to the nearby multilevel shopping centre, old and run down, full of electronics and jewelery stores. A local OG department store was newer and cleaner. We went in to buy Alex some replacement clothes in case of further messy ablutions and vomiting. The Singaporean taste wasn’t ours and we both missed the shopping in Japan.

Alex did throw up and we had to return to the department store to change a very messy nappy. He was looking a lot worse and I wanted to take him to a doctor, but where?

Beside the shopping centre, sounding like something out of communist China was People’s Park. The darkened lower level was a maze of food stores selling mainly Chinese fare. To me, buying traditional Chinese food in Malaysia and Singapore is a waste of food space that would be better devoted to the local cuisine. It’s easy to get good Cantonese food in Australia, so why bother there. But this wasn’t the time or area to be hunting for other options.

B purchased some rice porridge for Alex and the kind of curry laksa that had put me off ordering laksa in Singapore and Malaysia previously. It was more liquid curry than the blends of spices, coconut milk and leaves and juices that make up a good laksa soup. None of the Chinese noodles or rice dishes excited me, so I found a lonely Muslim stall and ordered a rice, beef rendang and salad that didn’t get finished. It was too hot and I was too worried about Alex.

Where to find a doctor for Alex? We ask, but they aren’t certain.

We stopped by a fruit stall for B to buy smelly durian. I suggested that she eat it right there, but she said she could carry it to a nicer spot. Except that even she eventually realised that the smell was leaking out, so she wrapped it in another plastic bag.

Over the bridge again, we purchased a comb for my new nephew, then its back on the MRT to collect our bags and head out to the airport. I’m sure there is a doctor there. While he was still throwing up, he didn’t seem desperately ill.

At Paya Lebar I left B to eat her durian and mind Alex in a sheltered area by an artificial pool and returned to the hotel to collect our luggage. I stop at Mr Teh Tarik and have one last drink, a Ice Milo Godzila. Iced Milo is made by dissolving Milo in hot water, then adding condensed milk and ice. It becomes a “Dinosaur” if you then add powdered Milo on top, and a Godzila [sic] with a scoop of ice cream with some rose syrup. Very nice on a hot day.

Five minutes later I said goodbye to Geylang and was dragging our bag back to the MRT station. B then ate her durian away from me, pronounced it delicious, and we were off on our way to the airport.

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