WARNING: long post (from Sydney)

WARNING: long post
Okay well today is Tuesday and it has been non stop partying since arriving in Sydney on Friday night.
Bettina who I am staying with [and her sister Linda] is wonderful and so generous. She picked me up from the airport and took me out into town after dropping my bags off at their house. We ended up at the Imperial after a troll down Oxford street. The Imperial is the bar in Priscilla Queen of the Desert where they start out from. It is a wierd mix of small bars and a club area downstairs but not a place I would recommend highly.
Saturday B and her lovely other half Margi took me to Bondi for breakfast and then tried to show me how to body surf – I was not very successful I must admit . Followed by a trip to the shops. It was ‘Shop yourself Stupid’ a charity shop-a-thon here in Sydney for AIDS charities. So lots of shows, drag artists and the like on street corners and on the back of trucks. Ooh and a cute boy in a shower cubicle on Oxford Street doing a bit of dancing with not much on. Bought a nice new shirt with Velcro fastening which went down very welll that night when I met up with David and we went out for drinks with Kim and Matt. We got stupidly drunk – well actually the four of them where stupidly drunk when I arrived at Scally’s hotel room and I just played catch up.
Matt, Scally and I then ended up at Oxford street and eventually I headed off home.
Sunday I was not too well – a bit of a cold – I know how do you get a cold in sunny Sydney? Anyways stayed in bed for a bit with Max the cat and then got up and helped Bettina with her hair. Margi had started it with strips of blue fabric. Linda and I then had a rethink and did Bjork style bunches with the blue lame? [shiny blue stuff]. It looked fantastic but I do not think I will be opening a salon in the near future!
They managed to source an extra ticket to the Harbour Party – a very difficult thing to do by all accounts as tickets had long since sold out and the lines to actually buy them in the first place had started at midnight the day before they went on sale.
On our way to the party a car pulled up and a guy came up to us looking puzzled and then decided he did not recognise me. It turned out he did I had just had my hair shaved and was wearing my contacts. Brad I used to know in London – he went out with a friend of mine [James] – I thought he was living in Adelaide so had not bothered trying to contact him for the trip. Turns out he is living in Sydney and was on his way back from the airport – he now works as a trolley dolley for Ansett! He was also going to the harbour party so we arranged to meet up and catch up later – wierd co-incidence or what?
So I ended up having a fantastic night – overlooking the opera house and the harbour bridge with 3,500 assorted fags and dykes partying under the stars. It was truly wonderful. I cannot thank the girls enough or Brad for that matter
Seeing Brad was realy wierd – I will be posting that one to Meg‘s Strangely Familiar site when I return!
Yesterday was another lazy day really – went on the farry across to Manly with Scally and had loads of fun in the sun – after a quick meet up with Kier and Liam who are also over. Then went back and got changed and over to scally’s hotel again. Met Fran – yes another of the London crowd who is over for Mardi Gras and went out for Dinner and drinks. Scally and I ended up at Stonewall where he pulled within minutes and I danced myself to exhaustion on the podium [no change there for me then].
Woke up with swollen sore eyes and had to take a trip to the doctors – I have an opthalmic bacterial pathogen so am on antibiotics. Was supposed to be meeting with Brad today but have decided to stay in the garden instead and read. Then will meet up later at the Albury to see Pam Ann. We usually see her in the 2 brewers at home so it will be wierd to see her in her home town ofr a change – she has flown over for a one off Mardi Gras Special.
Scally and I need to sort out costumes for Mardi Gras too as Margi has arranged for us to be on the 2001: a sex oddessey float. So we will be participating instead of spectating – can’t wait. Hope my eyes are better by then.
Also gonna try and change my flights on the way back to spend some more time in Singapore and catch up with Naz.
Sorry for the extremely long update today but I have been busy enjoying myself offline for a change
Happy Happy Happy – and so blissed out it is untrue – I wanna move to sydney woo hoo.
local time of post – 12:46 – lunchtime – and hot as hell

okay so I am seriously

okay so I am seriously relaxed now and the days are merging into one big relaxed coffee shop/cafe experience. I am struggling to remember what I did on Monday and it is only Wednesday morning. This could in part be to do with the fact I visited the Night Safari last night with Nazir though. I have no real way of describing the experience but I’ll try.
First off my brother’s 10 minute walk to the MRT [tube] station was a bit off – more like 20 minutes. You can tell he drives everywhere. I was lucky in that Pasir Ris is at the end of the line so I could only go west so no chance of getting lost . Changed at City Hall onto the Line North and ended up at Ang Mo Kio. Now luckily while I was making these arrangements with Naz earlier he mentioned N9. So Singapore is great for another reason. Since the names may be difficult to get to grips with if you are a foreigner they also have letters and numbers to designate where they are so Pasir Ris where Alec and Linda live is E12 – the 12th station East of the city and Ang Mo Kio is the 9th station North of the city – come on London Underground sort it out for the lost tourists in London. I was amazed by how clean the MRT is – a bit like Washington DC’s Metro no food or drink is allowed so the trains are very clean. Also the MRT is part of the reason no chewing gum is allowed in Singapore. Anti-social elements were leaving gum deposits on the floor allegedly so hey let’s just ban it completely!
Okay so then I met up with Naz [after a quick call since I had no idea what he looked like and oh yeah suprise suprise I was late]. We hopped on a bus and chatted about his move to New York – lucky devil – I think he will really enjoy is as he seems to be trying to break out of Singapore. He has visited before so he knows what he is getting into. We arrived at the Night Safari and paid our dues to get in and then the adventure started. We initially took the bus tour all around and saw all the big animals and went through a bit of the rainforest there too. Anna our guide took it upon herself to mention that as this was night time the only animals in the Night Safari are nocturnal – like hello. Also if we were wondering why we hadn’t encountered any primates this was because they are diurnal. Okay so I hadn’t been wondering but now I know.
At the end we went on a few walks around the safari – and it is a big big place – it was hard to imagine all of that space inside the city. The zoo here has an open policy so the animals are not caged they use non intrusive barriers like moats and natural cliffs etc. The whole effect was fantastic and the company was great too. My favourite – well okay hard choice between the mouse deer – so cute and small, the sloe loris [I would have taken one home if I thought it would survive in Streatham] and the bats. We wandered through the mangrove bat enclosure. This was such an excellent experience. I have no idea what I expected but it was amazing. I can see where horror stories of bats come from as we watched a few hanging from the netting above and as they flapped their wings it could have been a scene out of vampire bats come to kill you [if a film of that name exists…] Naz pointed out a bat resting not more than 12 inches away from us – so close if we wanted too we could have touched it – probably not a good move though. Totally mind blowing.
Then we wandered over the bridge of suspense – okay wandered is a relative term as we actually loitered for a good half hour chatting filming etc. Smack bang in the middle of a rainforest with no other people around it was very very hard to remember you where not lost miles from anywhere but actually within the Night Safari. If I ever become a millionairre [any suggestions?] I would love to have a hut in the middle of that. Yeah I know it defeats the object but you know what I mean.

Before I go I have to mention the toilets too. Walk in the door and you are still in forest. Very well done the Night Safari Team and thanks to all the rangers who help make it happen. I can well see why Naz goes so frequently.
So tonight hopefully drinks on the [allegedly small] Singapore scene. So I’ll keep you posted. Oha and the whole HDB thing… Yeah I’ll mention that later I think this post is quite long enough already.

still in sunny hot singapore

still in sunny hot singapore
hey well this having fun thing is turning out to be quite tiring lol.
okay so sunday I managed to fit in Changi Point – a lovely stretch of beach which wasn’t that busy actually – after of course another coffee bean breakfast – too much of a good thing [never]. also managed to go and do some shopping with Alec and Linda and erm ended up at Ikea. Yeah I know. Ikea in Singapore well it wasn’t actually that bad but hey makes you realise just how global marketing works. The main difference here is that Ikea is not on an industrial estate miles from anywhere and it also has a burger king and other stores in the same building. A concept hard to grasp when you have seen Ikea in action in the UK.
Today [monday] Alec phoned in sick [well actually he was kind of ill] and he and linda went to the doctors whilst i caught up on my plans for the week and watched a travel programme about sydney. They came back with enough pills and potions that I thought they may be seriously ill. They like their pills out here – which is strange for a country that kills drug traffickers.
Discovered also today that had I brought in the gum I had in my bag and the book on my bedside table I would have broken two laws here. One is no gum – possessing it is fine chewing or importing are a big no no. And the book on my bedside cabinet – philosophy of the boudoir [marquis de sade] is banned here so importing it is illegal too. Good job I opted for memoirs of a geisha instead! which is excellent by the way – highly recommend it – haven’t been able to put it down much.
this morning we went to a food court and had some more lovely food. I could seriously move out here – food and heat lovely.
Also went to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to walk in the rainforest. Singapore is one of two cities in the world enclosing a rainforest – Rio de Janiero being the other. So I thought I better take advantage of it whilst I was here.
Also went and bought some tourist tat – not too much but I promised to bring sprogg something home. Ooh and had more lovely food too and a luck cup drink thing with wierd little black balls of goo at the bottom – not v. impressed but hey possibly that is because I nearly choked when they hit the back of my throat whilst i was sucking hard on my straw.
So gonna go try calling Naz now and see if we can arrange to meet and sort out the night safari – go look at the site [linked last post] it looks fantastic.

So since I said no

So since I said no updates for a while consider this an e-postcard.
okay so yestreday I went down to Orchard Road with Linda which was cool – bought some sunglasses because it is really sunny [doh!] but since I was wearing my contacts I realised I could actually wear shades.
wandered around and got cruised – imagine that – by some young singaporean bloke who was very confused when five minutes later I was wandering around with a baby in a stroller. The baby is my neice by the way nothing to do with me just in case you thought otherwise. I have still never ventured there…she is adorable though.
So then Alec came and picked us up and we grabbed a bite to eat at boat quay [which reminds me of Richmond by the river in the summer] and then I went to bed early since I had been travelling since the morning before my time.

This morning we went for breakfast at ‘coffee bean’ which is kind of like costa or something but they do a lovely breakfast – four brekkies cost me $16 which is like #7 – erm anyone know the ascii for the pound symbol?
went to china town and then up mount faber which is so nice I am going to visit again with a camera – yes I know i should really consider a camera as essential tourist gear but I forgot I was a tourist…
so freebie aol chuck away camera in hand I will be going in the cable car to take some pics.
Also Nazir has decided we should go to the night safari which looks fantastic so am more than up for that. Also wouldn’t mind visiting the Singapore Discovery Centre see what is happening. So I will be venturing on the MRT and taking in the scenery as I am here until Friday morning.
oh and did I mention that the weather is fantastic and we are like 1 and a half degrees away from the equator – ooh I love it.
went to the mall earlier too and bought some nice noisy toys for Nadine – she may only be 3 months but since I am a far away Uncle I figured I better buy a few toys while I’m here. Also bought a cuddle me Elmo – he is so sweet but about as tall as she is. I’m sure Alec and linda will never forgive me for the noisy toys – they are interactive learning though not just noisy for the sake of it.
I’m also wondering if Elric has managed to cook and eat? I left him some spag bol sauce I had done thursday night but since then…. you never know.
Also wondering is Spence has noticed I’m not around. only time will tell eh?

arrived in singapore – local

arrived in singapore – local time here is 12.00 and the weather is fantastic. stopped in bahrain on the way for an hour so not much to say other than I am so glad that from bahrain to singapore i had an empty seat next to me – stretching out was lovely. I must say too the flight with gulf air was fantastic.
safely at my brothers, his wife linda met me at the airport with my lovely baby neice and have arrived in their flat [ikea seems to be popular in singapore too!] had a shower and just gonna have lunch.
first impressions are always lasting ones and I like singapore already.