Sunday 21st November
As soon as the boat was secured we set off
into Singapore in search of Raffles Hotel where we planned on having a
drink and a spot of lunch before Amanda flew back home.
Raffles Hotel started life in 1887 as
a modest 10 room bungalow built by the Armenian Sarkies brothers, a far cry from
the global brand it has become now, when far more people visit it than sleep in
it. It was saved from the city's perpetual modernisation when it was declared
a National Monument during it's centinnial. Following a multi-million
dollar renovation, the hotel is once again the epitome of colonial
Even viewed from today's anticolonial
perspective, Sir Stamford Raffles was an extraordinary individual. Only 45 when
he died of a probable brain tumour the man who started as a humble clerk was an
accomplished naturalist, cultural scholar, enlightened colonial governor, Malay
speaker, founder of the London Zoo and the visionary who effectively created the
city of Singapore. But he ended his life in frustration and unhappiness, having
lost four of his five children and having the East India Company refuse his
pension. The vicar who buried Raffles had interests in slave plantations and
refused him a memorial stone, because he objected to Raffles' friendship with
William Wilberforce. Six years after his death, his accomplishments were
recognised with a statue in Westminster Abbey.
Yes, yes, it's a cliché, but it just
has to be done! Unfortunately we couldn't eat in the Tiffin room, famous for
it's curry buffets, as you have to book 24 hours in advance, our plan
wasn't going so well. Instead we made our way to the Long Bar to have the world
famous Singapore Sling, where it would seem everyone else had the same idea.
It's all very touristy but it is just something that you have to do when here in
Singapore. And so, we all sat at the bar with our Singapore Slings, cracked open
peanuts and tossed the empty shells onto the floor and chatted away. It was very
nice and I'm glad we made the effort, it's just a shame we couldn't have
something to eat. Instead we made do with a restaurant over the street with a
view of the hotel!
The business district a short
distance away from......Raffles Hotel
The famous (not so happy in his
job) Sikh doorman..............Drinks in The Long Bar
Peanuts provided for us to make
a mess of the floor...........Happy families!