Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Back in Bangkok

The Keating Family is back in Bangkok and together again.  Caitlynne and I flew back from Singapore early Sunday afternoon and Kevin and Christopher returned from Australia in the wee hours of Monday.  PeePorn stayed with the dogs while we were gone but they were still very excited to see us. 

The Bangkok team played incredible baseball against the Jakarta team on Saturday and won third place in the tournament.  The final score was 5-4 and the boys were thrilled to come away with a win.  Kevin and Christopher were able to meet up with some good friends of ours from when we lived in Alice Springs.  They recently moved to Perth and drove with their two sons to meet Kevin and Christopher for dinner.  A friend of mine who went with the team is going to send me some photos that she had taken of Christopher so, as soon as I receive, I will post them here.  

Singapore was lovely.  So clean, green and orderly.  Quite a change from Bangkok, that is for sure!  I would move there in a heartbeat if the cost of living wasn't so outrageously high.  $19.00 for a hamburger.  $15.00 for a glass of wine.  $20.00 for a cheese quesadilla.  And this was in a local pub and not a "fancy" restaurant by any means.  Yikes. We didn't go into a grocery store so I don't know what those prices were like but everything else seemed to be very expensive.  

Caitlynne's friend, Laura, and Laura's mom, Jacki, went with us.  They are from South Australia and have been in Bangkok for about a year and a half.  Laura and Caitlynne played basketball together in the Fall and now play on the school softball team.  We arrived early Friday afternoon and, after checking into the hotel, went out to explore.  Our hotel was right on Orchard Road which is the center of Singapore's shopping district.  The shopping was amazing.  There were a lot of designer boutiques (clothes, shoes and handbags), jewelry stores and high-end department stores right outside the front doors of our hotel.  Saturday morning/early afternoon we shopped a bit more and then went back to the hotel to have a little rest.  

Since the "Wicked" performance wasn't until 7.30 pm, Laura suggested we ride on the Singapore Flyer.  The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel - however, instead of seats, there are capsules that you stand in as the wheel rotates.  It is 42 stories high - about 540 feet.
The interior of a standard capsule.
Construction on the Flyer was completed in 2008 so it didn't even exist when we visited Singapore in 2006.  The Flyer is located where the Singapore River meets Singapore Harbor and from the capsules, you can see all of Singapore and the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintam as well as Johor, Malaysia.  There are 28 capsules on the Flyer, each which is 28 square meters and can hold up to 28 passengers.  Remember, the number "8" (or any variation thereof) is considered by the Asians to be good luck.  It takes about 30 minutes to make a complete rotation.  The guide told us that, when first constructed, the Flyer rotated counter-clockwise but  it now rotates clockwise in the direction of the rising sun (considered to be good luck).  

We managed to get some "red carpet" tickets for the Flyer which really only meant that we were escorted to the front of the lines and we each received a "Singapore Sling" to drink during our ride (yes, even the girls!).  Our capsule was also a little more luxe than the others with music and nice seating.  

Some photos of us in our "red carpet capsule"...
Trust me, the girls are just posing with the drinks! 
Singapore Harbor.  That bright spot is not the sun but a reflection of the flash from my camera.
The Marina Bay Sands Resort.  The theater where we saw "Wicked" is in the low building on the right.
The capsule next to ours.
After our ride on the Flyer, we ate dinner and then headed over to the Marina Sands to see "Wicked".  More on that tomorrow!

Have a great Tuesday!

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