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We woke early and because breakfast wasn’t included in the room tariff, Dad decided we’d go out somewhere for breakfast. Unfortunately (and I thought he would have realised this), nothing was open until about 10.30am except Starbucks and Maccas. So for the first time on my entire trip, I had McDonalds.

The heat was thick and intense, and because I’ve been in a cold climate and had packed very light, I had to wear my jeans and a t shirt. Even though we were in air conditioning most of the time, I think the climate got to me. We walked over to Sim Lim Square, an enormous building with six or seven floors absolutely jam packed with little electronics stores. Dad was checking out something to do with his home cinema and of course had to go and ask at all the different shops for prices, and haggle, and get the spiel (in the end he didn’t even get home cinema stuff, he got a GPS).

At first I revelled in my gadget-headry, but after a while it got really exhausting. The place was packed, as today was the Labour Day holiday, and I forgot how tiring it is just pushing through the crowds of people in Asia. Having said that, I was glad to be in Singapore for the day; it still feels like home to me, even though I haven’t lived here for over 20 years (eep). Dad was filled with consternation at every turn and kept saying “They’ve changed everything! They’ve changed everything!” This is an understatement in a place like Singapore that is constantly under development and never stands still, but he seemed to take it as a personal affront.

Dad bought me a portable hard drive for my birthday (yay!). I had something bordering on a migraine by this stage, so we left and had noodles (still no satay, but the noodles were good). I also had an almond bubble tea, and Dad ordered the same. After a couple of sips, he remarked “Elmon is an acquired taste.” It took me a while to work out he meant almond, and then he said, “It reminds me of the bugs we used to squash as kids.” Janice tried the drink and nodded, “Yep. Bugs.” I have no idea what bugs they’re talking about…crazy almond bugs…

We managed to get a late checkout for my room, so I had a bath and then lay sprawled on the bed, still unable to nap. For afternoon tea, Dad and I went downstairs to Swensen’s, an old childhood favourite of mine that still has the Earthquake on the menu (a massive bowl with all their ice cream flavours and toppings in it, and dry ice in the middle to create a smoking crater effect). We didn’t have that though, we had two sundaes that were probably a bit too sweet, but I wasn’t complaining!

Dad drove me to the airport, and stayed with me til I checked in. It was good to see him; despite everything I do feel a great affection for him. I meandered through customs, bought some iPod speakers in duty free, and now I sit here…waiting for the gate to open. Apparently it’s going to be another full flight, but somehow that doesn’t matter so much when you know home is at the other end.

When next I write, hopefully it will be from my house!