The day began with the call to prayer and a desire to slaughter cockerels and ended with strong Guinness and Indian street food.
Sleeping on a friends veranda in a Muslim village on Phuket Island the day began abruptly with the wailing from a nearby mosque. The imam’s public praising of the almighty chivvied the local rooster population into life and so, as the second mosque joined in telling God just what a splendid chap he is and the local fowl population set about another day of courtship I decided to finish packing and drink coffee,but as I had packed the night before I concentrated my efforts on the coffee.
Six hours later Sebastian and I became a point of minor interest as we set about assembling our shiny white bicycles in Singapore’s Changy Airport. A lady with a small child showed the toddler the strange men and taught the boy to say ‘bye bye’. An old man asked about our journey ahead, we told him and he wished us well. Another lady asked and smiled the sort of smile that says a thousand kind words. A group of Indians gathered around us and the ring leader began to explain the others that here before them were bicycle worth seven thousand dollars each. He then asked about our journey, we told him we were going to China via Malaysia, Thailand, Lao, and Vietnam and he asked how we would cross the ocean. We explained that there was no ocean to cross and he assured us that there was. We told him we would deal with it when we got to it and he looked satisfied. He then went on to tell everyone about the ‘gear system’ of our machines, we pointed out that our bicycles are single speed and he declared to the group that they were just ‘ordinary cycle’ and devalued them to a paltry $300. I went to the toilet to change and left Sebastian to natter with the Indians
Sebastian discovered that his back tyre was quite flat and we both discovered to our displeasure that our pump does not work.
The ride into Singapore was a slow affair as Seb nursed a near flat tyre along. It rained and we stopped for shelter where they sold beer, so we drank a beer. It was a nice area with colourful colonial architecture and many pretty girls in short skirts and low cut tops. We liked it here and considered finding a room. The rooms we soon noticed had an hourly rate and there were many karaoke bars and “gentlemen’s clubs”, we reappraised the girls of short skirts and low cut tops and realised that maybe this was not the best area of the city for a peaceful nights slumber. We moved on.
And so we found ourselves in Little India. It is aptly named for it is small in size and Indian in character.