Yesterday (friday) we decided to visit both the Singapore zoo and the river safari. This was both a good decision and a really bad one, but we will come to that later. We left late, as usual (but only by an hour or so, so not bad going), armed with egg sandwiches, frozen water bottles, sunscreen, insect repellent, antihistimines, deodorant, tablet, spare t-shirt, tissues etc etc (refer to James previous blog) because, clearly, we like to travel light. In my case this is in fact true because I don’t carry anything. And Big J won’t let me carry the pack anyway because somehow this makes him unmanly – it’s a boy thing, and as it works in my favour I’m happy to go with it. Still thinking carrying all 3 packs instead of 2 out of 3 when on the move would make him look like THE manliest ever, but to date I appear to be the only one to have made this leap of logic. But 11 months still to go, I feel time is on my side. So, reasonably cool day for walking (below 30C), made great time until we were “randomly” selected by Singapore customs for vapour testing (stand inside thingy between 2 walls and they shoot blasts of vapour at you which detect any residual traces of drugs – as if!) As I am here writing, you can tell I passed with no problems, and the jets of vapour were lovely and cold, so sort of like fast reverse sauna. Please remember to visit James in Changi prison if you’re passing through. No, just kidding, all good. So onwards with our intrepid journey. Zoo is awesome, no other word for it. No cages, everything is open to see, big spaces, lots of trees and play spaces for animals, really natural (considering it’s a zoo!) We had Orangutans swinging in the trees above our heads – very, very cool. Also just a beautiful place to walk around. After a few hours there (hands swollen, feet sore, sweaty, tired) we headed to the River Safari next door. Have to say safari is quite an optimistic word to describe actual experience but the huge aquariums were mega impressive and there is something weirdly fascinating and calming watching fish and animals just cruising around in the water. The little boat ride was fun as well, especially as by the time we’d waited in the queue for our turn it had stopped raining (is it wrong to get so much safisfaction from watching those in front of you getting soaked?) So, speaking of queues, this brings me to my comment at the beginning about the really bad decision bit. Our host had told us a couple of times about not travelling during rush hour (so completely mis-named, try yourenotgoinganywhereforhours hour) and especially not on a Friday, heavy sigh. I think remembering this whilst drowning in human sea was probably too late. So first queue for bus from zoo no sweat, been there, done that. Ditto stage two train. Stage 3 was bus to first customs stop, normally takes 10 minutes tops, this was not normal. Saw a queue about a 100m long so thought we’d have a bite to eat first and see if it went down. It didn’t. By the time we got out we realised the 100m queue then went round the corner for another 50m then around another corner for another 80m. So we got in the queue marvelling to each other about what a huge queue it was. Until we got Singapore Customs. OMG. We went down to where we catch the bus and there was just a huge mass of people in both directions, apparently these were all queues, seriously this was not apparent to anyone – even the locals – it was complete chaos. Not knowing what else to do we joined a queue (this is a very loose term for complete and utter bedlam, but I’ll use it for now). After an hour or so, as we inched the 100m or so to where our bus was, we realised we were in fact, in the wrong f###ing queue. So we “merged” into the correct(ish) queue, and Big J got all antsy about having queue jumped until I pointed out we’d been in the f###ing queue for twice as long as everyone else and going to the back was not an option to talk to me about at that present time, or ever. We finally got on a bus and made it to Malaysia customs, take one guess as to what met us there, yep, more queues. To be fair they were only about 120km long and actually resembled queues so being thankful for small blessings. Finally made it out to last step between us and beer – walk or take a taxi – Big J is like, lets walk (I’d been on my feet for approx FOREVER by this time, so yeah, walking, great option, NOT) because there’s a queue for the taxi. Seriously, 10 people, it hardly qualified as a q. We took the taxi. Ahhhhh, cold beer, bliss. Day 11 complete.