Touring Singapore

Date of Journey December 2009
Michael Draper Cheshire

Each Christmas my mind turns again to a wonderful trip I took with my sister and niece in December 2009, to visit my architect nephew in Singapore.

The journey began on a cold morning from Manchester airport, grateful for my Rohan PCM Ratio jacket on the station platform, for the short hop to Schiphol airport and then on to Singapore. The contrast between the sub-zero temperatures, as we left Europe, and the 30 degrees of Changi airport on landing was pretty severe, and I was soon down to my shorts and light shirt.

One of the great things about Rohan clothing is that it's light to pack and carry when you are not wearing it, so it was no problem to haul my cold-weather gear to the hotel.

The wonderful Shangri-La Hotel was beautifully decorated for Christmas in the lobby, and I was greatly amused to sit next to the enormous Christmas tree, looking through the huge glass windows into the pool area, where people were enjoying the cooling waters under the tropical trees. I can't tell you how bizarre it felt to later walk down Orchard Road in the sweltering heat and humidity while listening to Christmas songs about snow and sleigh rides blasting from the many shops along the way!

The multi-cultural nature of the city was brought into sharp focus when we visited the Indian quarter and, quite by chance, found ourselves in the middle of a wedding in one of the temples. The wonderful aromas of the flowers and spices, and the vibrant colours and rhythmic music were a heady mix, and we were caught up and carried along by the joy of the occasion. We were unknown to the wedding party but were welcomed with smiles and open arms to join in with their celebrations. In the Chinese quarter I was treated to a lovely tea ceremony by a delightful lady in traditional dress, keen to sell me a box of her green tea, which she succeeded in doing!

It was the rainy season in Singapore, but in our stay of ten days we had only one tropical downpour of about an hour, and I was very glad of my Cloudbase coat. Most of the time, both in the city and the rainforest, I found my trusty ancient Rohan On Route SS shirt to be perfect for the heat and humidity. I simply rinsed it out each evening and hung it over the bath, and it was ready to wear the next day. I have now added an Equator shirt to my wardrobe, and found that equally good to wear in Morocco last year!

It was a perfect trip which ended all too soon, and we were on our way back to Amsterdam where, on landing, we found ourselves in a snowstorm.

 All flights were soon to be grounded, and ours back to Manchester was cancelled. The last flight out was to Birmingham, which we managed to get seats on, and I ended up on New Street station, without my suitcase which was lost in transit, waiting for a train back to Manchester. It was freezing and snow lay on the ground, and I was even more glad of my Ratio jacket and Cloudbase which had fitted easily into my cabin baggage, thank goodness (and Rohan!). If only I had my Winter Bags with me! I made it home for Christmas, and my bag arrived on the evening of Christmas eve! A truly memorable trip made very comfortable by Rohan clothing.