Follow Amanda & Rob around the world for a year. From 30 September 2005!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Easy Tiger....

We've been in Asia for ten days and we are loving it. Not only is everything nice and cheap and I can eat curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner - worry not for indigestion tablets are also reasonably priced - but everything is much more difficult to do than in Oz or NZ. We like the feeling of not really knowing whether a bus will or won't turn up, or what exactly it is you are eating. Makes everything that much more interesting. The frequency of random, amusing events also greatly increases. Here are just a couple.

We flew into Singapore and stayed for a few days with Kate and Johan (Kate being a fellow ex-Bradfordian - we performed handstands on the FND dancefloor together on numerous occasions). On the almost empty flight over to Singapore, I rediscovered the delights of Tiger Beer whilst playing 1980's Nintendo games - the first swig brought memories flooding back of curry houses all over England. Then when we arrived Johan asked us whether we fancied appearing in an advert for Tiger beer. Apparently they were looking for European looking people, so on the Saturday we all piled down to the local stadium for the photo shoot. The concept was a group of England fans sat together with two empty seats in the middle to advertise a competition to win two seats to a game at the new Wembley stadium. At the rate the builders are working, this will be some time in 2013, but this promotion is to run from August 1st in Singapore. Sounded like an opportunity not to be missed.

Firstly make-up was necessary. Despite my protestations that blue and white quarters are what all England fans wear, I ended up with a face painted red on one half and white on the other. Thankfully more like Feyenoord (that'll please Erwin and Teun) than Bristol City. Johan ended up with a Union Jack on his face and, ironically, the only German on the shoot got made up with a St George's Cross. Sweet.

Then we sat and had our picture taken about three thousand times in our cheering pose. Myself and Kate are right at the front so will be hard to miss on all 6 and 8 packs of Tiger beer, bus shelters and newspapers in Singapore from August. It'll also be on the web so I'll post the link when I have it. What's more they paid me 100 quid for doing it. Easiest 2 hours work I have ever done, and after two days in Singapore, I was already a star. Unfortunately there were too many girls so Amanda didn't get in the photo, but in the end they needed people to sit at the back so you will probably see her torso, but alas no head.

Then on to Kuala Lumpur where, after an hour, I bumped into two middle-aged English ladies in the hotel lift. Turned out they were just looking for a toilet and were staying somewhere else. 'Where?', I ventured to ask, to which they replied that their hotel was half an hour out of town and that they were with a group of 360 people. And they were all Avon Ladies. That's right, it must have been some Avon Lady convention in Kuala Lumpur where they refine their doorbell ringing technique or something. I was heartily relieved that we didn't end up in their hotel.

In Singapore and KL we met up with Kevin again (that is the 5th and 6th countries now that we have seen him). In KL myself and Kevin reverted to twelve year olds and went to a theme park / waterpark. Imagine a cross between Alton Towers and the Weston-Super-Mare Tropicana with absolutely no queues and where entry costs 6 pounds. Needless to say, we were in heaven. Spent most of our time on the slides with the lifeguards seemingly playing a game of trying to kill the Westerners by giving us big pushes down each slide. Ooh it was fun.

We are now in the cooler climate of the Cameron Highlands and had a fascinating visit to a tea plantation today. The scenery of rolling, green, soft hills was stunning and when we went into the factory it actually smelt like a very strong cup of tea. They make enough tea there for 820,000 cups a day, but I was surprised to find no statue of Amanda there as she seems to drink over 50% of that output.

Next stop is a leech-infested rainforest and then on to the Perhentian Islands for a spot more diving. Looking forward to the World Cup - SE Asia seems to be going mad about it without having any teams in it so I am confident I won't have any problems catching any of the games. I'll just have to lead a bit of a nocturnal life for a few weeks. At least the beer will be cheap though....

Over and out.

RM Speake (Famous in Singapore)

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