After a quick change of apartments to a quieter one at the rear of the complex (the front is on busy road), we headed into Orchard Rd in order to miss the mass of people that would no doubt build as the day went on. We’re staying only two stops from Orchard Rd on the MRT train network – it cost us 78 cents each to travel the two stops on the train, which arrived about 30 seconds after we found the platform. It’s only 3 minutes between trains anyway. Singapore’s transport system is one of the most efficient in the world.
First stop was lunch at our favourite rice and dumpling place Din Tai Fung in Wisma Atria. We have our favourite dishes all worked out after many visits over the years – Harrison had a wonton noodle soup and 10 pork dumplings while Julie and I shared the fried rice (the best fried rice ever!) and some vegetarian dumplings. I tried the Taiwanese beer (very good!) and Julie had an iced Earl Grey tea with lemon. We enjoyed lunch seated at a table a few stories up from the bustling Orchard Rd footpath where the last preparations were underway for the Christmas light show tonight.
After lunch it was time for some shopping – the reason Orchard Rd exists. I left Julie to shop on her own (brave move) while Harrison and I went to Kinokuniya book store, one of the largest bookstores I’ve ever seen. Of course I couldn’t leave without buying a few books, mainly as they stock titles that are hard to get in Australia given our limited range. After tracking down Julie through the plethora of shops on Orchard Rd, we headed back on the MRT to Novena Station which is in a small shopping centre of its own. Here we stocked up on some basic foods mainly as most places will be closed tomorrow, or at least opening later than usual, but also as we enjoy having simple dinners in our apartment prepared in the kitchenette. Tonight it’s clam chowder with fresh bread.
After a quick dip in the pool, we’re now sitting on the rooftop lounge under whirling fans, though the usual afternoon Singaporean storm is building off in the distance, drawing in a cool breeze. Glasses of Tiger beer and NZ Sav Blanc at our sides drip with condensation in the humidity. What more could you want after a hot and humid day walking around Orchard Rd?