Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pig Organ Soup

I'd forgotten how ubiquitous the Food Court is in Singapore. There's really no such concept in London or Europe. My meals aren't provided for my first two days here, so I found a 24h Coffee Stop just outside from my hotel. There's a stall there specialising in "Pig Organ Noodle Soup".

The price difference between 'Western' and local food is astounding in Singapore. Last night I met up with a former colleague and we went for drinks at the bar on level 70 at the Swissotel. We were hoping for a lovely view of Singapore but the haze from the Indonesian bush fires kinda put a grey damper on everything. It was Happy Hour and drinks were 40% off, but when we got the bill the prices were exactly the same as the menu. Ah, we were told, we were given the special Happy Hour Menu. I think that's a little bit sneaky to say 40% off and lead one to think that the prices would be less than the menu. We bought a snack of chicken wings for $22 (eight pieces). We went on to an Irish bar in Chijmes - apparently I'm staying in the 'wealthy expat' area - where one could order a burger for $22.

I chose not to eat because the drinks were expensive enough, approximately London prices or more for the same. I'd previously had chicken rice for lunch and paid a princely sum of $3. Of course my eyes then bugged-out at the price of my coconut juice, $4 - it's not often that the drink costs more than the food. While I'm on the topic of prices in Singapore, the hotel 'drugstore' sells toothpaste for $3. I think this practice is shameless as the 7-Eleven across the road sells it at half the price.

I also forget about the lack of serviettes with food. I must get myself some tissues if I'm to maintain decorum whilst eating. It's also annoying that they add on all sorts of tiny taxes at the end of things. All food and hospitality bills are quoted with a +++ at the end, e.g. $160+++. "Plus plus plus" - that just sounds stupid anyway, just add it on!

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