Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sunglasses required...


"Ah", said the nice lady from Hertz, "I've got a lovely new car for you, it's only done 500km."

"Lovely" we said, "thanks very much."

And then we found it, actually we couldn't miss it...

(Please note, the photo doesn't even begin to do the colour of this car justice. It is EXTREMELY yellow.)

Blah blah

Ozzie TV is possibly more advert saturated than American TV.

I thank you.

Monday, May 30, 2005

"Scary" Australian Quarantine video...

OK, just a quickie to say we arrived safe and sound on the Gold Coast. I'll post more later once I have had the opportunity to charge up the laptop a bit more.

One quick note though about the hilarious "Enforcer" style quarantine video they make you watch on the plane when you come into Australia. Honestly guys, by all means get the (very important and worthy) message across but the whole deep-voiced Judge-Dredd voiceover thing meant to scare us just made us laugh.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Mad Taxi Drivers and fab soupy dumplings...

We decided to go out for a Chinese last night and got a cab down to Chinatown. Our cabbie was a completely loopy chap who explained he was from Batam Island, just south of Singapore. He then proceded to get out a thick A4 portfolio of pictures, including one of he and his wife and another of him with a lecturer from Newcastle University catching fish to show us! Turns out he also happens to be a Batam Tour guide...

This chap can also fluently state the english alphabet backwards and had also decided that the world should learn english by counting the places of the letters e.g. A=1, B=2. (Don't ask, we lost track waaaaay early in the conversation...) Thoroughly nice chap but completely insane!

I can alo report that we have finally found a resturant to rival Joe Shanghai in New York for its soupy dumplings. The name of this establishment is Bei Fang Feng Wei at 18, Smith Street, Chinatown, Singapore, run by the lovely De Hee (really nice bloke) - the whole meal was ace but the soupy dumplings were outstanding. Thoroughly recommended.

Vernon Kay? It can't be... Oh, it isn't.

Watching TV here is fairly similar to SkyOne back home, although every so often Vernon Kay's head would appear with some footsteps in the top right corner of the screen to suggest that his programme, whatever it was likely to be, would be coming soon; I thought it was a bit bizarre that Vernon would be a major star specifically in Singapore, but stranger things happen. As it turned out, he's not - upon much closer inspection it turned out to be a middle-aged woman starring in a locally produced, english speaking "comedy" called "My Sassy Neighbour". (She's the lady in the middle in the linked-pic BTW, I'm sure you can see where we were confused)

Totally bizarre.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Singapore Skyline...

Planes, Trains and Automobiles...

So, all ye of little faith who didn't think we go through with this once were on the road, here's the first post from "foreign", coming to you from room 720 of Le Meridien Orchard in Singapore, where we arrived last night after a 12 hour plane journey that couldn't have been any more uneventful. When I was a kid going to Australia for the first time, we happily bounced around the plane whilst the place itself was bouncing around in +/-50ft turbulance. Now the seatbelt sign comes on if the plane so much as blips off an absolutely smooth path. That'll be the modern litigation culture airline panic then...

When we arrived at the hotel we weren't best pleased, our room wasn't ready when we checked in and we spent the next hour sitting nursing a free drink (non-alcoholic only, tightwads) Anyway, when we finally got to our room it was very nice and has things like a DVD player and high speed internet!

Taxis here are cleap, airconditioned and pleasant here, although everywhere seems to take 15 minutes to get to - lots of one-way systems and dual carriageways along lots of similar condominiums and high-rise complexes. I've not really managed to get a full mental map of the place yet, just the immediate area around the hotel.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Our route (give or take a pixel)

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Itinerary...

For those of you whom I haven't bored to tears already (and the rest you - bad luck, because here it is once again...):

We leave on Thursday, 26th May, taking an overnight flight to Singapore where we spend 2 nights from 27th-29th May; followed by an overnight flight on the evening of the 29th to...

Brisbane, Australia from 30th May-10th June where we stay with my cousins on the Gold Coast, then taking a daytime flight to...

Christchurch, NZ where we pick up a hire car and drive around South Island until we drop off the car and pick up the ferry from Picton on 16th June over to...

Wellington, where we stay with friends from 16th-19th June, when we pick up another hire car and drive up through North Island to spend 2 nights in Auckland, where we take another flight to...

Sydney, arriving on 24th June, staying with more cousins until 6th July, when we take a flight to...

Hong Kong, from 6th - 9th July, when we finally get a plane for the last time to arrive home early in the morning of Sunday 10th July.

Welcome!

Welcome to our holiday blog, the purpose of which is to provide an on-going travelogue for our frinds and family of our 6-week trip to Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

We'll try and get some photos up during the trip as well, I'll be taking my laptop and new digital camera so we should have the chance to upload some pics.

My mobile should be working whilst we're away, and we should have access to e-mail during the trip. As an alternative, you can post comments directly to the blog.

We suggest you check back at least once a week to watch our progress.

In the immortal words of Ron Pickering then... "Away you go!"