LAX to Tokyo to Singapore
Aug 25/26/27, 2019
Los Angeles to Tokyo and onward to Singapore is a lot of time in the air. It was 11 hours to Tokyo with a 3 hour layover and then 7 hours to Singapore. We left one day and arrived yesterday, or something like that.
After multiple time zones, several cheesy movies on the planes and lack of sleep our stiff bodies arrived at the Hotel Jen Orchardgateway in Singapore exhausted.
We woke up around 6:00 am after 3 hours of sleep, then stumbled down to breakfast in a brain fog. I noticed my cognitive and motor skills were delayed more than usual. Two double espressos later the fog lifted and we felt alive and ready to take on Singapore.
The hotel is located on Orchard Road which is a major shopping area. Name a designer and they have a shop here or two: Herme, Prada, Jimmy Choo and Rolex. We have the taste and the budget for Costco and Casio, so onward we went.
Watch This! Now you see it, and now you don’t or the watch story.
Aug 27, 2019
A spring bar is the little bar on a watch case that the strap passes through. As we approached Singapore on the plane I was putting my wallet into my back pocket when my watch clipped the arm rest, pulling the spring bar off. The tiny bar was still in the strap as I maneuvered my free hand to catch it and it disappeared before my eyes. Poof! It had to have slipped out onto the floor, yet without getting down on all fours with a flashlight I couldn’t find it. I routinely buy Nato styled nylon straps for my watches because they are so comfortable. The strap companies always include two extra spring bars and the little tool to slip them in. At home I have about one dozen extra spring bars. But I was in Singapore now.
Certainly a watch store would have it, so we popped into the shopping mall next to the hotel and walked into the Watch Shop. Nope. Two more watch stores emphatically said no. Really? It is a Seiko watch and we found a Seiko store, perfect! Nope. This was getting a little weird, every watch shop should have hundreds of these in stock. Was I supposed to buy something first? I was asking very nicely but I’ll admit after the third shop not having any spring bars I gave then the skeptical “ you’re full of crap” look in hoping to make them feel bad.
The Seiko sales clerk did direct us to the Lucky Plaza which had about a hundred of the small booth vendors (our kind of people ).
The first watch store easily put on a new spring bar for 8 Singapore bucks, about the same as US dollars. However we did get to tour a few high end shopping malls in the process. One store was the flagship Rolex store where you could see several watch makers servicing watches of the rich and shameless. The waiting room, yes they had a waiting room, was on the other side of the service area. The clerks looked down their noses at us hillbilly nomads and didn’t even bother to ask us if we needed help. I asked where the Casios where, the nice ones.
It turned out that later the last shop put in a spring bar 1mm too short and it popped out later that day so I took the needle from the hotel sewing kit inserted it through the drilled holes, broke it off and then tied it in with thread to complete the DIY hillbilly MacGyver look.
*Follow up to the watch story and a happy ending. I later sold that watch to a fellow and I told him the spring bar and later the Seiko Thailand special edition story. Turns out I sold it to Ripley from Bob’s Watches ( see Bob’s Watches on YouTube) and later bought my first Tudor and then Rolex submariner from Bob’s with Riple
Singing in the Rain in Singapore
ION Orchard, Singapore
Aug 27, 2019
After the watch was firmly back on my wrist we continued our walkabout and ended up at the Marriott hotel to take a needed break in their lobby. Our feet were killing us and jet lag was setting in like an ocean fog. We had bought a cheap umbrella for the intermittent rain showers and made a note to pack one for all future trips.
Marla had read about a multi media show at the top of the Ion Orchard Mall, which was across the street. We crossed the street via another underpass and walked into another mall. The tickets were $20.00 each or free for every $20.00 spent in the mall. We were hungry and hit a restaurant to eat $24.00 club sandwiches and double espressos. Or does that make them $2.00 sandwiches?
The Ion in the Sky exhibit was on the 56th floor which offered a 360 degree view of the city. It was spectacular. Then the curtains lowered over the windows allowing the computer animated show to project the history of Singapore.
Well done Singapore.
Afterwards we limped back to the hotel not realizing how far we had really walked and took a nap.
Our hotel had a special lounge for the high rollers and Marla’s savvy room purchase at the top floor qualified us for entry. They had various snacks 24 hours a day which became our dinner. The Club Louge also had our own conseairge and waiters who would snatch your plate away at the slightest hint of you being through.
We then hit the swimming pool as the sun set. It was an infinity pool that could give you the heebee jeebees at 20 stories up, which was part of the fun. The jacuzzi helped our sore feet and knocked us out for the night.