7. Buying a bicycle!

It was time to get my act together and go get a bicycle. I had a quick Curry Puff for breakfast which was exactly as spicy as its name suggests. I had a few stores in mind, some found on the net, others recommended by friends of my host. The first shop I went to didn’t have to display its prices for me to know that it was way, way out of my league. I’d been warned that bicycles in Singapore either are cheap Chinese junk or very expensive racing bikes. I didn’t want to believe that but this store sure acknowledged the fact. The address where the next shop was supposed to be was the only abandoned place in an otherwise busy shopping area. I couldn’t even find the street where the third shop was located, but when I was walking around hoping I would stumble upon it, a display window appeared when I turned around a corner. A brand new bicycle store, only a couple of months old according to the owner, had the perfect selection and decent prices. He did compensate his pricing by hefty prices on the add-ons, but I still got an excellent touring bike for well within budget.

With a couple of hours to spare and down to my last t-shirt I did some shopping, when I came across a fruit stand selling durians. Iunia had told me about this legendary fruit, which even features its own prohibition signs in the metro due to its smell, and I just had to try one.

The look on my face when I put the meat in my mouth made a group of local girls laugh. “First time?” they asked and tried to convince me that the more you put into your mouth at the same time, the better it tastes. That must be female logic, because I completely failed to see how that would be possible and I chose not to take the risk. Instead the girls sprayed me with perfume; “Otherwise you will smell bad for hours”, they explained. I was thankful.

I often get approached by people who want to sell me suits and other stuff so I was prepared when this young smiling girl approached me with a flyer. I could not understand a word she was saying when she suddenly pointed at my Adams apple. I’m not sure what she meant, was she going to remove my birth mark, give me a shave, or did she want to cut my throat? Safe to say, I didn’t want any of those things, so I continued walking doing my best to ignore her. She was, however, very persistent and when she finally gave up I almost felt bad. Sweet girls are the worst.

The evening was rounded of with seafood and a couple of beers with Iunia and, again, we talked the night away.

Life is pretty good! It seems, however, that I’ll have to learn to live with the taste of durian in my mouth.


  1. haha good to hear that you're trying the local food!! My Chinese colleague always talks about durians... they have durian b'day cakes, maybe something we need to try to find for you in May... ;-)

    Kram syrran

  2. i have never tried durian - good on you for being brave! Decided to spend a few days in Barcelona with my very pregnant friend and now back in a cold Malmö and on top of it starting work again on Monday - after 13 months' holiday...very glad that you are travelling on my behalf - the reading adds a very nice touch to my new Svensson life.


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