Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Happy people on the platform and don't Play Play

December 9, 2009
We heard that phrase at least a hundred times yesterday on the subway from the automated voice messages as the doors open and close. "Don't Play Play" means the people waiting on the platform to board should let the exiting passengers get off before they try to enter the subway cars. "Happy Happy people on the platform" means the exiting passengers should not push or shove those people trying to board the subway cars. In other words, act polite when entering or exiting a subway car. Sort of a cute way of saying it. Play Play and Happy Happy are used on signs and videos on various things all over Singapore; so it must be a commonly used local expression.

Yesterday we made another bus trip from Puteri Harbour Marina to Singapore....just for the day. Had a blast! Considered it my birthday present since the previous day was my birthday. (December 7, a day which will live in infamy (but not because it marks my birth). Not sure exactly why we enjoyed the day so much unless maybe it was just a very relaxed day with beautiful weather and we now knew the routine for clearing in and out both countries. And we did our bit for the economy by shopping for hours at Sim Lim Tower and Sim Lim Square and finally finding a few electronics items to buy.

The EPIRB was ready to be picked battery in place and inspected and recertified for another 5 years. Bill had done some prep work on the internet and had mapped out routes from the MRT (subway) station to NOAH Marine Services out in the industrial section of Singapore (not far from Raffles Marina). Thanks to Google maps and the online bus schedules and route maps that Bill had printed, this was surprisingly easy. Singapore has excellent, excellent public transportation. Bet we wouldn't even want to own a car if we lived in Singapore because a car would be more of a hassle that a benefit. This little island country is probably about the geographic size of metropolitan Houston. Houston needs to take mass-transit lessons from Singapore and get with the times.

While at NOAH we learned that they also sell flares and re-certify fire extinguishers, including fixed-system halon. Now, THAT was good news. Can't get halon in the States anymore. Our watertight engine room has a remotely activated fixed halon fire extinguisher system. Since the boat is nearing 7 year of age, it probably is time for the halon system to be checked and serviced. We will bring the boat over to Singapore at some point before heading toward Phuket next autumn and get fire extinguishers serviced and buy new flares since ours will be expired by then. NOAH also will inspect and recertify our inflatable life vests. So glad we found this place.

After NOAH we returned to the subway and went to Little India. Knew exactly where we were going for a change. We shopped 4 floors of Sim Lim Square looking for a new monitor that had all the various types of video imput like our current monitor, but no joy. Next stop was Sim Lim Tower, where we found a "TV" that has every video imput that Bill could want. This looks exactly like our old flat-panel monitor except larger and with the newer widescreen, but they call it a TV. Not a TV for us because we have no TV signal receiver on our boat, nor do we have cable pre-wired. (Nor is there cable TV service available at the marina so that is a dead issue for now.) This "TV" can be used to watch DVDs played on our DVD player or computer or radio. And if we ever get to a place with television signals, we have the option of then buying a receiver or cable. All that said, to me it is just another monitor. Wanted this replacement before our old one failed since watching DVDs is our major source of onboard entertainment, besides reading.

While in Sim Lim Tower we found a money tree.

Always wanted one of these but have no place to put it on the boat.

Saturday, December 12, 2009
We awoke to the sounds of gunfire this morning. But don't be alarmed, it was just the Malaysian Army having drills. The military range is just north of Puteri Harbour Marina. And the Singapore live ammunition range is just across Johor Strait. The marina staff were joking that maybe the Singapore army and the Malay army were practicing against each other. Guess the F16s will be circling Singapore again all afternoon. Singapore is an awfully tiny island country for those F16s to circle and stay out of Malaysian airspace. Malaysia does not like it when the Singaporian F16s violate Malay airspace......tight circles, guys, tight circles.

Received an email this morning confirming that our friends on S/V FREE SPIRIT have sold their boat. Congratulations to them. We hated to see them sell the boat and become landlubbers again, but this is what they wanted for this point in their lives. Paul and Michele and their kids Merric and Seanna will be moving back to the States. Seanna has never known a land home because they moved aboard and started cruising when she was only 8 months old. I am willing to bet they end up back out cruising again sometime in the future. We will miss you!!!

Tomorrow around noon we will take the marina shuttle to the Gelang Datah bus station and begin our long travels home for the holidays.

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go!


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