Chewing gum is illegal. What kind of country could ban such a wonderful, life-giving form of chicle? Singapore.
I thought it was a joke. I was wrong. A single tear arched down my cheek, in the crisp and clean Singapore airport, as I had to, dutifully, throw away my perfectly good pack of spearmint gum.
Bob got called into a last minute meeting in this small, island country and I got to tag along! So this week I am wandering the interesting, multicultural, old yet new city.
We explored the beautiful MacRitchie Reservoir Park. There, we walked in the suffocatingly muggy jungle under a noon-day sun whilst severely ill-supplied with water.
In the lush jungle, signs taught us two seemingly important lessons:
1) Trees like to drop branches on you
2) Don't feed the monkeys.
Bob had never seen a monkey in the wild and was keen to spot one of the local macaques. Our best bet to see them was up above the canopy on the
Tree Top Walk. This would give us a roundtrip hike of 7km, which should be easy. Well, it would have been easy if we had brought more food, water, and a personalized A.C. unit.
Bob and I paused whenever we heard a critter passing through the leaf litter, hoping for a monkey. But it was never a monkey that appeared on an overhead branch. Usually just a chatty squirrel.
Anyway, a couple hours later, in the heat of the day, Bob and I finally stumbled up to the suspended Tree Top Walk. While I was holding the railing, peering through branches to the distant ground and sweating like a kid asked by a dentist if they flossed, Bob called my name.
I walked over to Bob and followed his ecstatic gaze, to see a very content monkey. The monkey grabbed a handful of leaves from a nearby tree, then suddenly vanished with a branch-snapping crash in the undergrowth.
So Bob got to see a monkey in the wild. Remembering how strict Singapore was with lawbreakers, we obeyed the sign, and refused to feed the monkey.
Oh, and in Singapore, a bird in the hand is not worth two in the bush. It's worth a hefty fine.