If I can’t find someone to pay for my five star accommodation, and I seldom can, going down-market has its charms too.
Colourful, spicy, aromatic...and cheap - Singapore's Little India
I don't know what these are but look at the price! Give me a set of four, please.
“What hotel are you staying at?” our Indian/Singaporean taxi driver wanted to know.
I told him, slightly reluctantly, because I know where discussions with taxi drivers sometimes lead.
“You like it?”
“It’s okay.” It wasn’t a place to boast about; not up-market enough to sound like we were important or rich, not funky and cheap enough to sound like we were savvy travellers. It was a convenient, central, generic hotel, four stars at a three star price on the internet booking service.
“How is the breakfast? Is it good?”
“It’s fine.” Meaning it was the same as any chain hotel breakfast anywhere in the world. Bacon too crisp and curly, scrambled eggs dry and cool on the bottom of the bain marie. Sweet fruit yoghurt in little tubs, tinned peach slices, packets of cornflakes and cocopops, scoops of sugary toasted muesli, stewed filter coffee…
“Next time you are coming here, you should be staying in Little India. Hotel 81. Very, very clean, and you can get breakfast at restaurant around the corner. Very, very good price.”
I’ve visited Singapore many times since then, and often taken his advice, because surprise, surprise, it was very, very good. Continue reading