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It was good that we had planned a day of R&R in Singapore before taking the last leg of our flight back to Australia.
The five of us had spent just over two weeks on a missions visit to South Africa where we had the opportunity to work with the very poor. The long flight from Cape Town had left all of us quite weary despite the wonderful comfort and service with Singapore Airlines.
While the other four decided to take advantage of the many free sightseeing offers that the airline provided us with, I chose to have some time out by myself. Singapore was not new to me and as the oldest (69) it was great to be able to just wander around the glamorous shopping centres by myself. Taking my time to pick up a few bargains and sip a leisurely Singapore Sling before taking a nap in my cool and beautifully appointed hotel room.
Meeting up with my four friends again for dinner they were well and truly exhausted from sightseeing while I, on the other hand, now felt fresh and relaxed. So as everybody was heading for an early night I ventured out on my own just around the corner to the world famous Raffles Hotel to enjoy some dessert.
That’s what I like about Singapore, even as a woman on my own I feel safe in the busy streets during the early hours of evening.
Entering the Raffles courtyard with its white column, palm trees and subdued lighting under the starry dark sky it was like visiting a scene from an ancient fairy tale. And I was treated like a princess even though I only wanted some dessert and a glass of wine. The he attentive waiter settled me at a small table not far from the band that was playing old-time love songs. Then the supervisor, an elegant young woman, came and asked for my full name so that I “would be addressed by my proper name and title”. I ordered a Gula Melacca, a refreshing dish made with sago and cane sugar syrup and a glass of wine. While waiting, it was absolutely relaxing to sit back, observe the other guests who were drifting in and listening to the music. ‘All I need now is a friend with whom I can share this great place’, I thought. But even though I was on my own, I felt wrapped in comfort and friendliness. When the meal was served I savoured every morsel of it. Taking my time, I spent a good hour in those pleasant surroundings and on leaving, the supervisor indeed remembered my full name when wishing me a pleasant evening.
Certainly, on my next stopover in Singapore, the friendly Raffles Hotel will be on my list of ‘must visit’ again.
It’s the little things that give us the greatest joy.

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