Thursday, 14 January 2016
14.01.2016 - 14.01.2016
he cloud cover this morning was not conducive to any form of special sunrise. I did my laps in the dark and snapped some of the bright light as we entered the port of Singapore. We've spent some significant time in Singapore just short of two years ago so we didn't need to do the 'tourist' things and decided to go ashore independently. The disembarkation process was relatively simple, passport check, customs scan and then up to level two for Visitor Information. Seems strange that incoming travellers have to go up then come down for transport. Stood in a long queue to exchange AU$100 to SING$93.
Walked out through the bus and taxi ranks following the signs to SMRT (Singapore Metro). We'd been told it was a mere 100 meters away - they were a little flexible with the truth !! It was at least 500 meters and most likely more. At the station there were two ticket vending machines and fortunately a local lass at each of them to guide us through the 'automated' process. Bit like self serve check-out at the supermarket for novices.
Sorted out our tickets and managed to get off at the correct station but got lost trying to find our way out. We were looking for the Jeweller who sold us the diamond and ruby rings in April 2014. Jenny wanted a pendant necklace to go with the ring and earrings. No trouble at all, choice of three and if they were not to madam's taste there were plenty more to try. With a battery of tantalising discounts the price had dropped to a reasonable price. It deserved a gold chain, that added a few hundred to the price. Finally agreed on a price and the credit card survived a massive body-blow and Jenny was ready to call it quits. But wait, there's more !! While we enjoyed some cold refreshment the manager appeared with a bracelet that madam just had to have. The price was off the scale but it looked very nice. Promised to come back in two years and pick it up then.
We had taken the original jewelry so that they could match it, they also cleaned them and placed them in a new presentation box. The ring, two earrings, and the pendant necklace. It all looked very nice and then they dropped the bracelet in place. Pleading a lack of credit card capacity fell on deaf ears. A time payment plan was offered as well as another reduction in the price. Finally I capitulated and pulled out the backup card, payed another chunk of money and escaped before they offered even more irresistible deals.
Back to the station and off to Little India to look for som tailored shirts for Tony. Finally found the market stall where the shirts were on sale for only SING$15 each. Jenny selected four that were an appropriate colour and he dropped the price to $10 each. Bargain !! Off to the station and after a change of train line we were back at the Cruise Terminal after the long walk back.
Decided to try and claim the GST Refund but the office wasn't open so elected to return to the ship. Check passport and cruise card, pass through the security scan, check the cruise card and then passport at Immigration, check the cruise card at the start of the gangplank and have it scanned aboard the ship. Staggered to the cabin and stripped off our sweat soaked gear.
Tony collected the jewelry, the receipts, his passport and cruise card and returned to try for the refund. Back through the arrival process - see above and then the departure process to past the security check. Found the customs people and explained my mission. No problem, receipts, passport and the items but missing some vital document I should have been given by the merchant. No way I could go back all the way to Orchard Rd even with over $300 at stake.
The lady official offered an alternative, I could ring the merchant, ask them to print the appropriate form and quote me the reference number and that would be picked up by the electronic system. Sounds simple, I don't have a phone, use my mobile she offers and even entered the phone number for me. The person on the other end asked to confirm with the customs official that our cruise qualified for the GST Refund. That was done and the critical reference number provided. All done, but wait, we need your credit card. Check above, the credit card was back in the cabin.
So back through the whole routine AGAIN. The Security guy who patted me down was almost on first name terms. Anyway, we finally have a SING$388 credit back on the credit card. Finally made it to the Horizon Court for a well earned meal. Down to the cabin to start this blog and a visit to the Theatre for a local Cultural Show. A composite dance troop showing Malay, Chinese and Indian facets of what comprises modern Singapore.
Finish off this blog and decided to take a night shot of the city, strike up a conversation and it is now 22:30 and I really must get some sleep. By the way, the FitBit has recorded 24,043 steps for the day !!
Some of the costumes at the Little India Market made for a colourful image if you have time you can view it by following this link to the image for Today
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony