Singapore Bunkers and Slings

Last full day in Singapore.

First thing after breakfast time to join a guided tour of the bunker that was the Malaya High Command Center of the Allied Forces, and where the decision to surrender Singapore was made 15 February 1942 to the Japanese forces after their 70 day storm down the Malay peninsula.

This brought over 3 years of hardship to the 80,000 soldiers captured and many more civilians in occupied Singapore until the end of the war brought on  by the dropping of the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Anyway, enough of death and statistics. The parklands and the ex military command center are a green oasis in the City. And hopefully history will not repeat.

On to the Colonial past and pleasures. The Singapore sling is a concoction of gin, curacao, grenadine, pineapple juice, cherry liquor and so on. Best consumed where it was supposed to have been  invented, the Long Bar at the historic Raffles Hotel. Probably much better on a hot day than an air conditioned bar with peanut shells all over the floor. Yes, that’s right, peanut shells.

Apparently the custom is to throw the shells from the peanuts supplied in small hessian bags on the ground. If you are so inconsiderate as to pile the shells in a neat pile on the bar, the staff will clean up after you once you leave by brushing them unceremoniously to the ground. Anyway, it had to be done. The Sling that is, not the nuts.

On the way back to the hotel I passed preparations for the bicentennial of modern Singapore. This was founded in 1819 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, even though he was not the first to civilise the island. Nor did he build the hotel or parks or streets that are named after him.

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