Our Big OE 1981/82

Peter & Debra’s Big OE to Europe – March 22nd to Mar 29th

A few days in tropical Singapore on the way back to New Zealand ….

Diary Entry – Mar 22nd
Skipped breakfast and waited in our room to 11.00AM and then walked to Victoria Bus Terminal. Caught the 12.30PM bus to Heathrow. A mild, sunny day, 15C. Waited around and our flight boarded at 5.00PM, taking off at 6.00PM. Flight has two stops before Singapore at Dubai and Bombay. Lovely service from the minute we stepped onto the plane. Free paper and earphones. Both of us are very tired and sore. Looking forward to some swimming and sunbathing.

Diary Entry – Mar 23rd
Lost some hours on the plane, so the 23rd for us started at 5.50PM Singapore time. It was 4.00PM in the morning when we landed at Dubai airport so we didn’t see much in the hour that we were there. Temp was 20C. Saw a lot more of Bombay when we landed there. Had a good view of the shantytowns and the labourers working on building a new runway at the airport that machines would have been used for at home. Temp was 26C. Had a good scenic landing at Singapore too. No problems getting through customs
etc. and getting the bus to the Singapura Forum Hotel. Very muggy and cloudy with lightening. 27C. Nice hotel room. Quite spacious with a high ceiling. Veranda also.

Singapore – Deb sitting on the balcony of our hotel, the Sinapura Forum.


Orchard Road, Peter having a rest just along the road from our hotel.


Deb all ready for SHOPPING. Hot and Humid.


Deb writing home by poolside with her bird friend. Sinapura Forum.


Diary Entry – Mar 24th
Woke up very late at 12.30PM. We must have slept for 13 ½ hours. Got woken up by a phone call wondering if our air-conditioning was all right as we had turned it off because it was too cold in the room. Went for a walk down Orchard Road and had a look through a huge shopping arcade. Deb wants to go on a big spend up now. McDonalds for lunch/dinner. Had a swim and a laze when we got back, then went for another stroll. Temps 24C overnight and 32C today. Not as muggy today, but still cloudy. Prices for food and drink are unreal at the hotel.e.g. Drink of orange, $3.00 Singapore, but only 0.65c Singapore at a supermarket. We will eat out. Nice quiet room, even though we are in the busiest part of the city.

Diary Entry – Mar 25th
Wide awake last night to 2.00AM, so we took a sleeping pill and flaked out to 7.00AM. Got up then so as not to miss breakfast but were naturally tired with only 5 hours sleep. Nice breakfast with all you want. Juice, flakes, buns, toast, eggs and bacon, tea etc. Spent the morning by the poolside writing letters and trying to figure out where to get some money for Deb’s shopping. Went for a walk to the shops during the afternoon, had a swim then another walk. KFC for lunch, McDonalds for tea. Might buy some jewellery tomorrow. Cloudy 24C to 32C again. Lovely. Big tropical thunderstorm about 11.00PM. Loud thunder and streaks of lightening. Spooky.

Diary Entry – Mar 26th
Had another sleeping pill to put us to sleep last night and as a result we woke up at 10.40AM. Just made breakfast and had lots. Filled us up nicely for the day. Went shopping and got a skirt for Shelley, a tee-shirt for Jenny and a nice skirt for Sharon. Got Deb’s Dad a calculator from the Metro Department store and a Pentax hotshoe for our camera. Bargained for everything except the calculator. Had some KFC for tea. Sun was out during the afternoon, so we had a swim and got sunburnt. About 4.00PM we went downstairs to the store in our hotel and spent $440 for a gold chain, a 3 diamond pennant and diamond studs for Deb. Bargained then down from $840S to $750S. We think we got a good buy. We’ll find out after we get home and get them valued. Checked out the portable headphones radios and are tempted. We’ll see tomorrow. Temps the same today. Low 24C, high 32C. Cloudy with afternoon sun.

Debra cooling off in the hotel pool.


Peter shaking hands with his twin.


Diary Entry – Mar 27th
Today we were up early, 7.15AM. Deb had a shower, then we went down to a glorious breakfast, which we will miss tomorrow. We went for a morning stroll to the Lucky Plaza Shopping Centre and we bought two Batik dresses for $13.50S each instead of the black dress that cost $44.50S, which was a better deal for both Peter’s wallet and Debra’s taste. We came back to the hotel at 11.00AM and went for a swim. We had just come back inside to get ready for our sightseeing tour when it started to rain (much worse than in Spain) but it only lasted ½ an hour. At 2.30PM we were picked up by the RMG bus company and taken on a tour to Malaysia. We went from southern Singapore to Northern Singapore (which is 26 miles) in about ½ an hour, then we went through Singapore Customs, crossed the causeway which spans the Johore Strait, then through the Malaysian Customs. We then drove to the Sultan’s Gardens and onto the Moslem Mosque, to a handicrafts centre where Peter meet his twin (Monkey), onto the Kangi War memorial -WWII which was a concentration camp and then lastly to a runner plantation where we saw the primary material of rubber being drained from the tree. We were given a rubber plant seed. We got back to the hotel at about 6.20PM. Had McDonalds for tea then walked around the shopping centre. Deb was not too pleased with Peter, as Peter was more interested in buying MORE DRESSES FOR DEB than buying himself one pair of trousers to wear home instead of the rags he intends to wear. Had a bit of a hassle at reception as they quoted us $145S but today they said $160S. we argued and won, thank goodness. Also priced our flash, we paid $60S after bargaining. Could have got it for $55S before bargaining (Live and Learn). Weather 24C – 32C. Muggy. Dry in Malaysia, comfortable.

Malaysia – Johore Bahru City. Sultans gardens.


Malaysia – Kranji WW2 War Memorial.


Malaysia – Moslem Temple in Johore Bahru.


Diary Entry – Mar 28th Checked out of the Singpura Forum at 12.30PM. Left our bags chained up in the lobby and went to do more shopping. Got three t-shirts, one for me and Deb and one for Andrew. Bought three photo albums for $13.20S. Transferred to the airport at 6.00PM. Checked through passport control and customs. Whilst at the checkout, Deb mislaid our photo albums after getting into a fight with a Pommie Bastard. Flight today took off ½ an hour late. Weather muggy and hot. Cloudy thank goodness. Bought some duty free Cognac and cigarettes at the airport. Debra ill on the plane. Bad headache. We’ll soon be home. We are lucky because we have 4 seats between the two of us, so Deb can sleep stretched out. Deb better after sleeping. Peter only got 2 ½ hours sleep.

Diary Entry – Mar 29th
Arrived at Auckland International at ½ past 10AM. Took 1-½ hours to get through Passport and Customs. To our surprise, we went through customs without an inspection at all.. Started to walk over to the Domestic terminal and were offered a lift on a baggage wagon. We accepted. Nice to be offered something by someone with a smile and not expecting a tip. Tried to get an earlier flight to Christchurch but was too late. Deb rang up her Auntie Peggy but she was out. Weather sunny, cloudy and warm. 15-17C. Not humid though. Rang Auntie Peggy up again who was in this time. She got a neighbour to bring her out to the airport and shouted us coffee and sandwiches, chatted with us for ½ an hour to our flight to Christchurch left. Got into Christchurch on time at 4.30PM and rang Deb’s Dad at work who came and picked us up. Surprised Sharon and Deb’s Mum and then went around and saw Warren, Daniel and Tristan. Then went and saw Peter’s parents and Andrew. Had long chats.



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