I’m a notorious skinflint traveller. If there’s a bus, I don’t take cabs; if there’s a 2-star hotel, I’ll look to see what the one star one offers; if there’s something going cheap, I’ll look for something that’s free. I know that there are more important things to spend money on – like coffee, food and alcohol.
A free science lecture on the big screen at Federation Square. It was about the likelihood of Earth being destroyed by an asteroid, but nobody seemed unduly concerned.
And of all cities, my home town Melbourne is in my mind supposed to be free. In the good old days I could eat at Mum’s and she’d do my washing for nothing.
I hadn’t spent a day or a cent there for years, and there were a lot of new developments to catch up on. The Melbourne Museum, new facilities at the mighty MCG, the Ian Potter Centre and Docklands have all been installed since last I was in town. My mission was to see them for nothing, or next to nothing. Continue reading
Singapore can look modern and generic, but if you look from the right angle...
I must have passed through Singapore more than any other city, occasionally stopping over for a day or two. So it was nice to be paid a modest fee for writing a short alternative guide to the place.
When I first began travelling, Singapore was not a favoured destination.
If the rumours of the 1970s were correct, Singaporean officials, obsessed with cleanliness and conformity, would give you a compulsory haircut on arrival, confiscate your chewing gum, cane you for littering and kill you for any drug offence.
Things have changed considerably, though you’d be crazy to think of dealing, carrying or using illicit drugs here. Continue reading