This view of was taken a few seconds before a kind Australian dad called John offered to push my wheelchair for me. I imagine it's something people are a bit shy about asking when they see someone pushing a chair by themselves.
I wanted to see The Gardens by the Bay, jet lag and night flights were affecting my walking distance and a wheelchair was the only way to go. I just had to get over the potential comedy (and a twinge of social discomfort) of walking with a wheelchair for a tiny bit before sitting in it and pushing myself along. This is what occasional wheelchair users have to do, there are millions of us and it makes life possible.
My arms were feeling too knackered (the wheels weren't exactly spinny) and I was super grateful to be wheeled me up to the viewing platform and in and out of lifts.
And it turned around how I was feeling about these beautiful gardens. At the top I let the wheels spin and felt the warm wind and water spray as I whizzed down hill along the suspended walkway, twisting around the corners, through the orchids and cloud forest. Now I get why the wheels weren't spinny - you could pick up quite a speed going downhill.
I loved Singapore and the two days and one full night I spent there. The airport is designed to take you no more than 15 mins to walk out of from leaving your plane, the luggage carrousel moved elegantly under a row of green palm trees. After Dubai I drank in how verdant and tropical everything was. I was shattered and did as little and as much exploring as I could at the same time. Often flat out by the pool, too tired to even get in it.
I met up with the best friend of a best friend, Carrie, for cocktails on the roof and a meal in the Arabic quarter. She's lived in Sing for 10 years and I got a real feel for what the place is like. It is super clean and very safe. Most people speak English - from a typically dodgy colonial history. I spotted people taking pride in things, cleaning the sinks in public toilets, customers better arranging the items on a supermarket shelf. Some people suggest the government here is oppressively authoritarian - from Carrie's point of view, locals are more interested in the fact that the place 'works'. And it definitely feels that way.
Sometimes life with ME can feel a bit like wearing an electronic tag. And now it seems I'm travelling with it still on. On my last evening I was well over the amount of walking I should have done but needed food. If it hadn't been for the invisible limits that I (temporarily, I hope) now live with, I probably would have missed the bustling Chinese food hall hidden right by our hotel. I found the tastiest fresh coconut and a sweet couple who made me some fried fish with a hiccup inducing hot ginger stock.
Then it was into a taxi around 8pm and off to my flight to Melbourne. Yup, mobility assistance all the way. When I agreed to book it all as back up I had no idea they would turn out save the day.
An ME/CFS Thriver