Posted by: Tommy | July 27, 2011

Of Mice and Women.

Since we’d decided to go to Singapore at the last moment, we didn’t have any hotel or hostel reservations.  Fortunately, spending 6 days there in April had us pretty familiar with the city and we didn’t encounter any problems getting onto the subway.  From there, we went where we knew there were lots of rooms – the Little India area of town.  We’d stayed in Little India, at the Prince of Wales backpackers, back in April and there were a multitude of hotels and hostels in the area.  We figured we’d just walk in, find a room somewhere and be set for the weekend.

Unfortunately, when we popped in looking for space at the Prince of Wales this time, they were full for both Friday and Saturday night.  Anna found a spot on the sidewalk to sit with our bags, while I set out to scour the Little India area for some sort of accommodation.  I must have asked 15 places – I started at the hostels (there were 5 in a 2 block radius) looking for either dorm beds or private rooms.  No luck.  From there, I moved to the larger, nice looking hotels.  Rooms in Singapore are really expensive – dorms beds are $25-30, rooms at a Holiday Inn-type hotel run $150+ (which is crazy compared to the rest of SE Asia, where we rarely spend $15 on a room).  I asked at a dozen hotels and finally found one with a free bed – the Tan Sieng Hotel.  I asked to see a room (this place was a dump, but ‘only’ $50 per night).  The room was pretty grungy, but had A/C and internet and wasn’t the worst-looking place we’ve stayed on the trip.  It wasn’t a good omen that they had a sign at reception advertising “$50/night or $20/2 hours”.

I knew Anna wouldn’t want to stay there (neither did I), so I spent another 30 minutes trying to find anywhere else in Little India to stay.  No luck – everywhere said they were booked….and not just for Friday, but for Saturday as well.  Tan Sieng Hotel it was.  I went back, found Anna and explained the situation to her.  She wasn’t thrilled, but we didn’t see any other options, so we checked in.  In the 30 minutes since I’d left, they actually had already rent out the room I looked at – we got the very last room they had left.  Slim pickings.

The first night was fine – Anna carries a spare pillowcase with her for just these kinds of occasions, plus we have our sleep sacks and our sleeping bag.  We were exhausted from traveling the first day and went to bed fairly early, sleeping soundly through the night.

The second night, we went out to the Marina Bay Sands casino – we’d tried to go in April but weren’t up to the dress code, we we never actually got to go in.  We ate dinner at the food festival, then headed to the casino for a while.  We got back to the hotel after midnight, still wired from an evening on the town.  We watched a few tv episodes on our laptop before finally getting to sleep around 3am.  At 6am, I woke up having to go to the bathroom.  Anna had insisted that I sleep by the wall (the bed was shoved in the corner, flush against the wall) so I had to crawl over her to get out.  Getting back in bed, I had to crawl on her.  In mid-crawl, she bolted upright and screeched about something crawling on her, knocking me over in the process.  I figured it was my arm hair rubbing her arm, combined with her half-sleepiness and told her to go back to sleep.

She wasn’t convinced and sat up, trying to decide what was going on.  I turned on the light and tried to convince her it was nothing.  As she sat there looking at me, assuring me that something was crawling on her but not quite sure, I saw movement behind her – something moving quickly from the head of the bed to the foot, very small and right where I’d been laying.  It surprised the hell out of me, but I couldn’t let Anna know about it – she’d flip out.  It made 2 more passes before I figured it out – a mouse!

Anna got up and went in the bathroom – just as the mouse ran from my side onto hers and crawled up on the bedside table.  I decided I had to tell her – but better to do it while the door was shut and she was in the other room.  So I called through the bathroom door (while keeping on eye on the mouse) for her to stay in the bathroom.  That got her a bit panicked – she immediately started freaking out and wondering about the thing that was crawling on her.  I was hoping to kill the damn thing quickly and get rid of it before she figured out what was happening.  I certainly didn’t want her to see it and scream – it was 6am.

But she stuck her head out, saw it on the bed and started shouting and pointing.  I ushered her back into the bathroom.  She insisted we leave right away – even though it was 6am, we’d been asleep for 3 hours and the whole neighborhood was sold out.  But I agreed – somethings are just losing arguments, even before they are begun…convincing Anna to spend time in a room with a mouse is one such argument (understandably).  So I packed our stuff (she stayed in the bathroom) and we left.  During the packing, the damn mouse jump off the bed and charged at me – promptly earning it a skull-stomping.  I told Anna that the mouse was dead, but it didn’t change her mind – we had to move.

Toting all of our bags, we exited the no-tell motel just before sunrise to wander the streets of Little India.  Anna found an internet cafe that was opening, so she ducked in there.  I sat my backpack down with her and set out again, 36 hours later, to repeat my futile journey around Little India.  Every place was still sold out.  After trying all of the hostels and all of the non-dump hotels, I came back to the internet cafe to see if she’d found anything.  Nope.  She kept looking, while I went back outside.  And found the Perak Hotel.  Located in an alley across from the internet cafe, it had escaped our view before.  I went in and inquired – all full.  Then I told the guy at the desk about the mouse, my panicky wife and asked if they’d have anything later.

He pointed to a couple of people who’d just checked out and said we’d have to wait until housekeeping arrived, but he could let us check in to their empty room at 10am.  Three hours from then.  We took it.  We never made it back to sleep that day, but we did manage to not see any more mice.  And Anna has a new addition to her “5 worst nights of the trip” list.  She says this was #1.



  1. YUCK!!! I have the creeps just thinking about a mouse in my bed. Ask UBE how much I hate those damn rodents!!! I bet your hotel room in Australia will be such a treat. I miss you guys!!!! xoxoxoxo. Kita

  2. Grandmother told me about this! That’s so….icky!

  3. Of Spiders and Tommy

    In my current room, just above the door, there is an enormous spider. I saw it while laying in my bed reading out of the corner of my eye and got up for a closer inspection; it was so huge that I suspected that it not real, just painted on. Nope. Real. This town (Kasol, HP, India) has plenty of cheap, available rooms. I shrugged and continued reading.

    Tommy, what would you have done?

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