Monday, February 26, 2007

Around Singapore in Six Days

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Jilly and me outside the Fullerton Hotel. She's an expert at taking photos of herself, hehe.

It's almost three and I'm only two-thirds done with my lunch. I still have a few articles to do for the weblog that I write for, and a short story to finish by tonight. I have to prepare for class tomorrow, photocopy all the readings for the next few days, fix my budget, and basically get back to my usual solitary life.

Which, obviously, has been completely and amazingly turned upside-down with the arrival of Bespren Jilly, who just left a few hours ago, taking to the sunny skies back to Manila, while I am left with a sad pile of laundry and a quiet flat. I haven't been staying in my room for the past six days, and my throat is hoarse from talking and entertaining and now my wallet is gasping for air because I may have gone over my budget because the money that was supposed to come in for this vacation didn't come in and now I'm kinda scratching my head and wondering where it is.

But goodness gracious, I wouldn't have traded this for anything else in the world.

So anyway, here are our adventures...in short phrases, because anything more would resemble in me writing a novel.

Day One

Cleaned the flat. Discovered that I have a pull-out bed. Fixed the pull-out bed. Thought I could make it to Changi Airport on the other side of the world in an hour and sadly miscalculated. It was the first time I also rode the train from Dover to Changi. O_O

Fetched Jilly at the airport, and did a funny dance in the lobby. Got the more expensive cab. Realized that my room was too small for two people; we kept on stepping on each others' toes. Brought her to Orchard, where lunch was served at Cafe Cartel. Walked the length of Orchard and the City Hall area, down Victoria Street and Bras Basah. Collapsed at the Singapore Art Museum, our feet aching like crazy. Managed to drag ourselves down back to the flat after a quick dinner at the Alexandra Village Food Center. Dropped dead on our beds.

Day Two

Woke up early. Determined to go to Little India in the morning. Jilly rode the train for the first time! Wandered around the Buffalo Street area and found ourselves at the Sri Veramakalimman temple (did I spell it right?), and the Little India Arts House. had lunch at a quaint Indian restaurant, which served excellent papadums and naan bread. First time we tried mutton too, which was cooked perfectly. ^_^ Yummy!

Afterwards, since we finished touring the area pretty early, we decided to stop by Chinatown as well, so that she could have a crack at buying pasalubong for people back at home. But since the weather wasn't cooperating, and it was just too hot to continue walking, we wrapped it up early, after a visit to the Sri Mariamman temple. Had just enough time to take a shower before going to school...where, apparently, our class was cancelled last minute. After venting out my frustrations at the world, we decided to hop-skip-jump to Ikea, which was (thankfully) near my place. Jilly reverted back to a ten-year-old when she saw the massive two-storey warehouse filled to the brim with DIY furniture and other household-y type things.

Day Three

Woke up later than the day before and had a leisurely breakfast. Jilly had fun taking photos of the strawberries in my fridge. Met up with Marissa and Shailaja at Vivo City, where we had lunch at Food Republic and took the monorail to Sentosa. Visited the Butterfly and Insect Garden, where we all tried to hunt for the walking stick insect, to no avail. Went through the Sentosa Flower Exhibit as well, which had weird nursery rhyme characters among the flowers. After a quick stop at Ben & Jerry's, where ice cream was the theme of the day, we made our way to Underwater World, where fishies and sharks as big as us swam around in their clear plastic enclosures.

Finally, as the day was coming to a close, we wound up at Fort Siloso, which was a military exhibit, and climbed up the hill to take photos - just as clouds took over the horizon and a heavy rainstorm fell across the island. Because of the weather, we decided to forego the last stop of the day, the Merlion laser lights show, since the weather was unpredictable and the seats would be wet. Going back proved to be easier, and Jilly, who was craving KFC the entire day, finally got her wish.

Day Four

Woke up earlier than the day before. Met up with Tita Grace, who was Jilly's Papa's old officemate and offered to tour us around. Went to the Esplanade in the early morning light and visited the original Merlion in front of the Fullerton Hotel. Took a massive amount of photos. Visited the Asian Civilizations Museum and realized that in the Southeast Asian display, there were no sections on the Philippines (hello, museum people! We're from SEAsia too!).

Tita Grace picked us up after our museum jaunt and went with her husband and daughter to Novena Square, where Jilly picked up a pair of Adidas shoes on sale and I bought a nifty blue cap that was on sale as well. Then we had lunch at that chicken rice place across the Novena Church (don't remember the name) where the service was crap but the food was excellent. ^_^ Then Tita Grace took us to Clarke Quay, where we visited the Royal Selangor and bought t-shirts, and then afterwards intended to drop by the National Orchid Gardens at the Singapore Botanical Gardens. However, another freak shower caught us off guard and we decided to just abandon the attempt.

Afterwards, Tita Grace dropped us off at Orchard Road, where we proceeded to drool and oogle at the books at Kinokuniya. After that, we met up with Earl, another friend who was visiting Singapore over the weekend. Took them both to dinner at Pastamania at HarbourFront, before we had another sugar-high round of ice cream at Ben & Jerry's at Vivo City.

Day Five

Jilly's and Earl's last day in Singapore. We decided to meet up at the Ang Mo Kio terminal to go to the Singapore Zoo, but was side-tracked by lunch. Managed to make our way through two-thirds of the entire Zoo - after a very long and tedious bus ride - before the not-so-freak showers that have been plaguing Singapore finally caught up with us. We took the tram ride around the Zoo, and ended up at the restaurant hub...which wasn't serving food. *headdesk*

Hungry and wet, we hightailed out of the place and settled inside the nearest fast food place, which was a KFC. Unfortunately, KFC in Singapore is crap (there's no gravy) so after we had our fill, I decided to bring the two of them to Makansutra at the Esplanade. Turns out to be the perfect idea after all, despite the Oriental karaoke-esque "concert", since there were fireworks over the bay and excellent food: we had chicken satay and cheese murtabak, and I introduced them to the wonders of sugarcane juice. ^_^

Day Six

Had to wake up before dawn to take Jilly to the airport. It was a sad and quiet affair, with breakfast at Burger King before she went inside the terminal proper and through Immigrations and Customs. Got back to the flat just before 10 AM, and promptly crashed. Woke up at 2 PM, had lunch and did the laundry, and realized afterwards that my eZ-Link card, which I just loaded with 40 bucks, was in my jeans pocket when I threw it in the wash. *headdesk*

So there. Now I'm back to my normal life - dealing with massive amounts of schoolwork and struggling with my finances, living an online existence with a voice in my head, and looking forward to May, when I finally fly back.

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