→Lifted from a soon to be gone Friendster blog September 26, 2009

The rain was never ending, the streets were already flooded and most of the flights to some parts of the Philippines got cancelled. We waited for more than 5 hours before we finally had a chance to board the plane. Of course there were a lot of could haves and should haves that we didn’t foresee. Like not bringing food to the plane because charging for a Nova chips bag for P50 is extortion. Also the three hour flight proved to be boring that even while trying to sleep we felt bored, staying awake we felt bored. There were no food and we had to contend with our growling tummy till we reached Singapore.

We took lots of photos to document our first time out of the country. Lo and behold when we landed, I got approached by the airport personnel at the tarmac saying incoherently “delete, no pictures.” Of course frightened and shocked out of my wits by the bombardment of Singlish, I deleted the tarmac shot. Hello, WTF! Anyhoo, it wont be my last time to be shouted at because while on board the bus going to the city proper, my mom nagged me to ask for the nth time the driver if we are near so I asked and the guy shouted (I later learned that they are not friendly nor are they accommodating, they are very aloof, unhappy people) at me to just wait for him to tell me if we were there. Good thing for maps and my brother’s navigational skills because the people that we asked for help turned out to be very unaccommodating, they just don’t know or they didn’t understand our questions, there was a definite language barrier. Imagine Kimmy trying to talk to Dora but in slow mo. Of course this is an exaggeration but then it was hard to comprehend thru the thick accent. We were often misunderstood.

Our dinner mainly consisted of a chicken turn over in 7-11 and fruits and corn cob for my bro and mom. Need I say that we are not an adventurous lot when it comes to food? This already explains enough. But despite this Kopitiam was our main source of breakfast, the coffee was really good. At S$2.50 we had a toast, two eggs, hams and coffee which was very filling. 7-11 was still the main source of chicha and water. Sunday morning we ventured out and saw one luxury car after another. There were jaguars, Porsche, Benz, BMWs…drooling moment. Then there were buildings too of really luxurious items like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Zara, Rolex and the like. The streets were litter-rodent-beggar-smoke-traffic free. There were a number of drool worthy luxury cars. Big malls that only has name brands like Hermes, Zara, Louis Vuitton. 7-11, money changers and tailor shops lined up the streets. So all day we explored Orchard Road, visited the Singapore Visitors Center to get some info on how to go around the city, went in the malls and bought some trinkets at 3 for S$10 each as pasalubong. But they were really too costly for comfort and my budget will not allow me to even splurge on myself. Could do that maybe here in Manila.

Late that night, we spent it at the Night Safari which was very uneventful. The animals were sleeping or the place where they were at were too dark. Monday we went to look for the Botanic Garden, got lost because we couldn’t find the bus stop of the bus going there and by the end of the day was just too tired. Sentosa was ok, not as beautiful as what was claimed but well it was certainly such a sight. Singapore’s landscape truly is remarkable.

I found it amazing that stores were nearly empty, some food courts were not even filled up. I also found myself in awe on how efficient their transportation system is, the SMRT can get you anywhere. If not that, then a numbered bus can get you where you want to go. Taxis are far too expensive so we had that only when we had to go back and meet up Kaye, Sasha and Roger at the Lucky Plaza. I found it also weird when there were no repair shops nearby nor gasoline stations. Children are not running around nor were there teens, old people are also scarce save for the bus boy and girl in McDo. Singapore in itself looked like Makati and Fort, just cleaner and with nicer cars.  I know I can live there. But even if I enjoyed the time we stayed there, I terribly missed Manila on just the second day. Tho Singapore felt familiar, it wasn’t home. Still I would come back to Singapore just to experience again the litter free streets, see the luxury cars that ply every where and to get to visit not only Mustafa for the almonds but also to check out Universal Studios which at the time we visited was still under construction. 🙂


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