Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Goodbye Singapore, Hello New Zealand!

My last few days in Singapore were really great – I can’t believe I’ve already left! Saturday I hung around the hostel in the morning, which was very relaxing and comfortable. I love my hostel!! If you’re ever in Singapore and want a friendly place to meet people and have a tasty breakfast, the Welcome Inn Backpackers Hostel is great! Andrinna, the owner, is probably in her early/mid 30s and super super friendly. She makes a great atmosphere so there are always people chatting and meeting and hanging out in the lounge, walking movies or drinking tea. I went to the community swimming pool right by the hostel with Charlotte and Janice, two girls in my dorm (Charlotte is the one in the photo). It only cost $1.30! Crazy! It was really nice, the three of us just chatting and swimming around.

Saturday night I went on the Night Safari, which was AMAZING. I saw a slow loris!! SO CUTE! And lots of other very cool, very active nocturnal animals were out and about as well. At first I felt like it must be fake because the animals were all standing very prominently in their enclosures, facing the tram, but I could see them breathing and moving and eating. The tram narrators were also excellent; as a tour guide, I can appreciate how much character they gave their presentations and really enjoyed it! I also saw the “Creatures of the Night” show, and ended up sitting next to an Australian guy so we chatted a bit. The show itself was quite good, and the MC was a super hilarious Hindi woman who spoke about 6 languages fluently at the beginning of the show. Verrrry impressive!

After the Night Safari, I met up with Wen Bin at Clarke Quay. There are about 100 clubs at Clarke Quay and it was very busy with lots of drunk tourists and locals. The view from across the Singapore River was gorgeous!

We ended up just walking around and talking until about 4 AM – yet another late night.

I seem incapable of sleeping in, so I woke up at 9 on Sunday morning and walked around a bit before meeting James in Chinatown for dim sum. It was SO TASTY. I love dim sum =) and James knows all the best places to eat! We also got this crazy shaved-ice concoction, with little green jelly worms on top and red bean underneath. I think I prefer normal shaved ice, but it was interesting and another Singaporean treat to add to my list. We also had some peanut dumplings which were delicious! Mom, they remind me of the ones at Loon Wah, except in soup instead of rolled in peanut dust. Still delicious!

We headed to the New Asia bar afterwards. It’s located at the top of the Swissotel, the tallest hotel in Singapore, and we had a great view of the city lit at night. I tried Tiger Beer (very appropriate) – very tasty lager! And I also had a bright blue drink and a lichee martini. We were there for about 3 hours and had pizza and fries, so it was a very nice evening and a great way to spend my last night in Singapore. James, Nim, and Wen Bin joined me and we talked until pretty late.

Monday was uneventful. I packed my stuff, hung out at the hostel for a bit, and then Wen Bin came to accompany me to the airport and see me off. We had Singapore coffee (with condensed milk instead of cream/sugar), toast with kaya, and toast with sugar and butter. So good! We walked around the airport until it was time for me to go through security. I arrived at my gate about 2 minutes before the plane started boarding, so I think my timing was pretty excellent! When I went through security, they asked for the stub of my immigration ticket. Luckily I kept it, since they never said I would need it to leave and it only had my name on it so it didn’t seem important. When I asked the security woman, she said something about having to stay an extra day if you don’t have that slip. But I couldn’t really understand her English so I’m not sure what exactly she was saying.

The flight to Australia was very comfortable. I was sitting on the aisle and there was no one in the middle seat so I could stretch out, and we had our own little TVs so I watched “The Hangover” and “Ghost of Girlfriends Past.” Both were good! And I slept for a couple hours… which is good, since it’s currently 3 AM in Singapore and I’m not going to sleep for another 12 hours or so. I’m definitely going to start this school year fresh and ready to learn. Kinda. But it’s worth it!!

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