Friday, December 05, 2008


Ok. I've been a slacker not posting this and as its the weekend I have no excuse.

So our flight was 7:30 from Seoul and we landed at 1 am. And it was raining. We got through the airport stuff and caught a cab to our hostel. It was pouring rain and our cabbie told us that it was the start of monsoon season (everyone in Singapore speaks English). Both Jessica and I were thinking "Oh great! it's gonna rain the whole time we're here!" It actually did not thankfully! We eventually got to our hostel and slept. We got up around 9 that morning and left about 11 (Jessica takes a while...). Not knowing the area, nor having a map we wandered to a grocery store that for the life of me I can't remember the name. (In short, I called it "Fresh Face" once, cuz I had forgotten the name. That annoyed Jessica, so for the rest of the time I called it "Fresh Face." So now that's all I know it as.) Anyway, we got breakfast and directions to the nearest bus stop and made our way, via double-decker bus, to Orchard Road. Apparently Orchard Road is the place to go in Singapore. I saw nothing too special about it; it was a road with lots of malls on it. Let me say now that there is nothing to see in Singapore. I mean, Korea has palaces and gajuhbillions of years of history and stuff, China has a Wall etc...Singapore has...merlions (more on those later) thats the only thing to see. Apparently the main draw to Singapore is shopping. Now, it does have some cool archeticture....Ok...back to Orchard Rd, which had a bunch of malls on it. I was not too impressed. Jessica and I are cheap shoppers so we got nothing other than a cup of "Devil's Brew Coffee" which was lovely and strong (it stood up and saluted in the cup as Rebecca would put it). Starbucks was $7.00 SD. Um, no thanks. Then we decided on Little India.

Taking a quick subway ride we wandered around Little India mainly looking at the saris and punjabi suits and enjoying the smells. We found a shop and I immediately was spoken to by a beautiful punjabi suit. It was a purply-bluey colour and I bought it almost instantly. It needed to be taken in a little so we left to find lunch. Jessica found herself a punjabi suit while we were out then we found a place to eat. We got chicken masala which was lovely except that I'm pretty sure that there was a chicken head in the food. It was covered in sauce and I was alerted to the possibility of it being a head when I bit down on what I think was the beak, Needless to say I did not examine it closely to see if my suspicions were confirmed and put that aside. Apart from that the meal was excellent. Then some more wandering where I found a sari ($10 SD) and a few "Indian Slips" (light cotton skirts you wear under the sari) to wear as regular skirts. Then back to the shop to get my suit. There was no one in the shop and Linda (the Indian lady working there) wanted to know what we had gotten. She was impressed with my sari and even showed me how to tie it going so far as to sew the pleats.

After Little India we decided to go to Chinatown. Which was just like China. Only the people were less pushy when you were in their stalls. I saw nothing in particular but Jessica eventually got a few of the Chinese-style dresses. They have a temple there "The Temple of the Tooth Relic". It's Buddhist and we did not get to see the relic, that area had already closed. We never did figure out what exactly the tooth relic was. It was interesting because it was the first time I had been in a non "Christian" place of worship. There had to have been hundreds of thousands of Buddha's there. One room alone had 10,000 of them. Was very sad. We ate dinner in Chinatown at a random little place where the guy was very talkative. He wanted to talk about the presidential election but it was clear he knew nothing about it other than the fact that there was a new president in America and that it was something more to it than America getting a new president. He also knew that "no one" liked the current president. (Note about Singaporeans: They are all very nice and everyone wants to know where you are from. I mean Koreans do to but everyone asked us. I'm sure the fact that there was a common language had something to do with it and if the Koreans spoke more English they would be asking more too.) By that time it was late so we took the bus back to our hostel. I had very very dirty "urchin" feet at the end of the day. They were also sore. I had worn flip-flops (like a moron) so my feet hated me. I remember thinking "I should not wear these." as I was putting them on then thinking "Naaa. I'll be ok" HA! Wrong.

Next day was Malaysia. We took a subway to a bus stop and the bus took us right through the border. We were just planning on wandering about and seeing what we saw but a guy came up to us and said he would show us around. He found us a cab and went with us to a mausoleum, mosque, palace and an area where the houses were up on stilts. I could tell Jessica was a bit nervous about it but for whatever reason I was not worried. The ride ended up costing me about $180 SD (I did not make Jessica pay). I'm almost positive I got ripped off but I don't really care. Otherwise I'd not have been able to see the things I did. Jessica was very nice to put up with me. I could tell she was not exactly impressed with the cab ride. I bought a large scarf and a mumu-dress thing that I can wear with a belt and it won't look so baggy. If I decide to wear it in public. Once we were back in Singapore we decided to go back to Little India and Chinatown. Jess got some more saris and I another punjabi suit (this one black and white. more casual than the first). This time Linda showed Jess how to tie her sari. Then in Chinatown I got a Singapore-batik mumu thing similar to what I got in Malaysia. Jessica got a few other things but I can't recall what other than a white embroidered dress. Again back to the hostel where my feet were again hating me. I wore crocks that day but as they had holes my feet still got dirty. And they were still very sore.

For our last day we had made facial appointments at a spa thing. There had been a promotion in the subway and for $20 SD you could choose one of three services. Jessica and I chose the most expensive one (worth $250 SD) and dragging our stuff with we found our way to the spa. We still had some time once we got there so we did more shopping and when it was time we headed back. The facial was lovely. We both fell asleep (it took about an hour). Then we dragged our stuff to the river area and found the merlions. Everywhere you go in Singapore there are merlions...merloins merlions merlions. And once you see the actual merlions: there are two. One ginormous one and one "baby" one (like 6 feet?). I mean, they are cool. Don't get me wrong. But I was expecting something a tad more. Oh well. As we were walking we got some cool pics. Then more walking and picture taking and finally we decided to head to the airport. We had about two hours at the airport and we putzed about and finally left Singapore about 11:30 and landed in Seoul at 7 am on Sunday. It was 9:30 when we got home and I promptly went to bed and slept till 12:30. When I got up I did nothing but sit at the compy until 6 when I went back to bed till 6:30 on Monday morning.

All in all it was a fun trip. The weather was hot and sticky (it was the tropics after all) and the hostel very bare-bones. But when all you need is a bed and shower who cares? It had airconn too!! A perk!

I took over 350 pics. And someday I might get them on here...

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