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Friday, March 26, 2010

Singapore, How Can I Forget?

I haven't seen my sister for like a year and my birthday was coming so she told me if I wanted a sidetrip in Singapore where she was living for the past almost 7 years.
And how can I refuse such an offer? Me, who loves to travel would not say no to that!
So she send the ticket and before I knew it, I was already flying to Singapore for a week long tour.

I was first greeted by the humidity of the country, it was hot and humid and rainy like the Philippines. It was an easy flight and saw my sister as soon as I exited and we get to hug and kiss for we miss each other much. I arrived at 11 in the evening and she has work so we went directly to her place of work in an area called Boat Quay (Boat-Key)along a river with an array of bars and restaurants.

I get to walk for a while to wait for her to get off managing one of the bars there, until I arrived to a place called Clarke Quay (Clarke-Key) a place by the river too but on the other side where you'll find more clubs and bars full of people both Asian and Westerners. Truly people who were staying in Singapore loved to unwind everynight and there were a lot of places to go once the sun sets.

I spend most of my tour alone, and I get to know more of a place by walking around and feeling myself get lost at times. I get to discover new and exciting places along the way. But my sister asked for a leave for two days and we did have two fun-filled-bonding-moments days that we so much look forward to. She took me to Sentosa Island, wherein located were the country's famous amusement parks and of course the Underwaterworld where I saw a wide variety of sea animals including some amazing experience of touching live sharks, rays and a starfish!

We went to the beach there and found out from a signboard that Sentosa Island is the Southernmost part of Asia as shown in a map, cause next to it is already Australia. Imagine the feeling of just being there at that moment in time? Isn't it overwhelming to know that not too many people would know that. I just can't help smiling and thanking my sister about the whole thing.

Well, despite our lack of funds, we found a lot of ways to enjoy ourselves. We don't really need the amusement rides nor watch every show there was in Sentosa, but just being there with her, talking, laughing and taking pictures with her is more than enough for me. We both watched the sun set in Sentosa Island and dreaming and planning of a better future for our family.

One fun memory would be the night my sister and her Singaporean husband took me to dinner at China Town. We went to this restaurant by a busy street and ordered the famous Steamboat! A Steamboat is a dish wherein you cook your own combination of meat, seafoods and vegetables on big aluminum bowl of chicken broth with Chinese herbs and spices. It seemed like a very nice dinner until I get so stuffed eating prawns, crabs, beef and chicken, including vegetables that we have concocted all the while. We ate as if there's no more tomorrow and we went home feeling bloated.

Walking along the Orchard Road the next day was exhausting but fun, my eyes feasted on the wide variety of shops and international boutiques the line both side of a wide road. A full boulevard of shops that dazzles and entices anybody who might pass by. Brands like Armani to Zara abound, not to mention the local brands they have. I walked for I don't know how long, but I didn't really noticed as I was busy looking and gawking around. At the end of the day a trip to a sauna at a palce called Heater Room and immersing myself in a hot jacuzzi and a steam bath relieved all the tiredness away.

There was also a visit to a gay club there to in a place called Tantric along Neil Road near Tanjum Pagar, this is a red light district here in Singapore. It was a cozy place though a bit crowded with Europeans, Americans, Indians and Asians. I never thought that gay men there could really intermingle with each other despite their color. It was a great place. I came to know of the place when I met a lovely guy of Indian descent a day before and over a refreshing desert of iced fruits and "sago" his treat, told me the places to "see." We hanged out for a while and talked about a lot of things about Singapore and about each other which I find very, very nice.

There was a time also when my sister's father-in-law cooked lunch of sumptuos dish of prawns and their famous black pepper crab! I ate a lot and it was so heavenly!

The visit to the Chinatown was amazing with lots to see and buy at a very reasonable price, Chinese paintings, trinkets, decorations, all sorts of fancy things that mesmerized and excites. I bought some jade chinese horoscope symbols and a stamp with my Chinese name on it which I so like to have. A trip to Bugis was also a delight, it is a place sort of like a flea market, full of all sorts of things from imitation bags , watches and sunglasses, to a wide variety of clothing and other what have yous at a very reasonable price. Too bad though, my tour really does not include shopping! Oh, well, maybe next time.

My sister and I also went to the Singapore National Museum and just in time for the last exhibit of Egyptian antinquities. We joined the free tour and get to know a little bit about Egypt's history and saw mummies and artifacts from time immemorial. I thought this might be a prelude to my planned trip to Egypt also this year. Maybe.
Then we see exhibits of Singapore culture, history and arts. Another fun filled day.

While touring around, I got to meet a very nice man. A scientist and a poet combined. He was very nice and we get to hang out for a while. What's weird was that we seemed to know each other so well and felt really at home with each other, the feeling was as he called it, sublime and I, surreal. We promised to keep in touch and maybe see each other again.

All in all, it was a short trip but very exciting, my adventurous spirit was satisfied though I wished there was more time cause I missed seeing the zoo and the Night Safari and a few other places. Not to mention cross over Malaysia. But I'll be back and I am sure of that.

Singapore, don't ever leave without a picture together with another famous landmark, the Merlion along the sea!

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