As many of you know, I had to travel to Singapore recently to obtain my official work visa; here's how that went down. Right after I got off the plane, I had to rush across town to meet a guy named Wahab who was sitting outside of McDonalds. I handed him $230 and my passport. I returned at 4:30 and my passport had a visa. Sketchy? Without a doubt. Effective? Most definitely.
While my passport was off getting special treatment, I was escorted to a local strand of food stands and introduced to authentic Singaporian fare. Now, if you know me well, you know that although I travel often, I am a rather picky eater. But in this particular instance, I sucked it up and ate roasted pork and rice from the above eatery. Yes, I'm branching out.
On Friday, visa in hand, I decided to do the cultural thing and visit the Asian Civilizations Museum. It was a pretty cool place and I learned quite a bit about Indonesia. Unfortunately, it was a rather small museum and I was finished exploring an hour into my 2.5 hours of alotted time.
So I decided to go on a bit of a hike. Singapore is quite possibly the hottest place I have ever visited and being an island, it has about 1,000,000% humidity. By the time I found the cool little path below, I was most definitely looking like a tomato.
On my little excursion of the greater Singapore area, I found The Coffee Bean, where I happily replenished my depleted stock of coffee grounds in Indonesia. Apparently despite the fact that Indonesia is a major coffee producer, they export all the good stuff and everyone here drinks....instant. Ick. Real coffee beans are difficult to come by.
I met the Graham family (my hosts) at the Japanese mall for lunch. Despite the temptation of authentic Dim Sum, I opted for the more rare, Subway sandwich. Yum.
I passed the rest of the afternoon shopping in the Orchard area. Heaven. Not only were my favorite American stores there, I also got to visit some of my European favorites. Unfortunately, everything is marked up to ridiculous prices (dresses at Forever 21 STARTED at about 40 USD and books at Borders were around 30 USD for a paperback) but that didn't stop me from doing some damage.
Singapore was a great holiday.
I got to see some new things, eat some new things, and shop for some old favorites. I found Jiff Extra Crunchy peanut butter and Dr. Pepper! And, I even got to make some new friends :) It's the little things that make life so great.