Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dear Diary 2: KL and SG Escapade - "Merlion City - Singapore"

(At the Merlion site)
Dear Diary 2: KL and SG Escapade
Part 2: “Merlion City – Singapore ”

Jan 13, 2008, Sunday

10:00 am – V and I just woke up and took a bath. I was feeling un-giddy as this would be my last day in KL before I head out for Singapore in a matter of hours. I have decided to take the bus rather than the train due to proximity issues in terms of terminal locations wherein it was more convenient for me to take the bus ‘coz of the luggage I was carrying. V was also kind enough to take care of my other luggage and said he’d take it home while I visit SG since I will be back to KL for half a day for my flight back to Pinas.

We took our free brunch and had my last yosi time while talking about other stuffs. It has been a nice time being with V, just too bad we’re miles apart, or for that matter, countries apart. A long-distance relationship just won’t work for me…But I thank you V for taking good care of me in a
place that fascinated the world out of me. (at one of the shops n a typical Sunday in SG)

1:30 pm – Sitting alone now on the bus in a one-seater. Surprisingly the bus ride seems to be a comfortable trip, although I knew it was going to take approximately 6 hour to travel, somehow I was enjoying the Malaysian countryside view. Kinda similar to Pinas, all greenery scene I most area as travel along. The main difference I spotted was that in Pinas, you’d see billboards everywhere, I mean just imagine North and South Superhighways with those giant ads everywhere. And by the way, Malaysian highways are definitely more systematized as compared to our shitty and pitiful freeway. I’m in love with Malaysia ! Sigh. Oh, was able to talk to V while on the road, how sweet of him. Sigh again.

7:00 pm – Finally! I’m now in SG, just kinda had a rough time in the immigration offices for both the Malaysian and SG standard checking. I mean what a hassle getting out and getting back the bus for their usual crappy inspections, ugh. Anyway highway, I hailed a cab from the bus terminal, and by golly are all SG cab drivers like sweet angels? My cabbie was a big help since I was still trying to look for nice hotel, he was able to help out big time. We finally settled for a hotel located near Chinese town. That part of SG is always full of people, so it was nice that even if I was alone, I wouldn’t feel too lonely.

(In one of those non-typical streets of SG)

8:00 pm – Texted a friend, well an ex-FB back in Manila who I knew was working now in SG and said that he can accompany for the night. So while waiting for him, I did a lil sight-seeing on my own, and literally enjoying the sights and sound of SG even though it was a Sunday night. Ate at McDonald’s which was the only thing that looked so inviting at that time since it was so familiar, tee hee aside from 7-11 of course. And OMG, prices are like tripled here, I mean the McDo Nuggets with drinks and fries inconveniently turned out to be around P230 approximately, while if I was in Pinas, it’d only fall for about P130 or less. Graveh! And the hotel prices, triple, triple, triple which is giving me a headache, headache, headache! At around 10:00 pm, met my friend and talked for awhile, catching up. It’s so nice to see a familiar face, better if you get to talk to them.

7:00 am to 6:00 pm – My friend had to leave early as he had work, it was a Monday morning after all. Well actually last night, another friend was able to join us in my quaint hotel room and stayed for the night so I was with him the whole morning after my other friend left for work. He said he’ll be able to meet me again around night time. Around 1:00 pm, time for me to check out Sentosa Island and I’m excited at the same time anxious coz I’ll be touring the city by bus and mrt, oh my. So off I went, first the grueling task of waiting for a bus. Once I was able to spot the number I was asked to look for, I hopped in. The buses were a lot cleaner and more organized. Although I’ve rode in buses like this once or twice maybe while I was in Europe back in ’98, it was still a surreal, I being alone in the streets of SG.

First stop was VIVA Mall, breathtaking! Although it reminded me of MOA, but what got my attention was the big sign spread on the front of the mall as if shouting its name – Hi everyone, my name is VIVA! Haha. By the time I got off the bus, it was starting to pour. Wow, rainy day in SG, but I said to myself, nothing could dampen my mood now. I then asked someone directions how to get to Sentosa, and it was situated at the third floor (I think), and immediately got in line to buy myself a ticket. I think it cost me around P900 in our currency. There was not many tourists that day which was fine with me, less hassle. Then I rode their about 1 or 2 km light train travel heading for the island.

(At the SG Oceanarium, if that's what its called. Haha. Forgot eh!)

Along the way, I noticed a group of 3 girls, speaking in Filipino tongue. I wanted to approach them but I thought to myself that I guess this was my ‘alone’ time.
Sentosa has somehow had an inviting appeal and, and immediately drawn to its presence. It had a big Merlion sculpture in the middle which was gigantic and appealing drawing visitors to it. Sentosa apparently had hotel accommodations and of course the entertainment showcase which includes the animal species, wherein I was able to have a wonderful time at their oceanarium which was somehow a bit small as compared to one we have here in Manila, but at least their animal species were overflowing with variety and in numbers I guess. I was laughing with pity with our lone King Crab when I visited Manila Oceanarium last May, as compared to the dozen in SG. Although ours is huge in size, I hope they try to keep up though. Anyways, I was most wandering on my own for a good hour and a half. I was smoking when I’d get the chance of free space and bought some food. One thing I missed though was the Dolphin show which started at around 4:30 and once I got off the free bus ride, it was too late as doors, shucks. Oh they also had this white sand beaches, 3 of them actually perfectly situated apart from each other, I remember one being name Palawan, not too sure. Of course, photo ops even on my own was necessary. I found ways of charming other tourists to take pictures of me and they were amazingly accommodating. Lol.

(At Orchard Road, somewhere...just wanted my picture taken)

6:00 pm – I had a good time on my own, and I started texting my friend and see if he’d be ready. He said he’d me somewhere in Orchard Road, and gave me instructions on how to commute from Viva City. Only option for me was the MRT which I was excited at the same time worried for fear of getting lost but since this was no time of backing up, off I go then. I started at Harbour station. I had a pre-paid ticket that my friend had given me, and was extremely observant at the people around me on how to perfectly mimic their actions and faces as if I’m so used of touring SG for once again fear of making a fool of myself. You’d laugh at the look on my face, I could remember as if bored and nonchalant with the things around me but secretly my eyes was vigilant and hoping to spot a hot guy. Haha. Alas, there wasn’t any which was beginning to bug me.

7:00 pm – Orchard Rd: I was lost, I was trying to look for the mall where I’d meet my friend, where most Filipinos would meet and began to ask around. Wow people here though doesn’t look too welcoming so I was debating whether to ask questions or not but eventually I did. Wow, the mall (I forgot the name) was flocking with Pinoys. On the escalators, on the sides, even on the smoking area, kina weird and creepy in a different way, if you know what I mean. So after a few minutes, met my friend. He asked where we should eat, I immediately it was all up to him wherein he decided we could somewhere near the harbor since it was also close to the tourist spots so I agreed at once. We rode once again a bus and was mostly exchanging our day activities, more so my day activities and how it was fun.

(yum yum, Cripsy Chicken, I'm gonna eat you now...)

8:00 pm - Now we were near the Esplanade Mall, and we looked for a quiet area to eat, and boy was I happy (since I was starving like crazy) when I had my food. It wasn’t fancy at all, but it sure did look appetizing. I had my eyes on the Crispy Chicken and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I could still taste it by just looking at the picture mentally, yum yum. It did cost a buck or two, approximately around P900+ but I guess was worth it. Then off we went strolling and taking pictures (of me mostly) as we passed the bridge, heading for the Merlion statue. It was a marvelous sight definitely. With the night lights on everywhere, I was now totally absorbed by the “happy” feel. The harbor onside, the Fullerton Hotel on the other and the Merlion in the middle.

(On my way going to Clarke/Boat Quay...of course photo ops on the way)

We also had to walk going to Boat Quay which was surrounded by restaurants and bars, and a whole lot of tourist. We decided to get a drink or two, which cost us a lot of money. Haha. It appears that SG is quite bit expensive when it comes to alcohol, well for a budget-freak like me for one. We stayed in this innovative bar named clinic which was totally above anyone’s expectations. Their 3-seater sofa was made of a hospital bed, well the frame was after being upholstered. And their divider was just the one in the hospitals, even the lights were the ones being used in operating rooms, amazing! And one of their bar favorites was the SG sling, wherein it was served on a Dextrose plastic bottle, kinda gross but still tempting! Picture, picture as always. Alas, it was now time to head home, my friend have work by tomorrow and we said our goodbyes pleasantly and said he hoped I had a good time which I really did. I told my friend I’d look around for a bit, still had time to spare and needed to waste it.

(At the Clinic...having some fun time...)
(SG at night...)

12:45 am - It was now Jan 15th, just after a few minutes when I left my friend. I was just on a cab and both of us were having a hard time looking for a Starbucks that was still open. I settled for a Mcdonald’s that’s near Orchard road which was conveniently situated on the sidewalk. I have just been walking for about a good 20 minutes (after the cab ride) looking for Starbucks. Apparently Starbucks closes early here, don’t know why, must be because it’s a Monday night here, or that’s just the way it goes. At least there’s one Mcdo that’s open 24 hours, thank god! I’ve been trying the wifi service in the area unfortunately the signal’s too low, it’s too crappy. I happily gorged myself with food and some caffeine, and tried to reminisce. I’d be leaving SG in less than 12 hours. I already bought a ticket back to KL for 1 pm. Sigh, I just know I’d come back, just don’t know when. Funny thing about my trip, not once was I able to spot a hot guy, not once. Were they all in hiding, or just thought Mondays nights a big bore and doesn’t want to go out? Where have all the hot SG guys be? Sigh. Or maybe there aren’t any. Haha. Well I’ll find out on my own…come January 2009 (or December 2008 maybe) when I try my luck for something. To be honest at this point, I still like KL more compared to SG. SG is just so uptight with all the security measures, most especially with the smoking, argh! Lol.

(Tunnel...just goofin' around)

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