Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Walk in Singapore Part 4 [Final]


Couldn't do much last night thanks very much to a long stretch of Internet silence. ^^; The last part of my writeup on the trip to Singapore has to be left till now.

The one day walk on Saturday, October 24th was over as written in Part 3, but I still had one short morning on the next day to spend in Singapore from the trip. However, being my first oversea trip alone, I wasn't adventurous enough to try new places and risk missing my plane home (got to go to work the next day ^^;), so I decided to just go out for breakfast before packing my luggage and head to the airport.

Seniors Singaporean and their hobby of bird-watching (?) not far away from my hotel.
Super systematic arrangement of the cages. ^^

Breakfast at Tiong Bahru Food Center - chicken rice and steamed vegetable with chilled sugar can. SGD $6.

Spent sometime wandering around the wet and dry market area of Tiong Bahru Food Center after my breakfast, as well as places outside it. There are a couple of other small coffee shops around that area for one to go for breakfast. Some are offering roasted chicken and curry as well.

My friend from America used to be amazed at how heavy Malaysian breakfast can be. The food we take for breakfast is practically of the same types as we have for lunch and dinner (even for evening tea as well if you like). We eat food like curry, spicy Laksa, Bak kut teh (Pork Bone Soup), fried noodle and Kueh Tiaw for breakfast, and breakfast hour can extend from 6AM to 11AM. ^^

From what I see in Singapore, now I can argue that Malaysians are not the only ones with heavy duty stomachs. ^^

I remember it was a really hot morning that Sunday as well. I was sweating like mad when I returned to my hotel. It wasn't really pleasant because the hot afternoon I spent walking around Singapore the day before was in my mind again. ^^;

Anyway, left for the airport two hours before my flight.

"Shamelessly" had McDonald's for lunch in Singapore.
I used to tell myself before the trip not to visit places like KFC and McDonald's since they are available in my home town as well. ^^;

Strangely, I spotted many kids studying at the airport. Not sure if that's a common practice in Singapore, to study at the airport. ^^;

And that was the view from the windows as my plane left Singapore.

Malaysia Airlines' definition of Malaysian food on board the plane - super spicy steamed rice. ^^;
The cake in milk custard was awesome though. ^^

And so that was the end of my short trip in Singapore. ^^

I was both happy and dissatisfied with the trip actually. Unfortunately the later was more than the earlier. ^^; Happy because I could visit Singapore again after so many years, and still find some of the places I love very much there. Singapore is a more organized and ordered country than mine. I saw people lined up to buy food in hawker centers, and I was greeted by the cleaning lady there. I left my bag on an empty table there and ordered my food without any worry that someone would take it away. No one jaywalk on the streets, and there's obviously no need to do that - there are wide and well constructed pedestrian walkways everywhere, even at a place where there are construction work going on.

I walked on the street to get dinner that Saturday, around 9PM, there was only me on the street that time but I didn't feel a slight bit of worry at all.

I was thinking about my own home country the whole time, and wondered why couldn't we get it right all these years. Of all the observations mentioned above, I don't think one can find many places in Malaysia that can promise them.

I remember I was in the taxi that Saturday when a car was trying to overtake us from the left. The taxi driver was honking and scolding because there was no signal light from the other car.

"Come to my place at 5.30PM," I thought to myself. "You'll be honking the whole way down the road." ^^;

But that doesn't mean I dislike my country. There's no place like home, as one says. I won't be able to stay in Singapore too long for vacation. In before being homesick, the currency exchange is going to send me back. ^^; But we have a lot to learn from Singapore really. Living expense is high there, and I don't believe the work stress over there is any less than ours. Where comes the higher courtesy and less crimes then? We are always proud of ourselves of being friendly with each others. But there are even more people who lack the most basic courteous acts like giving a smile, thank or sorry in daily situations.

People like me who doesn't like to be bothered much (no overly friendliness thank you very much) find the lack of courtesy quite annoying.

Anyway, I'm happy that the weather was helping with my walk as well. There was a heavy but brief downpour on the way to the airport on Sunday, but the weather was all well the day before, when I was walking around Singapore. I didn't have any plan of visiting any place after Bras Basah Complex, so being able to see many old places was a great joy to me.

Speaking of which, I thank the many people who suggested the many places to get Gunplas in Singapore. ^^ But I wasn't looking for Gunplas, or anything in particular in my trip. It was a really rushed trip to start with, so the walk was pretty much my "best plan" to do in Singapore. ^^; If I was looking for Gunplas, I won't be bring a luggage of this size ...

... but something way bigger of course XD

Or checking out courier services available there before going would be a more practical choice. ^^

With many hobby sites nowadays, it's super convenient for one to find some awesome deals on Gunplas and other hobby items, and save so much more than to get them from shops. This is something I'm sure everyone is aware of, and I do that quite frequently as well. You get the things you ordered sent right to your doorsteps, which save all the troubles of dragging everything back home in a luggage as well. ^^ So I never had any plan of getting any Gunpla at all. Unless there's one "Singapore-almighty-limited-no-other-place-on-Earth-and-the-entire-Universe-have-even-the-world-can-cry-a-thousand-year-also-cannot-get-limited" Gunpla down there that I might be interested in, which would be a different business already. ^^;

But normally I'm really into limited items unless I really like them very much. ^^

Without Gunpla, my expenditure in Singapore was very minimal - less than SGD $200 I think. Of course that was exclusive of many items bought for the trip, the air ticket, as well as accommodation at the hotel which was sponsored. Most of the money spent was on books bought at Bras Basah Complex, followed by food and transportation, just the basic stuff.

The part which I'm not exactly happy about the trip was about the organizer - the part where everyone in the whole company forgot that I'm from Kuching and that I had to book my own air tickets to Singapore was annoyingly amusing. ^^; The return ticket was almost as expensive as the my entire expenditure in Singapore because everything was last minute. -_-||| And of course, the prize giving ceremony as well, which turned out to be amusingly annoying.

Then again, I would probably be seen as complaining about not winning that night, so I'll just keep everything I observe and heard to myself. By the end of that night, I was a bit regretful of agreeing to participate in the nomination. But that mistake is not going to be repeated this year, I'm happy to say.

I'm also sad that I was not being able to find another place I longed to visit after so many years. It's probably a place that can sum up everything I hope to find in Singapore for this trip, but I couldn't find it at all. It was after months of searching that I finally found the name of this place - Whatever.

Yeah, whatever. ^^;

So, what was I looking for in Singapore anywhere? I was looking for that very thin feel of my past. I'm no longer a student as I was when I first visited Singapore, but the way I look at things now are almost the same as years back then. Between the transition of then and now, and the memories I made in the past, Singapore is still there, Bra Basah Complex is still there, Whatever is still there. I returned to find the feel of who I was 5 years back, to find the memories I had in those places and try to trace how I felt back then.

I only got half of that feel in this trip, plus a really lousy organizer of the event to start with to dampen my mood before the trip. So I'm going back this year. Yes, I'm going back to Singapore this year, to find another half of that feel I lost.

All write ups on my trip in Singapore:
Prelude: Revisiting after 4 years
Part 1: Plus cheat code
Part 2: The traditional and the new
Part 3: What a hot afternoon
Part 4 [Final]: Sunday


Evaritus Lau said...

Yes S'pore is very clean. =) But in M'sia, S'wak is the most clean place, as my gf said. Even the food is cheaper by half from Sabah, where my place, everything is expensive....

I don't know should I call ourselves poor or too rich...^^;

Chris said...

Sorry to hear that the nomination event isn't as expected.

When I went to Singapore 2 years ago, I didn't visit many place much, but when I revisited again last year, I planned my trip and it's more fun.

leonwhy said...

Thanks for the compliments about Singapore- it makes a singaporean like myself stop to think before complaining.

having said that, i still think nothing beats home, and if you were to migrate to singapore or work on a long term basis, you would probably find things not matching up to standards back home- things you may take for granted back home. same thing when i go visiting in malaysia- i wonder why singapore cannot follow this or that trait in malaysia.

with that, hope you have a better experience when you come down to singapore again.

CE Webster said...

Enjoyed the post.