This is an unusual trip for me in a few ways. I usually take longer trips, two weeks is more of a vacation than a “trip,” at least in my head. And not only is it shorter, but I usually just book my flights, pack my backpack and wing it, staying in hostels and cheap hotels and moving on when I feel like I’ve been in a place long enough, seen what I wanted to see. To have a set itinerary and places to stay (and real luggage!) is strange for me. I’m definitely not complaining, the apartment where I’m staying in Singapore is about 300x times nicer than anywhere I would normally stay. And I’m really excited to visit my cousin Jack in Hong Kong, but it’s still odd. Plus, not staying at hostels meals it’s much harder to meet people. After spending three days solo, without any one to really talk to, I woke up yesterday feeling kinda lonely. I go through this every trip, although I choose to travel solo, and I love it, I still get a wave of loneliness at some point in each trip. I can picture where I was sitting last year in Chiang Mai when I called my cousin about it, or the internet cafe in Varanasi where years ago I sobbed to my mom. Since it’s 2016 and I’m single I figured, why not use a dating app? I’d seen people who posted they were just looking to make friends and I’d been dabbling a bit anyway so gave it a shot. One of the guys I matched with on Bumble said he was spending the day at the Botanic Gardens and invited me to join him. It’d been on my list of things to do anyway, and I figured it was public enough that if he tried to kidnap me, someone would hear me scream (kidding mom!) so I went. He’s an American currently stationed in Singapore with the Navy. First we checked out the orchid garden, which was pretty awesome. Orchids are the national flower of Singapore, it’s even on their flag.
After the orchid garden we wandered a bit more. Mr. Bumble was nice enough, but sort of weirdly argumentative. He had to debate almost everything I said, picking on my choice to use a camera instead of just my iPhone, disagreeing about which direction to walk, whether or not wild monkeys lived in the park, even my height! All the while unintentionally calling the orchids orchards. You all know I can be pretty opinionated, but I usually save it for at least the second date. I’m sure he thought it was charming banter and that his repeatedly poking me was flirty, but he just wasn’t my speed. I asked him to take a picture of me in front of the gates, and when I checked later, there was a selfie of him sticking out his tongue as lagniappe. That’s what happens when you go out with strangers you met on the internet. I posted the picture here, but thought maybe that was a bit too mean and deleted it. I did get this picture out of it though:
Leaving the park was this big Elizabeth-blue building. Apparently it’s Interpol’s office.
I know I mentioned the shopping in my last post, but wanted to show a bit more. Here in Tang’s, a department store, the food counters are mixed right in with the clothing shopping, you don’t even have to leave to go to a food court.
Chunky bead necklaces I keep seeing around town which I like, even though they remind me of the macaroni necklaces we made in kindergarten.
If you read my posts from Thailand you know I can’t resist anything coconut, and was excited to find a coconut smoothie here in Singapore.
Speaking of, on my way home I stopped to buy some water and some tea, but found this instead and got distracted:
Weirdly it tasted like sugar water, again. Slightly earthier than the bird’s nest drink, but not much different, and definitely not very mushroom-y.
I’m in yoga teacher training at home and have been practicing a lot recently and loving it. I’d been searching for a yoga studio here in Singapore to continue my practice while I travel. Either the classes were absurdly expensive AND seemed rather basic or they didn’t allow drop-ins or short term memberships. Mr. Debate-a-lot is definitely not my Mr. Right but he did have a good tip for a yoga studio so it wasn’t a total wash. I took a “hot power” class which was really good even though it was only an hour. It felt good just to be back on my mat. Afterwards I hung out with Estela, my friend’s helper. We went to get some dinner before heading out to to see the fireworks. We went to the hawker market nearby, and when I asked her what she was ordering, she said she was getting something from the Thai stand, so I did as well.
We met Estela’s cousin and started the trek downtown to the fireworks. When we got there we walked for what felt like miles, all of the sidewalks were cordoned off and the police were controlling everything very precisely. We had to walk in circles to get where we were trying to go, and although it was really crowded, people were really calm, never pushy or loud.
The architecture in Singapore is really stunning, even more so at night. I’m looking forward to exploring it more in the next few days. Finally we found a spot to watch from and waited.
I’m glad I went but the fireworks themselves were actually kind of disappointing. After the first few went off the cloud of smoke was so thick and so unmoving that you couldn’t really see the rest of them. I don’t know if it was because of the heat or humidity or what. I’ve never seen that happen before. Looking forward to taking some time to reflect on the past year and my hopes and goals for the coming one. Best wishes for lots of love, health, happiness and luck in 2017. Happy New Year y’all!