Monday, September 21, 2009

Le Garden City

Happy Happy Days! Sorry I haven't been posting as regularly as I usually do, the last week has been busy taking care of the logistics and planning of my trip to Indonesia, which has a very strict visa policy. My 3 days in the Garden City aka Singapore has been quite magnificent. I arrived early in the morning at around 9ish to my good friend Bobby at his Singapore house, which is also better known as the mansion. Bobby is a good friend of mine who I worked with 4-5 years ago at Electronic Arts in the QA department. Actually, Bobby was actually one of the people who hired me for the summer co-op job. I am quite grateful to have someone to stay with here in Singapore, also someone to show me around this great city. Singapore is really the Mecca of Southeast Asia, it is also considered the most westernized nation in the area. This comes with a lot of benefits, like clean air, greater environmental awareness, and safer streets. However, this also means the cost of living and travelling here is comparably higher than other SE Asian countries, by at least 5-6 times when I was in Vietnam. Beers are 5-15$ and generally the prices for goods and services is the same as what we pay in Canada if not a little more. Nevertheless, I'm thrilled to be in this part of the region, my parents have often raved about the beauty of Singapore while I was growing up. Indeed it is very beautiful, there are stiff fines for littering so there is no garbage anywhere on the street. Singapore is a convenient places, where Bobby lives there is restaurants and hawkers (roadside eats) just in the back of his place.

The mansion is quite beautiful, Bobby and his roommates (Brian and Wayne) just moved in from their former apartments. Bobby and his roommates all work at the animation and movie company Lucas Arts, which is quite big in North America, located in the San Francisco bay area. There are three floors and I was situated on the second floor in the guestroom. This was a nice change from the extremely dodgy places that I stayed in Malaysia, where you could hear gun-shots going off almost consistently. Obviously, this wasn't in all parts of Malaysia, but where Blair and I stayed it seemed extra-dubious. The mansion is spacious and has lots of room for us to entertain ourselves.

On the first day we went to the Singapore flyer (see wiki), which is a well known Ferris wheel like establishment in Singapore. If you ever been to London, its much similar to the London eye, and the Singapore flyer is bigger than the London eye. The flyer takes you high up and lets you see a lot of the city, its new construction, and its beautiful skyline. Each flyer trolley can take up to 12 people, and we did see a lot of people having champagne dinners in the trolleys. Apparently the trolleys are popular places for formal engagements and weddings. We saw two weddings taking places in a matter of 45 minutes. The flyer could get quite expensive for the extra frills, since it was just myself, Bobby and his girlfriend we got the cheapest trolley, which Bobby was nice enough to pay for us. I managed to take out my well-used DSLR and took a few pictures on the flyer, which some turned out better than others.

After the trolley we went off to browse the city and its shopping centers. The city is quite modern, even more so than many North American cities. The stores and department stores are all very current, some of which are recognizable from home. We then decided to see a movie downtown, the Ugly Truth, which I have seen prior to. Since we were all running on 3-4 hours of sleep, we headed home for some rest.

The next day we ventured out to the tree top walk and attempted to visit Sentosa island. Sentosa is a sort of Disney does Singapore like creation. It has a beach front much similar to those in Southern California. It's one sparse island has been transformed into a Disney like wonder, with imported sand and fresh water from Malaysia. It also has palm trees and other such exotic imports. Unfortunately we were not able to venture out there due to a torrential downpour that was taking place. We managed to take a 16km hike in the outskirts of Singapore, where we were confronted by many a monkey. The hike was a nice get-away exercise from being in the city so often. After the hike we went out to the Hawkers near Bobby's place for some Indian grub. I had a roti-john-king which is some sort of Indian sub sandwhich with various odd sauces on it. I enjoyed it and we went back to Bobby's to watch some Band of Brothers DVDs then went out to bed.

This morning I went to Little India and the Arab district to check out the wares there. It was exciting, I had more Indian food, and was on my way to Changi airport to catch my flight to Bali. I will miss Malaysia and Singapore immensely, I do hope to return one day with more money. I love the Indian food here, and have been enjoying it with great abundance.

I'm coming up on the 1month mark of my trip and so far its been better than expected. I hope everyone back home is doing well and in good health. I do miss everyone back in Victoria and Port Coquitlam. I have sent some post-cards home! My ten minute time at this Mcdonalds free computer is coming up, so TAH TAH! until next time!

Much Love,

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