Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Holidays in Singapore!

So I tried being a good about keeping a travel journal during this vacation so I'm just going to type out what I wrote down for that.

Friday, December 23, 2011 - Pu Dong Airport, China
I don't like this airport at all. All I had to do was transfer flight and they made me leave the terminal in order to come back in, going through security again and immigration twice. Also the way it is set up just doesn't make much sense, why are gates 26 & 211 close to each other?!

So due to all my traveling as a child I'm pretty much a wannabe Third Culture Kid (TCK) because I didn't live in a foreign country for my childhood (like a true TCK) but I spend a majority of it traveling outside my home country. This is why I always feel at home in international airports even if it's my first time there. Except this one, this one is stupid.

So yeah,  getting to the point, I am in Pu Dong Airport on my way to Singapore to spend the holidays with my college buddy Andy. This will be my first Christmas away from home and family which makes my heart ache a bit but at least I'm doing something crazy for it. I'm super excited to get to Singapore and BE WARM!!!
More updates to come...

December 26, 2011 - Singapore
This country is awesome and I'm going to get fat from all the amazing food here (especially Indian). Andy is an amazing host and every day is a good day. Christmas away from home was weird, partied/went clubbing Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Andy's friends are an Awesome set of people who are all international like me. They are true TCKs and it's really interesting to hear them talk about their lives.

Today we went to Little India, Chinatown, and Arab Street. I tried Durian the King of Fruits that tastes oddly of meat and smells horrible. So tired. Must Sleep.

December 29, 2011 - In between Singapore and Malaysia 
So Andy was born and raised in Singapore but because of his father he got dual citizenship with the US. Recently Singapore made him choose between the two and he picked the US. SO, now I am hanging out on the Malaysia side of the boarder waiting for Andy to clear customs. Awkward.

While I'm here I want to make a comment on Singapore/Malaysia relations. It pretty much boils down to Singapore being stuck up and rich while Malaysia is super poor. I believe the Singapore government exploits Malay (and many other countries) workers and perhaps that's a cause of tension? Awhile back Malaysians use to burn Singaporean money and so Singapore changed it to have a Malay face on the bills so they had to stop the burning.

I'm excited to visit this country. I'm really not impressed with the ritz and glamour of first world countries and much prefer stepping out of my comfort zone (or is it into?) and exploring less developed countries. There is alot more to learn from living without basic luxuries then with.

OK, I'm beginning to worry about Andy so I'm going to figure out where he is...
BLAH! I can't go back in so I'm forced to just wait. I have no patience for this so I will just keep writing. Two nights ago for dinner we met up with my mom's boss and family friend Michael. I met him and his now wife Hiroko when I lived in London at the age of 10, the now have a daughter who is 9. Wow how time flies! I had a blast playing with their daughter and 4 year old son. I miss hanging out with kids that speak my language. It was also great seeing Mike and Hiroko as an adult without my mother there.

December 30, 2011 - Bintan, Indonesia 
An interesting remix of the Muslim call to prayer and the song Party Rock Anthem is the music to set this entries mood. The sun is setting on an amazing day in Indonesia and we are killing time before the ferry back. God I love my life, here's why...

Got up at 730 (by far the earliest I've been up this trip), Andy's mom packed us sandwiches and were out the house by 8. Caught the ferry and as soon as we were out of port I am shocked at the ocean view of Singapore. On land tall building covering every inch, by sea so many boats if they were any closer together it would be dangerous.

We arrive into a tourist trap, get into a cab and I say "I don't like white people." The driver laughs and takes us to a small town 40 minutes away. The drive reminds me of Ghana to no end. Driving through jungle, passing many motorcycles and towns with this very particular tropical developing country feel to it. I could of been in Ghana but the roads were better and the people were of  different colour.

Exploring town was fun but uneventful. We head back to the tourist trap, eat sea snails for lunch and then went to go hang out with/ride elephants! Mine was named Mally and it was crazy riding something so big! I just wanted to cuddle with her all day but of course she had to get back to work.

Next on the agenda was a full body massage. Now Andy and I are just good friends but since we were traveling together everyone assumed we were a couple. Awkward. Laying in beds next to each other almost completely naked, super awkward. Fortunately the massage itself made up for it although it was quite painful at many parts in the end it felt amazing. She massaged almost ever muscle in my body and that in it self was also awkward but who cares when it makes you feel this good?

Now I'm here, the sun has set and the prayer is over. A day is not enough time in Indonesia and I definitely have to revisit this place. <3

January 1, 2012 - Changi Airport (Singapore)
This is probably the best new years day I've had and I didn't even do that much. Last night Andy and I went to a house party in an apartment overlooking downtown Singapore, made new friends, drank too much, and played beer pong. Andy has a really cool set of friends that I instantly connect with. Getting to know them and also Andy better has been a highlight of this trip. Spent most the today with Andy and his brother Phil chilling at their house nursing horrible hangovers and talking about our crazy nights.

Once I start feeling like a human again I pack up and go with Andy's family to a family friend's place for an amazing steak and potato dinner. Without really knowing anyone I was immediately accepted in the extended family and had a bunch of meaningful conversations. That plus the mouthwatering steak (which you can't get in Korea) made my evening special and I truly did not want to leave.

January 2, 2012 - Somewhere in the Sky...
My life never seems real to me. It's maybe been 10 hours since I was in Singapore and it already feels like a dream, but Korea doesn't feel real yet either. It's like as long as I'm up in the air I'm a nobody in limbo. No destination, no home, suspended above the earth with no real sense of belonging. This isn't a bad thing, I'm not depressed. This is the life I've chosen and I live it well. I guess I just get very existential when I fly.

As you can tell from my previous entries I have thoroughly enjoyed this trip. I left out a few things though, Andy and I went to the Zoo and had breakfast with the orangatangs. Malaysia was uneventful but fun to explore and yeah, that's all I can think of now. Can't wait till my next adventure!



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