Yes, I’m still alive. I enjoyed my one week reprieve from blogging. Towards the end, writing a daily account of my trip became too much of a chore. Even finishing up my last couple of days in Singapore to finish the 30 days weren’t enjoyable anymore.
The day after my last blog entry, I went out to the city, to have some Hokkien mee, check out some stores and basically just enjoy my last couple of hours before work starts. I went out, with just my phone in my pocket, along with my ez-link card and a couple of dollars. I love how there’s no more pressure to do things just so I’d have something to write about. I walked slowly down Orchard road, amused by the people rushing all around me, hurrying to catch a bus or see as many things as they can in their limited stay in the country.
It also helped that my Paypal problems are inching towards resolution. After one e-mail and two calls to the Paypal contact center, my account limitation has been lifted, and the payment I issued was cleared. As soon as the payment went through, I went to Geylang to pick up the dolls I ordered from Magma Heritage. If you’re into 1/6 scale dolls, a visit to Magma Heritage is a must, even if you’re not buying something. It’s a gallery and a store, and admission costs SG$5, which is refunded if you bought something from the store. Madison has a gorgeous collection of Pullips, Taeyangs, Dals, and even Barbie and other fashion dolls. The nondescript entrance leaves no clue as to what you will see inside, but once the doors open, you’ll be surprised at how beautifully the dolls are exhibited.
In the last couple of days, I was able to meet up with some friends. I met up with Mayti, a former co-worker from the travel magazine I used to work for, at Vivo City for dinner last Thursday. She introduced me to Marche, a restaurant that I’ve only heard about, but never tried. I’m kicking myself now for not trying it sooner.
On Saturday, I met up with some Singaporean Pullip collectors. I met Sharon through the Pinky Street forums, and she invited me to join the local get together at Hort Park. As with all dolls meets, it’s always a joy to see different dolls with personalities as varied as the clothes and wigs they wear. It was also great to hang out with people who share the same interest, because they don’t give you that judgmental look when you tell them how much you bought your doll’s outfit.
After taking several hundred photos in Hort Park, we went back to Harbourfront. They were going to Marche for dinner, while I had to rush back home for a Filipino dinner. It was a joint birthday celebration for my sister-in-law and her brother’s mother-in-law who’s also in Singapore visiting family. We feasted on inihaw na liempo (grilled pork belly), lechon manok (roast chicken), kare-kare (beef cooked in peanut sauce and eaten with shrimp paste), wonton mee, mee goreng, leche flan (crème caramel) and carrot cake. What a lovely dinner that was.
Early the following morning, I was out of the house again to meet with Marvin and Babes for a trip to Pulau Ubin. The meeting place was at the Tanah Merah interchange. The easiest and cheapest way to go there from where I’m staying is to take the North-East line of the MRT, then change to the East-West line. However, that would mean changing trains three times, and over an hour’s travel. I took the easiest, though most expensive way: taxi. I like to think that was a SG$11.60 well spent. We were joined by his high school friend Diana and her Chinese classmate, Aran.
Unlike the previous day’s weather where it was very hot and sunny, it was overcast that morning and the clouds threatened rain any moment. The weather managed to hold on until after lunch, when there was a sudden downpour. Still, we managed to walk through the Chek Jawa wetlands, taking plenty of pictures. Pulau Ubin is a place that you really wouldn’t think is still part of Singapore. There are no tall buildings and everywhere you turn, you see only trees or the sea. The best spot to relax in Chek Jawa would be the abandoned English cottage at the end of one trail. The house is empty, but there’s more than enough room outside facing the sea to sit and watch airplanes descending to land at Changi airport.
The bumboat ride between the small island and the mainland takes only 12 minutes. It’s interesting how big a change that 12 minutes can bring. We hopped on a double decker bus for the long ride back to the city. I was exhausted; the changing of timezones in such a short span of time is taking its toll on me. Still, the day wasn’t over yet, and I met up with my brother and his family, as well as my other brother at the nearby mall for dinner. While waiting, I went crazy buying different kinds of Pocky. I wanted nothing more than to sleep when I got home, but ended up online (damn Internet addiction!). I managed to log off fairly early, but still had a bit of a problem falling asleep. I guess I’m just too excited about coming home today.
One of the five photos from the entire trip with me in it. With Aran, Marvin, Babes and Diana at Pulau Ubin.
I initially planned on going to the city this morning, but I decided to just rest and finish packing. It’s really ironic that while I managed to travel around Southeast Asia with only a 6.5kg backpack, I end up leaving a bagful of clothes because my suitcases are already bursting at the seams. I fail as a suitcaser.
I’m leaving the flat in an hour, and leaving the country at 5pm. Singapore has always been a great country to explore, but I just can’t wait to be back in Manila again.
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