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Published: November 18th 2009
It was warm and humid just like the previous days…I reluctantly got up from bed, took a bath, and sluggishly ate my breakfast. Though I woke up feeling a little bit down, I definitely don’t want to spend my last day moping around. I spent most of the morning lounging at the reception area, thinking of which places I could still manage to visit before my flight later in the evening. I was awakened a few times during the night ... or maybe dawn … by noises of roommates packing and people chatting at the reception area, but the place was fairly quiet and empty when I went out to get my breakfast later in the morning.
Yesterday, I was to see my Aunt who I haven’t seen in two (or three?)
years so we can go to the Sunday mass together, but ended up getting lost. I was out without spare coins for a payphone, my mobile phone was out of account, and was desperately trying to follow a vague instruction to my Aunt’s apartment. To cut it short, I still managed to find my Aunt’s place (they say females have great instincts)
. I then looked for the nearest
Catholic Church within the area because my instinct was telling me that she should be in the nearest one. Guess what?! Forget about the female instinct because it didn’t work this time. I ended up in a Catholic Church near the MRT Novena Station with the help of a very nice local man. It unexpectedly held a Tagalog (Philippine National Language)
service and majority (if not all)
of the people in attendance were Filipinos. The good thing about ending up in this church is I saw people selling top up for my Filipino number! I finally got to text my Aunt and was able to meet up at the nearby Novena Square. Most of the people around were talking in a familiar language and for a while I kind of forgot that I wasn’t in the Philippines. The day did not start very well but it ended up a fun day at Sentosa Island, taking photos and catching up with my Auntie. I so loved the Songs of the Sea Show!
After checking out this morning, I left my stuff at the hostel and went on my way to see the Merlion but ended up at the Cavenagh Bridge.
I then bumped unto a Filipino guy manning a River Cruise Kiosk and was easily persuaded unto a bumboat ride along the Singapore River. The cruise started at Cavenagh and passed through the entertainment spot Clark Quay, a view of the Singapore Flyer, through the other bridges along the river, and eventually ended up at the Merlion. It pretty much reminded me of the Thames River Cruise in London.
From the Merlion Park, I decided that I wanted to walk to Chinatown until I found myself walking at the center of what seemed to be a business area feeling so underdressed! People were sharply dressed in contrast of my flip flops, shirt, and jeans! I was finding solace on the idea, “they don’t know me anyway”. Since yesterday, my sense of direction has not been on its best. I gave up on the idea of walking to Chinatown and opted for a bus ride after trying for like 30 minutes and asking 1000000 people for direction but still couldn’t manage to find the right way.
The main goal for going to Chinatown was to look for Keith’s highly recommended Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice, which did not
disappoint. The small restaurant is found at 56 Smith Street along the Chinatown Food Street. Aside from the food, I also got to find good buys from the rows and rows of shophouses, bought souvenirs for the family, and just lingered at Chinatown until it was time to get back to the hostel to collect my stuff.
The people had been very nice; they would talk to me not because they want to sell me something but because they were simply interested on knowing where I was from and what I was doing in SG. The old lady who served the Chicken Rice bid me “Take Care” after I thanked her for a lovely meal and most people I’ve asked would take time if they could, to walk with me whenever I ask for directions.
I’m gonna miss the warm humid mornings, the Muslim chants from the Sultan Mosque, and more than anything else, I’m going to miss the United Colors of Singapore; I’ve never seen a place so diverse!
I knew I desperately needed this time away from everything and I’m so glad I did not cancel. There are still a few places I wanted to
see and things I wanted to experience, so I will try to be back soon. Part I: Here I go...
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