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Published: August 22nd 2018
My flight left Dubai at 2:30 am. I don't know why, but I was a bit nervous about my first trip. I mean, this used to be second nature to my living here before, so why was I nervous? I don't know, but it all went smoothly. Because of my new credit card, I was able to enjoy lounge access, despite traveling in economy and still needing to build up my miles. So, I got a light, very late dinner (I didn't eat much during the day) and a glass of wine while I waited. I read my book (Crazy Rich Asians) to prepare me for my trip!
The flight was also pretty smooth. It was not full, a 777 on its way to Brisbane with a stopover in Singapore. I was one of the few getting off in Singapore, apparently. At first, my row was full, but once the door was shut, the asian guy in the middle moved to a different seat. For some reason, he made a girl a couple of rows up at the bulkhead move back a row. Then while we were getting ready to land, he kept coming back to my row, obviously intending
to claim his middle seat for some reason. Fortunately the guy on the aisle was sound asleep and the man did not want to wake him; I didn't offer to assist because I could not figure out why he would not keep the seat he had for the last 7 hours... I was able to sleep quite a bit actually, probably a good 3-4 hours, then we got served breakfast (I got a chicken ginger congee) while I watched Goodbye Christoper Robin (tears in excess). I also started to watch GeoStorm and omg was I full out laughing. There is a mean tweet on Jimmy Kimmel to Gerard Butler, saying something along the lines of "Does Gerard Butler have a massive student loan or something? Why does he keep making these sh*t movies?"
- that's all I could think while watching. Mercifully, Emirates took my head phones only 20 minutes into the movie.
Anyway, we were slightly delayed in landing due to weather (yay! thunderstorms!), but customs was a breeze and since I had no luggage, I went through no problem. I stopped at a tourist counter and bought a ticket for 48 hours hop-on hop-off bus tour with
two sights included. I was planning for 3 days bus ticket, but it was a good deal. So I figured I'd walk to the gardens and such tonight and the next morning and save the bus for the next afternoon.
My taxi took me straight to my hotel and when I walked in, a lhostess asked me for my name prior to checkin and saw that I was club level, so took me straight up to the 21st floor. I had been offered a room upgrade for a good price a few days before, and boy was it worth it. Check in was a breeze, my room was right around the corner, and I have a balcony view of the bay from the top floor. Very nice! They serve free refreshments in the club lounge from 2:30-4:00 and since it was about 3:30, I figured I would enjoy it while it was open as I was slightly hungry but oh so exhausted. It was perfect! Finger sandwiches of smoked salmon and a tomato olive mini-quiche and I was good to go. I went back to my room, planned my tourist activities, and passed out for about 4 hours.
I woke up at 8pm and made myself get dressed to go out. I saw the light show at Marina Bay Sands from my balcony and could see the cloud tree forest in the background, but needed to get out and enjoy myself. Looking down, I could see the shopping center connected to my hotel, so I figured I would just piddle around down there for a little bit. I wandered along the pool area, the hotel (expensive!!!!) restaurants, then found my way to Marina Square Mall. Much like the Middle East, it seems much of the life revolves around malls - just everything is there. I went in and out along the promenades, enjoying a very loud thunderstorm too, and finally found a garishly decorated little noodle shop inside. The woman came up to me and made a recommendation, so I took it. Much cheaper than anything in the hotel and delicious: Thai basil minced pork with honey lemon tea. It was so spicy and I figured that's why the drink was included!
After this, I felt more energized so I wound up going outside and across the street to where I saw a street food center. I
just wanted a look, so I wandered through. Yeah, if I had not just eaten, I'd be all over this! Very lively, few seats available, but so much to choose from. I made my way to the esplanade and walked along, stopping at a small vendor selling coconut ice cream with coconut water. Not cheap, but very good. Then I saw how close I was to the Merlion Park and figured I would have to just get that out of the way. So I made my way over the Jubilee Bridge, which was commemorated for the 50th year of independence in 2013. There were quite a few people posing with the lion fountain, including myself, but it was such a pleasant evening. Then I made my way back. By this time, it was 10:30 and, aside from the street food center, everything was shutting down. I am very glad that my first day was not a total waste, but I need to make up for lost time tomorrow!
(Took off my Fitbit at security and forgot to put it back on but I estimate between the airports and my night walk, probably 2.5-3 miles walking)
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