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Published: January 1st 2007
The sign says no!
First of all, if any of you were worrying about me heading to Thailand in two days after the recent tourist-oriented bombings in Bangkok, don't be. I've decided to change my plans and not head back to Thailand until less than 24 hours before I fly out for home. The whole Full Moon party thing was just becoming more and more of a headache to deal with, and I really wasn't incredibly interested in going in the first place. I was just going because everyone else was. And I really didn't like the idea of being stuck on this island with 30 000 other people, unable to leave when I wanted to until the next morning. Then, we logged on to the internet today to discover that terrorism in Thailand has moved out of the sketchy southern Muslim separatist provinces and into the nation's capital and, surprise surprise, they're targeting foreigners. It's just one more reason for me not to want to go back, and I've decided that there's no reason for me TO go back to Thailand. I was feeling really rushed in Singapore (most stuff has been closed during our visit due to New Year's, anyways) and there is
Apparantly this theatre on the sea resembles durian fruit, but I've never actually seen a durian so I can't comment. It was extremely nice inside, with all kind of neat art on exhibit including an exhibition entitled "Will the Real Lion Please Stand Up" which was really funny. It was all kinds of paintings and sculptures of various animals with comical, cartoon style lion manes added.
more I would like to see in KL, so I've decided to cancel my flight to Ko Samui, spend an extra day in Singapore, and then go to Kuala Lumpur for a few more days. I'll fly directly in to Bangkok from KL the afternoon before our flight leaves back for Canada. I'm pretty happy about the decision, and I'm really looking forward to further exploring this corner of the world because I'm loving my time here. I'll lose money on my flight to Ko Samui, but whatever. It's for the best in the long run, I think. I made up this plan on my own, but in the end Derek has decided to ax the Ko Samui portion as well, so we'll stick together until we fly home together. Mark W. is still going to go to Ko Samui and is just planning on staying out of big crowds for his time there. I'm sure the attacks are over and all will be good, but I'm happy with my decision and I wish the other guys to have a great time!
OK, now that that's out of the way I'll tell you about my adventures from last night!
Half lion, half mermaid. This guy is a prominant feature at Marina Bay, a big Singapore Harbour. There's a legend associated with him, but I forget it...
As I mentioned earlier, we went to the Siloso Splash Beach Party on a resort island here called Sentosa. I've never been to an party event of that magnitude before--it was pretty fun. We spent a large portion of our evening dancing in a giant foam pit with hundreds of other people. Picture a massive, swimming pool sized, shallow tub created with a tarp, filled with bubbles! And more foam rained down on us from above from 3 huge foam machines. I was glad for the rugged tread on my Teva sport sandals because everyone around me was slipping and falling, but my feet stayed firmly gripped to the ground! We were absolutely drenched from head to toe, but it was a beach party so I had bathingsuit undergarmets on and a quickdry skirt so it was OK. Plus, it was a REALLY hot night. I think I would have overheated if I hadn't been so wet. There was a big stage with a number of MCs and DJs leading the festivities throughout the night, including an MTV Asia VJ who Derek and Geoff were *quite* taken with. She through a blow-up toy thing into the audience and Geoff caught
A local tour company offered tours of Singapore using these marine/terrestrial vehicles left over from the Vietnam war. I was pretty tempted to go on one, but it was too expensive. Who wouldn't want to ride a giant duck?
it! I think he'll treasure it forever. We tried to sneak into the VIP area so they could get pictures with her, but the security guard was just too vigilant. Darn.
There were a number of booths offering various wares and services, and Derek and Geoff took full advantage of one in particular: the tattoo booth! Haha, don't worry. They were just airbrush tattoos. But they look pretty real. I suspect that Derek has a secret desire to get a bunch of tats, because he went all out and got 3 tattoos!!! He spent $31 Singapore Dollars on them! Hahahahaha.
Mark left around 1:00am, but Geoff, Derek, and I stayed later. We probably should have just left with Mark, though, because at that time they stopped playing hip hop and stuff and moved more to trance, which we weren't so in to. Mark caught the last subway train back, but we were much too late, and so began another adventure for us. A long, looooong adventure. It turns out that there are no where near enough taxis in Singapore to meet demand (even during the middle of the day there are long lines at the taxi queues) and the increased demand on New Year's Eve just put things over the edge. We waited for close to 2 hours at a taxi stand, but there were no taxis coming for general pickup. Every single one had the dreaded "ON CALL" sign displayed, meaning that someone with a cell phone had already called and reserved it. Grrrr. Eventually we were no longer able to stay awake so we ditched the line (which was completely hopeless, anyways) and went to check on the subway. The trains didn't start until 6:23am and it was like 4:20am. We decided to walk and see how far we could get, though we didn't really know where we were or the right direction to go in. I had a general idea of where we wanted to go, so we just followed the perimeter of the huge shipping port for ages and ages. EVENTUALLY, after an hour of brisk walking, we reached a city center area. The good news: we HAD been walking in the right direction. Yea me! I was quite proud of my navigational skills, considering I had so little to go on. The bad news: we were just barely halfway there. Although my sore ankle had been pretty much healed when the day started, after this walking adventure it had very much relapsed, Geoff was about to pass out from exhaustion, and Derek didn't even know what was going on, so we opted to just stop at the subway station and wait for the trains to start. We only had 30 minutes left, anyways. We found a nice grassy area and made ourselves at home. Eventually, the trains started and we got back to our hostel, where we promptly passed out.
I should mention that we were NOT the only one in this situation. We walked for fully an hour, through the middle of nowhere, and every corner was full of people marooned on the street, just wasting time in a comatos state until public transit started again. I had previously been very impressed with Singapore's transportation system, but the planning on this night was severely lacking. Why didn't they put extra trains and buses on and extend the hours more? The previously spotless city was now strewn with garbage and debris after half the city had spent the night on the street. It was pretty bizarre.
Now that I'm well rested, that part of the night was just another funny adventure to look back on, and I'm pretty glad it happened. Plus, I got to see a whole lot of Singapore, especially the port area! It was definitely one of the best New Year's I've had in recent memory.
OK, well we've been on the internet here for over 2 hours trying to figure out all this Thailand stuff so I think it's time to log off. This day is pretty much a writeoff, but since Derek and I will be in town a bit longer now we'll be able to do stuff later. I think we're going to head to the airport directly now to see about cancelling our flight to Ko Samui.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! And here's to peace on earth, hey? Like, stop bombing things! Honestly!
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