A time for old friends and new experiences

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Asia » Singapore
April 28th 2015
Published: May 15th 2015
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On arrival into Singapore I could see my childhood best friend, Laura through the glass doors as I was waiting for my luggage. It’s been a long time since someone met me of a plane and it felt super exciting - especially as it was Laura.

I arrived smelly and with my head still in Sri Lanka - it seems a wee bit of a culture shock when you land somewhere new for the first time. I didn’t really know what to expect from Sing but I was expecting it to be similar to Dubai. Both places I was visiting not through wanting to see the place but purely to see close friends.

I arrived into a sea of tall shiny buildings in Down Town. Similar to Dubai. But over the next few days I was to discover more about the country and its drinking places! I’m writing this a week or so after I was in Sing so my memory is a little jaded. I do remember spending my first day catching up on sleep, showering and washing all my smelly clothes - oh to feel clean again! Nick, Laura’s soon to be hubby kindly took me somewhere for lunch. It was my first experience of local. We went to a place that serves egg, toast and fish/meat soups. I asked for a medium boiled egg, toast and milo drink. My egg was raw - bad times but the drink was delicious.

Friday night and Laura and Nick took me to Marina Bay Sands for a drink and a fantastic view of this Island. I’m also not ashamed to say that I went Western for dinner and had the most delicious macaroni cheese - I’m still fantasising about it now.Over the next few days Laura and Nick showed me the sights and scenes of Singapore. We went on a Duck boat/truck which was a lot of fun, had a mocktail in Raffles, visited China and India town, ate in markets, drank in lovely bars, street bars, secret speakeasy cocktail bars and met up with high school friend Ben Crouch. My how times have changed! I also spent some time exploring the Garden's by the bay. A pretty garden that was full of different types of plants, art sculptures and man-made mixed with nature style trees and canopy's.

We took a trip over to Sentosa Island via
Yoga at SunriseYoga at SunriseYoga at Sunrise

At Marina Bay Sands
Cable car which was a lot of fun. Nice beaches and beach bars and I was able to stand in apparently the most southern point in SEA and as a random extra watch an marriage proposal unfold - asia style!

A highlight for me was being able to do Yoga at sunrise at the bow of the ship on top of Marina Bay Sands. Laura had found out about this experience and booked for just £20 each - we had an amazing and personal experience. It was just the 3 of us, as no one else had signed up so we had a private session with a yoga instructor. Although I think the instructor was horrified by our abilities and in particular our attempt at the Crane pose was a sight to behold. He was great but didn't hold back at telling us to do better and not be weak!

I must say, there's some weird habits by the locals, I've seen several people clip their toenails in public - once at the bus stop. They deep clear their throat loudly, take lots of posed photos and watch TV/play games loudly on the metro. Of course this isn't everyone here but strange to see nonetheless. They are also friendly people who smile big when you smile at them and they seem kind in a gentle way. Unlike other Asian countries it's illegal to drop litter, cross the road unless the traffic light green man is showing or have chewing gum! Apparently people take photo's off you and send it to the authorities if your caught doing any crimes. Something of a culture shock for me... J walking was a personal favourite! There definitely feels a sense of culture here - but perhaps a mix of malay, Chinese, thai, Sing and expat all rolled into one.

Before my time was up here I was able to get some real quality time with my oldest friend in the world. Laura is getting married in June and I wanted to hear all about the plans and how she was feeling. Also to find out some dos and don'ts about the hen party! For me it was also a chance to spend more time with Nick. As I have never lived in the same city I've only had a small opportunity to get to know him. As Laura's right-hand man in
Nadya and me - the feast of food!Nadya and me - the feast of food!Nadya and me - the feast of food!

A great night spent with Jack and Nadya
life I was keen to get to know him more. I’m so excited for their future together as I feel they are so well suited. I spent a lot of my week laughing and feeling very at home. Something I put down to both Laura and Nick's super hospitality.

On my last night I was able to meet up with my good friend's brother Jack and his fiancé Nadya. Nadya is the first truly native Singapore person I'd met and it was very refreshing as I was able to learn more about the culture and most importantly about the food! Their hospitality was fantastic and they took me to the north east out to the sea to see people fishing at night. We then walked to a fantastic food market and Nayda was able to put on a banquet of local food for me to try without meat, fish or peanuts - I felt spoilt and it was very exciting. That night we ate til we burst and just shared stories til it was time to leave.

Morning came and it was time to say goodbye to this country and my friends. I jump on the metro sad to say goodbye but excited about exploring some Indonesia for the next 3 weeks, a country I know little about. First stop Bali.

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