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Published: April 5th 2016
I realise it is a good long time since I wrote anything resembling my blog but life in Singapore has been so much busier than I ever suspected it would be! I adore working in the school although find i'm working harder than I ever have before. I have made lots of friends and reconnected with a few from long ago, which has also been lovely. I've been to the F1, to the theatre, i've celebrated Singapore's indepence, walked in the jungle (ish!) been to hawkers and michelin starred restaurants. I am getting to dive and travel at every possible opportunity; not just in the school holidays but weekends away in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia! I've been to Thailand, Bali, Myanmar, Malaysia since getting here and have had a fair few visitors from the UK to show the sites too. The long and short of it is, that it is better than I even imagined!
Hence why I have not found the time to write.
However, here I am in Java and sitting in a smokey internet cafe (yes, they still exist!) on a shakey, half broken keyboard, surrounded by Indonesian men with holes in their trousers, playing on group web-based war games! I'm in Malang. Malang is a small town in East Java and I got here yesterday evening via an 8 hour train ride from Yogjakarta. I adored Yogja and spent time visiting the beautiful Borobudur and Pramanam temples, with two Singaporean's who were staying at the same hotel as me, as well as strolling round the busy streets, eating the local food and buying some batik art. But Malang is not Yogja. Not by a long shot.
In Yogja I was staying in a beautiful hotel called the Phoenix. It is they type of hotel where they have tours to show off the beautiful artwork and to tell visitors about its interesting history. (It was built in the 1800's and was taken over by the Japanese when they held Yogja during the war. It has also been an official government residence and now a very smart hotel). It is a beautiful hotel and one I felt very grown up staying in... no more dirty backpacking hostels for me: I'm 37 damn it, i'm travelling with a case with wheels and haven't even brought my 'i've been to India' trousers. Oh how times have changed!
But I digress. I was on here to tell you about Malang.
So, I arrived yesterday and intend to stay for 5 days until I fly back to Singapore. Oh dear. I realised very quickly that i'm going to struggle to find enough to do for 5 days. (This is a rooky error and one I wouldn't have made in my old backpacking days!) I'm staying at a hotel that is NOT the Phoenix. It is not even the Phoenix's wayward sibling, it is not even in the same family! But it is clean. Last night, as I was dining in their 'restaurant' (!) I got asked on stage by the singer of the 'band' and ended up singing 'Imagine'. How did that happen? One minute I was eating my food and minding my own business and the next I was on 'stage' singing!
I am off exploring today and then at midnight tonight (!) I am off to Gunung Bromo - the real reason i'm staying here is to visit this volcano, which is only 2.5hrs away. I will watch the sunrise over it and then walk to the top. My exploring today will involve me visiting the bird and flower market (although the bird market was very depressing in Yogja because i'm not keen on seeing lots of caged birds, but the flowers should be lovely!) But I fear once i've walked around the streets and sampled the food I am going to run out of things to do! Which is where you guys come in! I thought i'd write, for old times sake!
I will try to add photos but that may well have to wait as i'm not sure how to do that on here - it used to be that i'd be blogging on my little laptop but alas I didn't think i'd need it... I won't make that mistake again; there is always a need for the permenant ability to get on the internet, write blogs and watch movies!
So. I think that just about brings me up to date. Once back in SG and back at work I have a few more months and then head to the UK for the first time since leaving last July. It will have been a year since I last saw my family, friends and London. What a year. Oh, before I head to the UK i'll have time for a few quick weekends away in Hoi An, Vietnam and Penang, Malaysia! Okay, I know; i'm showing off!
On that note, i'll leave you and hope to get on here again sometime to share more.
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