Random Musings

Day 12: From Europe to Asia.

September 4, 2011

Day 11 of my sweet and very short vacation consisted of me traveling from Halkidiki to Thessaloniki airport to catch the flight going to Athens which will connect with a flight going back to Dubai. Whew! We woke up an hour earlier because the boyfriend wanted to take a different route from what we took going to Halkidiki to give me a different view on the way back to Thessaloniki.

It was a long stretch of mountains, sea and the blue sky. I wish I could stay longer. 🙁

I arrived Dubai at around 10pm and hastily packed my weekend bag for the next flight the next day – to Singapore. I’m going to meet my aunt and cousin there, it’s a very inexpensive way of meeting my family rather than me going back to the Philippines and everyone expecting a “pasalubong” (gifts) from me, not that I give them the benefit of it but I just hate it when people are passively asking if I have something for them and if I don’t give them anything, they would say that I have changed. Well, frankly speaking – why would I give something to someone who didn’t give a damn about me when I was still living in the Philippines? I’m not working in Dubai picking up gold from the streets or the trees you know? I’m working hard for myself (and for my family) and not for you – you crazy, lazy vultures!

Anyway, the Singapore trip was more like to celebrate my aunt’s birthday with her. I arrived at Changi airport at around 9pm, their flight arrives at 11:15pm – supposedly as the flight was delayed and scheduled to now arrive at 01:40am. So practically speaking, I crossed the seas of Europe to Asia only to wait at the airport for 4 hours for them. Haha! I had no idea what hotel they finally made a reservation for and no means of communication with them as my stupid phone wasn’t working overseas. So left with no other choice, I sat patiently at the airport. Thanks to the wifi access and games I have installed on my iPhone.

Finally, their flight arrived and we were immediately transferred to our hotel – Santa Grand in Bugis area. The hotel was a very basic one, nothing fancy. Who needs fancy hotels anyway when all you’re going to do the whole day is to explore the city? The location was very good though, it was very near the metro and not to mention it’s IN Bugis area where shopping malls were abundant.

Singapore, it’s either you hate it or you love it. Nothing in between. I was more on the “hate” it part. The customer service industry in Singapore was the worst I ever had! I don’t know, maybe I just came back from Greece where people were all laidback and charming and the fact that I live in Dubai where the government sends out “mystery shoppers” to service industries to review the customer service skills of each outlets. It was a HUGE surprise for me when at Mc Donald’s at the airport, the attendant didn’t even greet or say anything like an opening spill before I placed my order. Add to it the fact that I think they’re expecting me to pay for her to smile even just a little bit. They’re also not ashamed to show you that they hate their job. At food republic (a food court of some sort in the business district of Singapore) I was THISCLOSE to slapping the woman at the counter with my tray when she put on a grouchy face as she took the food back to the serving plate in such a way that you’d hear the loud clinking noise of the stainless steal tongs against the serving plate like a little kid throwing a tantrum when I told her that it wasn’t what I ordered. What I’m trying to say is, it’s as easy as: IF YOU DON’T LIKE YOUR JOB THEN QUIT FOR F*CK’S SAKE!!!!! I’ve had a lot of other experiences like that in that tiny, little city and I was taught by my mother that if you want someone to treat you nicely – smile at them and treat them nicely as well. Well mother, it doesn’t work in Singapore.

What I liked about it though (yes, I liked something) was the efficiency of their transportation system. Singapore is a tiny country so it’s relatively easy for them to connect the whole island with their metro and city buses – something which Dubai missed out (by the time you reached the nearest metro station, you’re already suffering from a heat stroke).

Anyway, we went to Universal Studios the next day. I was not expecting it to be as small as it was but still, all of the shows and rides that we got ourselves into were all good! It was also not a peak season so there were not much line to get in those rides. I liked the Shrek 4D the best and the Revenge of the Mummy ride – which scared the shit out of me with it’s very mild drops and turns. Seriously, I’m not a roller-coaster kind of girl and clearly, I can’t fathom myself riding this monster below:

Last time I checked, I'm not yet suicidal so NO!

Here are some of the photos I took from Universal Studios Singapore:

Give him a break will you?

Streetboys in Singapore

yikes!

We went back to our hotel after that tiring day to freshen up until my friend Simon picked us up from the hotel and brought us to Arab St. for some local cuisine:

I forgot what it's called but it's very nice with a peanut-buttery taste.

The holy-crap-it's-too-spicy-but-can't-get-enough-of-it soup.

After dinner, my aunts went to go shopping at the Bugis area while my cousin went to Orchard Road to meet some of his friends so me and Simon went to a chill-out bar at Arab St.

He’s one of the best friends I have (since our highschool years) and I’m so special for him that he traveled all the way from the west-most part of this city just to see me and spend a good 2 hours with me. Yiiiihiiiii! It’s good to catch up with him. We ended the night at around 11pm as he needed to catch the last metro to go home. And we also have an early start the next day for our “mandatory” Singapore city tour. Apparently, we needed to pay USD25 per person if we don’t go on the tour as it’s a package included in our hotel accommodation, how f*cked up is that? The tour will turn out to be the worst tour I’ve ever had. Update about it tomorrow.

I leave you now with a photo of Singapore’s trademark: the Merlion.

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