I landed in Singapore and was waiting for my bags when I saw Cynthia waving at me. Her fiancé lives in Singapore, and she had been visiting him for a while and invited me to visit. I wasn’t planning on coming to Asia, but the airfare is pretty cheap from Dubai so why not? The drive to her place was beautiful, a city built in a jungle. I got settled in my hotel, and we walked around the neighborhood. Christian, her fiancé, lives in Chinatown. Since the Chinese New Year was quickly approaching, everything was decorated in red and gold with lanterns hanging down the streets. We wandered around before getting ready for dinner. Christian grew up in Singapore and many of his friends own restaurants and bars. We spent the next 5 nights eating amazing food and tasting amazing drinks. Every place we went had a unique twist on things. One place called Cuffling Club, was an Alice in Wonderland themed place, another was a speakeasy and you had to find out the password before going, otherwise you couldn’t get in. It was so much fun!
The day after I arrived, we went to an area of town called Little India. They were partaking in the annual Hindu festival of Thaipusam. The men prepare for a month with praying and fasting before they partake in the walk. People chant around them as they get pierced through their cheeks, tongue, back, and sometimes chest. The chant is supposed to put them into a trance where they feel no pain. They are then mounted with decorations and various things to walk for several kilometers for atonement for their sins. Watching this take place provoked mixed emotions in me. I enjoy seeing other cultures, but it I felt the oppression in the temple. I am grateful that I know a love without oppression: a love that is accepting, non-judgmental, and freeing.
We went to the Marina Club that evening and had an amazing seafood dinner at Cut and went to dance afterwards. It was fun having a girlfriend I knew to go dancing with. We all know I love to get down, and so does Cynthia. I met people from all over who were living and working in Singapore. It’s a great place to make money, but also an expensive place to live.
The next day, we relaxed and went to the pool at the Marina Bay. It is a rooftop infinity pool with a view of the city. We decided to stay in that night, order pizza, and watch a movie. Frozen was the movie of choice for the evening, and if you have not seen it you are missing out! It is on my Christmas list for sure. Then we watched a reality show about women coming to the states for a three month fiancé visa to see if their relationships will last with their future American husbands. I think they make shows about anything!
Cynthia and I explored the botanical gardens the next day. There was a wide variety of flora with parks and lakes spread throughout. Kids and dogs ran around as we talked about Cynthia moving her life to Singapore. Seeing places like this reassured her that her dogs would love it there, and it is a good place to raise a family.
We made our way to Orchid Street to grab sushi and wander around. There are a bunch of shops and restaurants strewn throughout the area. For some reason, we were full of energy that night (I always have an energetic boost with Cynthia) and frolicked through the streets, hoping we wouldn’t get kicked out of Singapore (people get fined for weird things there. We ran by fountains, almost tripped over a giant avocado, hopped over a rope to pose with a giant panda, and J-walked. That’s why I love Cynthia though. She will get weird with me. I always have fun with her and she makes sure of it! We laughed so hard that night.
I was supposed to fly out Monday, but I hadn’t booked a ticket yet. Cynthia and I decided to go to the boardwalk and rent bikes. We rode down the beach and spotted nice areas for picnics, sunbathing, and work outs. We stopped at some shady looking food stalls to get some satays and a beer. She hadn’t tried the street food yet, and it’s my favorite. We rested for a bit before carrying on. I pictured myself living by a beach where I could bike, roller blade, or run on the boardwalk. I have never lived near a beach, and I think it’s about time to try it out, even though I consider myself a mountain girl. But let’s be real, I picture myself living everywhere.
When we got home, I booked a flight for the next morning to Bali. We were tired from our expeditions of the day and decided to go to a movie. Cynthia told me about this amazing, fancy theater. I was thinking something like the Galaxy Theater back home with reclining chairs. No, this was a luxury theater. The chairs were actual recliners. They brought us silky pillows and blankets, and if you want a drink or snack you push a buzzer and someone comes and serves you.
The next morning I said goodbye to Cynthia and Christian. They were such kind hosts and showed me all over the city!