Monday, March 05, 2007

Singapore Trip Recap 2

Wednesday night introduced me to a guy from England who was backpacking through Asia. Half a year off after college. Coolness. He and I were chuckling about how Lonely Planet screwed us over by telling us YMCA rates were S$25 a night. He left the next night to find a cheaper place near Little India.

Day 2


I got up late. ARGH sayang oras! And headed down for breakfast. My arrangement apparently gives me free breakfast per night that I stay. I thought it would be some cheap set meal but lo and behold, a buffet.

Bottomless Ha Kao, Sio Pao, cereal, ham, noodles, sausages and more! With OJ to wash them down with. There were also pastries, toast, and coffee! Yeah! Let's just say most of my breakfasts were when I was really full :D

So I decided to hop on the MRT to go to Harbor Front then walk to Sentosa Island. But apparently, it is quite a distance so I took the bus to get there and see the sights. I really didn't know where I was going or what I was doing there but the good thing is that the place has maps and most of the activities are lined up. I headed over to the Underwater Park, took some pictures. It was like a high school field trip. It was fun walking on the walkalator seeing those sea critters. After which I headed over to other parts of the island to take pictures. Sadly, since I was alone and my camera isn't built for vanity shots, I didn't get my picture taken with the Merlion... Photoshop... hehe... when I learn it... I ran into my Korean roomies and they said the 4D movie was pretty good. So I headed over to the 4D Cinema... which was a total rip-off. It's for kids, I understood after going through that 15 minutes of crap. I walked around the beach, until I found out my shoes and sand don't get along and then I made my way back to the Harbor Front.

There was a foodcourt of some sort over there. Economic prices so yeah, I was happy. I decided to try some Indian Cuisine and ordered Mutton Beryani. Basically, its Kalderetang Kambing with curry served over spicy rice with a chaserish side dish. I foolishly neglected to order a drink and my tongue was burning after two spoons. I was panicking since I didn't want to leave my table to get a drink so I tried the side dish. I mean after all, there has to be some balancing factor to that spicy dish! The side dish turned out to be sweet, and spicy. There were onions, peppers, cardamom, and whatnot there. Good thing an Indian guy came over and offered to bring a drink to me. So there was my Indian lunch. I walked over to Harbor Front and Vivo City, two shopping malls within the vicinity and just strolled around. The funny thing about these malls was that they weren't as geometric as the SM malls so getting around was rather fun. Cinema tickets are exhorbitant. Clothes are expensive. Well, I was converting everything so yeah hahaha. Bee Cheng Hiang sort of couldn't fit in my budget so no pasalubong. After that little tour of those two malls, I returned to the food court and had me some Prata, which is an Indian pancake. The pancake tastes pretty good on its own but paired with the curry sauce, mmm... After finishing my snack I took the train to Chinatown.

Letr's put it this way, where Chinatown is, the dirt concentration is as well. The place was rather messy as opposed to the general way Singapore looked. I was hoping to find a calligraphy artist but all I saw were money changers, 168 ish stores, food stalls (durian, ew... the smell) then miracle of miracles! I saw my first set of Tagalog words.

SABIK SA PAG-IBIG. A porno movie... With little recourse and time slipping by, I decided to hop into an internet cafe to finish my homework and find out where I can go. I asked for directions and I was walking towards the wrong direction to head back to YMCA. Since I was running late for a playtest session with Chrysler I ran back to the MRT, took it to YMCA, had dinner and walked my way to the Swiss Hotel. It was only a short walk after getting used to goignt hrough the right places, but it was my first time and it was raining. I had my map in front of me and was walking around the vicinity when I spotted a man emptying out a garbage can. Apparently, there are scavengers in Singapore as well. Anyway, I ran into an Indian woman and I asked for directions and I was pointed to the right place.

Playtest session done, cards lent and borrowed, I return to the YMCA. As I was fixing my stuff, an Indian guy came over. So um... yeah... Sleep time. Morning found me having to suffer through my Indian Lunch...


Breakfast done and I headed over to Suntec Convention Center for the Last Chance Qualifiers. For those of you who don't speak magic let's just say I donated a lot of money and didn't get shit. I borrowed some more stuff from Chrysler and went home. While I was fixing my deck, in came Yo, a Japanese guy visiting his friends. He was in and out. Then came Matthew and Sean. Sean was slightly drunk so we had to entertain him for a while. We were all joking about the Indian because he was so miserable and apparently didn't like either one of us. Not that we did anything to him but he had left earlier on that day. Apparently either Sean or the Indian guy slept naked last night so... Um yeah there was some disturbing talk about that. Some blackjack and stories later, then I read their fortunes. While I was doing so Yo came back and we had our pictures taken. It was fun. These were the funnest set of roomies I had.

Day 3

GP proper.
Tournament Report to follow in a different post.
I finished 5-2-1 and ended up 82nd out of 327 players. I needed to be in the top 64 to get in day 2. ARGH!

I went back home, dejected and urging for some night life. When I got back to my room there was another Japanese and Englishman talking about music. They were a bit settled in but I asked them if they wanted to go out for a drink anyway. They politely declined. DARN. I suddenly felt sleepy and decided to go to bed. Thinking about joining Sunday's tourney.

Day 4
Overslept, misinformed. I didn't make it to the tournament so there. I just spent the morning and early afternoon bumming around an Suntec. Having my cards signed and cheering on my fellow countrymen.

I made my way back to YMCA, charged my phone and packed. Then I headed over to the Singapore Arts Museum and the National Museum of Singapore. Fun times. There were realy interesting pieces in both museums. SAM mostly had classical Asian pieces that is Mao Pi. There were mostly Singaporean painting subjects as well. It was a pretty good experience anyway. Now, NMS was something else. Turns out some exhibits don't require a ticket so I got in for free. Yey. I learned a lot about Singapore culture. There were galleries about food, entertainment, fashion. The whole theme of their current exhibit was about Singapore and how it has evolved. The first room I entered talked about all sorts of food. There were glass bottles filled with exotic spices (to Americans and Europeans anyway) as well as various food paraphernalia. Finally, there were short films about trademark Singaporean dishes like the Prata, Nasi Lemak, Tok Tok Mee. It was quite fun. The next room I entered was a colletion of photos and their stories. There were poignant stories about prostitution, tales of women's strength in cross-cultural marriages, as well as vignettes of amahs. Pretty interesting stuff. The exhibits came mostly from a reknowned photo studio at the time. It was quite evident that that studio was THE studio to have your pictures taken. So there were marriages, thrones, etc brought out for the visitors. The next room I entered was the entertainment area. There were three screens showing movies from way back. I learned a lot about the history of Singapore film. There were also several headphones where you could listen to old musical scores. The next room in that gallery had beautiful Chinese Opera costumes. Yep, Jade, Ruby, Turquoise, the whole shebang. And the costumes were awesome! There was also a bit about puppet shows, the exhibit there had Se You Ji. The next room I entered was the Fashion room where I saw the lifestyles of Singaporean women evolve. There were also some tracks and interviews to listen to and some clothes on display. I crossed over to the bridge and walked around and then went down to see another set of photographs. This time, these were present day Singaporeans whose lives were revealed in pictures. While I was walking around that floor, I noticed a bunch of chandeliers swinging overhead and I went back up to get a closer look. Turns out they were 8 blood red chandeliers choreographed to "dance." It was a pretty interesting thing to see. If only they had turned off some of t he museum lights, then people could appreciate that exhibit more.

After that I went home, had dinner and decided to go to Orchard Tower to drown my sorrows. I had thought that the place was the name of some trendy club but after finding it, after some trouble since I had to take the MRT to Orchard and walk about for a while, it was just a normal tower with spaces for rent. Those spaces were the clubs. Oops , I'm sorry, I mean places where you can sit down and drink and not dance or anything. Darn... Wasted trip. I went back to the station and saw how Orchard Road really is quite conducive to shopping. There were malls in all directions and one particular name stood out. BORDERS. Oh yeah, BORDERS! I'm such a geek. So I went in and browsed a bit and bought some interesting books as well as a Borders bag.

And that concluded my Sunday night.

Day 5
4 am. Yo wakes me up and we get ready to leave for the airport. We parted ways soonafter as his flight was in Terminal 1 and mine was in Terminal 2. It was nice of him to pay for the cab ride hehehe.

A few hours later and I was back in Philippine soil. A few more minutes later I was back in campus for Diyco's class.

Amazing. Race.

All in all, I'd say it was a fun trip. I learned a lot that's for sure. But I'm a bit disheartened by the results of the GP and my dismal performance. And the money that I spent. I'll have to make it back up somehow.

Anyone wanna buy my Drains?

No comments: