My last Singapore 2016 travel post is finally here! Let us all rejoice! 🙂
The past two weeks have honestly been trying for me career-wise, and I have had a hard time trying to be grateful for my job. Feeling thankful for life does not come easily, and I always try to look for something I could say I can be thankful for. The current situation I’m in is making it difficult to do so especially when it comes to my job and has gotten me looking hard into my aspirations and life decisions to be made. However, I’m fortunate that there are still so many things outside of the dreadful 8-6 that has made life a little bit more bearable. C, family bonding, good food, and vacations. While we were in Singapore, I had all of that minus C. 😛
On our third to the last day in Singapore, I was supposed to meet up with my best friend who was staying in Bugis. She would be flying back to Manila at noon and was heading to the airport early. I set my alarm early that morning.. and totally missed it. Since I’m already late, we slept in some more and only got up when we started to get hungry.
We always passed by Xin Wang on our way to the train station as it was located near the bus terminal. We were hungry and had brunch here instead of looking for another place to eat in. Everything seemed yummy at the onset, but halfway through the meal, all the oil in it became off-putting and it was a bit hard to finish.
I scheduled this trip to Bugis area for the day as I planned to meet up with the best friend. Even though we didn’t get to see each other, we still went to do a little bit of shopping and to drop by the famous Haji Lane. Can you imagine that I’ve been visiting Singapore ever since I was six years old, and I still haven’t been here?
I never imagined that the common theme for Haji Lane is the abundance of this big green trash cans. Haha! There was a trash can in front of every store. It’s quite fun to look around at the stores in Haji Lane as they sell all kinds of quirky stuff I’d totally blow my budget for. My brother got a [partially] leather backpack that has survived his daily use since then (he’s notorious for accidentally breaking his things, no matter how expensive they are). I also got to buy most of my souvenirs for friend and C’s family right here. Some of the boutiques though can be quite expensive, but I’m patient and looked through all the stores first before buying anything.
Some people think that I only do my hair in braids to look fancy or more put together. But I literally wear my hair in braided updos when I either can not be bothered to style my hair loose (it gets frizzy on bad hair days) or when I don’t want to wash my hair. Haha!
It started drizzling, and luckily, we were already done with our shopping. We quickened our pace as we walked back to Bugis Junction. The humid weather has had me upping my liquid intake, and juice bars are a blessing from the heavens for us that are almost always thirsty. Since the stall is open, you would see how the juices are made from fresh fruits and are put into cups with handwritten names in it.
My sister didn’t buy any juice for herself (as usual) but bought a cup of ice cream instead. There are a lot of cafes here as well, the one much more hipster than the one before. These are well placed, though, given the volume of tourists that goes here, and that Haji Lane is one of the most Instagrammed streets in Singapore (no statistics, just assumptions).
If I’m going to pick a place to go shopping in Singapore, it would be the Bugis area. It’s very accessible via train and unless you can’t read a train map, you won’t miss Bugis Station. Aside from the fact that Haji Lane is nearby for the people who like to buy unique goods (I found this cute crochet bunny in a wedding dress that I bought for C’s engaged sister who loves bunnies), there are other options depending on your budget. There are cheap finds (and even sex shops for the kinky adults reading this blog lol) available and a plethora of street food on Bugis Street. It’s covered too so you won’t get wet while shopping when it rains, and you can haggle for lower prices on items. There are also a lot of souvenir shops within where you can buy all the magnets/shirts/mugs/etc. for your friends and family at home.
There’s also the mall where you can buy from popular Singaporean brands like Charles & Keith, or other western brands such as Topshop, MAC, etc. There’s also an open-air area in the mall, as well as parts where it imitates old colonial architecture and stalls that look like food carts. This is perfect for people with bigger budgets when shopping.
We took another Uber back to the apartment because we were all carrying a lot of heavy bags that we didn’t want to walk with. In plain words, we’re lazy. We roamed around for dinner and found this little hole in the wall which served a variety of modified Malay food that tasted nothing like it. Typical nasi goreng dishes are composed of an explosion of flavors, but this one just tasted bland. It’s like eating a spicy paper. It was such a disappointing dinner.
On our last full day in Singapore, we went out to Suntec City to meet up with one of our cousins. While we were waiting for him to arrive, I spotted this store selling *dun dun dun* more quirky things and went inside. Look at that nice bag! I snapped a photo to send C because we both have developed dangerously expensive shopping habits.
Dad initially wanted to look for a buffet to eat in, which I vetoed immediately. I was wearing a body-hugging cropped top, and I don’t plan on subjecting myself to tummy tucking aka not breathing for the entirety of the day we were out. We headed to Tony Roma’s instead for lunch and ordered a spread that we didn’t even finish!
It is in Suntec City where you can find the Fountain of Wealth. You can actually head inside the fountain on specific times and there are instructions posted outside on how to wish for wealth in the fountain. You’ll have to touch the water while circling the fountain three times. I’ve done this every single time I went, but I’m not yet wealthy.. don’t let me down, fountain. Haha!
For dinner, I wanted to try out the sushi restaurant near the apartment that had plates of sushi in a conveyor machine and the family was convinced to go. It was something I wished to do in Japan but didn’t get the chance to. For the most part, the sushi tasted okay. The hard part about it is that you don’t realize how much you’ve been eating, only to find a pile of plates at the end of your meal. Overall, it was a satisfying last dinner in Singapore. <3
A few floors up the same building where the sushi place is located is an ice cream place that serves coconut ice cream. Dad swears by it and buys us ice cream served in a coconut bowl. Definitely not something you can eat while walking.
We went back to the apartment, with our tummies full of sushi and ice cream, to pack for our flight. We were flying out the next morning so we needed to leave by 6 AM to make sure we make our flight. The best thing about traveling in a group is that I had other people with me with suitcases where I can stash some of my other things that wouldn’t fit. Haha! As much as I’ve gotten better at making sure everything fits in my luggage, I bought some bulky items during this trip like books and bags for C, and I had a few wayward items left that my brother had room for in his luggage. Thank you travel gods!
At the risk of sounding too much like I’m bragging, I would have to say that this is the trip has been the most gratifying so far. I’ve done a bit of traveling but being able to save up and afford to bring my siblings along made me so happy. I have zero regrets about saving up all the overtime pay and night shift money on these two. I can’t help but wish that I was able to do the same for mom. However, I try to live every day as my mom’s legacy, and I hope that wherever she is, she’s proud. <3
As this is my last post with content from 2016, I wanted to share that at 25, that “oh shit I’m falling behind my peers” feeling is a constant, nagging one. I’m lucky I have a great support system, and, a ’30-before-30′ bucket list I made when I was 21 (after graduating), to remind me that I’m actually doing great – not in comparison with other people, but with the goals I’ve set for myself. Last year I ticked off ‘Travel to 10 different countries’ and a couple other things from the list. My 21-year old self would be quite proud. <3
TEESH || 25 || PHILIPPINES