Saturday, June 05, 2010

Travel and sorts

Singapore
I haven’t been to Singapore since I was 10 – yes that’s about 20 years. I never went back coz I never had a reason to and was more interested in travelling across the rest of Asia although I’ve always wanted to see the museums and art festivals I hear so much about.


So I was quite happy to head there to review a few performances in the annual Singapore Arts Fest on the invitation of the organisers. Of course me being me I would always have glitches and somehow they booked me on the wrong dates and I only realised the error the day before the flight. Thank god I work in the centre of KL coz I managed to get my tickets during lunch time.

Since I live in between KL and KLIA I decided to try a new mode of transport this time. I got a cab to the Putrajaya ERL station and took a transit train to the airport. Now the ERL has a direct train from KL Sentral to KLIA and a transit train that stops in 4 places. It’s much slower but very convenient.

Oh I met another cabbie who knew me. I'm surprised coz again he was a malay uncle. I’m just wondering how famous I am in my town and it must be good stuff since he gave me a discounted price and he’s even quoted me a nice price for a trip to KLIA. I hope it’s the same price for LCCT will find out in the 3rd quarter of the year ;)

I also checked in online so I got to choose my seats before hand, should have done that on the way back but forgot all about it so i got stuck in a middle seat between 2 funky smelling people. I hadn’t been to KLIA for sometime so it was nice to see it again. I was flying by Silkair, they have lovely uniforms and were quite sweet.

Now the funny thing is we arrived in Singapore 10 minutes early but got down only 10 - 15 minutes later because they couldn’t fit the connecting bridge to the air craft. Given the last minute change of time and date, I was worried the person who was supposed to pick me up would have left by the time I got out. So the moment I got out and saw the uncle holding my name card I apologised and he told me it was probably because 3 flights arrived at the same time!

I love talking to drivers, they always have lovely stories and ideas. I asked him about the oil slick and he pointed out the different developments and things that were going on around the country. Singapore is constantly in construction, I was told.

Singapore

Arrived at Marina Mandarin and noticed the concierge staff had lovely costumes. Lol i’m always looking at what people wear. The hotel is pretty nice but their registration and checking out usually takes 10 – 15 minutes per person. I still don’t get why though. I kinda blinked for a minute when I was told they needed SG 400 deposit for the minibar! The thing is since my whole time was going to be with the program, I had only brought that much of money since I wasn’t planning to shop (not that I had time). Even though I only used around SG 60 for the whole trip, I was still panicking till I finally found time to change money on the third day. Imagine I was walking around with just SG 20 for 3 days because of that deposit! ;p

Singapore

The hotel is quite pretty but I feel that the overall look sometimes feels like the 80s but there’s art all over the place and if you look at this photo – don’t you think it looks like a praying mantis? Also because of the sky roof, sunlight lights most of the main interior. The first day at breakfast I realised there were birds chirping and immediately assumed it was a recording and so did the rest of the group. During our last dinner together, one of them mentioned a funny story.

Him: you know those birds chirping, well it got kinda loud one morning while I was shooting an interview. So I asked one of the staff if he could turn down the volume only to get a bewildered look from him. Apparently the chirping wasn’t recorded; the birds are in cages on the 5th floor! I was so embarrassed.

We: what??? We thought it was fake too.
Him: Now I feel better that I wasn’t the only nutcase! ;p

Yeah they have live birds that chirp throughout the day and in some rooms they can actually hear the birds waking them up in the morning ;p Besides the huge chandeliers, they had orchids in test tubes that were attached to huge branches like an orchid plant.

Singapore

My room had a view of Suntec  City and had a lovely tub. The bathroom is usually the first thing I check when I get into a hotel room. I come from the land who loves tubs ;p Totally hated the pillows (too soft), it gave me sleepless nights and neck pain.  

I developed a very weird habit of stumbling out of bed in the morning and walking to the balcony all blur during my stay. Weird. 


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