Hey-la from Singapore

Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Well here we go, the travel blog adventure begins.
I thought I'd just try to make it quick for now, as my hand written journal is about 15 pages already, but most of it is just a banality so i'm going to give you all the fun points to date. In Order:

I almost missed the plane on Sunday. Not by being late, as Che and Jay actually were very kind and gave me a lift to the airport, and I am glad they did. I found out when I got to the check in counter, I didn't have a ticket. That is, I was expecting to have an e-ticket as requested from campus travel - The most incompetent travel agencey I have yet to deal with. It turns out that you can't travel to Brunei on an e-ticket, as such you need a hard copy to bord the plane to and from there as they don't have facilities to deal with e-tickets. Apparently an email informing me of this and that my dates had been changed were sent to me, I never got them. Neither have I recieved any more promised emails to catch me up on the ticket debacle, even though I gave them both my addresses. Anyway, short stories, I remember, the tickets should be on their way for me to recieve on monday morning when I fly to Brunei. At least I hope so, cause I am going to be increadibly pissed off if I have to haul my 30+ kilos of crap out to Changi for nothing. So anyhow, they finaly cave and let me through without the ticket, cause they know I'm booked on, I just don't have the boarding pass. Cut to me running down the concourse trying to put my belt on, running through the gate as they announce my name cause the plane is waiting for me. Singapore airlines themself though are fantastic. the flight was everything I have been told it is, and I enjoyed it even though I was going in looking for a reason to disagree with everyone.

Since arriving in Singers, I've been fairly sedate, taking my time checking out the sights. I've done a bus tour to get my orientation, went to Kinokuniyas (The biggest bookstore in SE asia, not as big as the one in Sydney though...) and saw a dodgy japanese film. It's called Red Candy, and is basicly Ring with mobile phones and ringtones instead of videos.

Last night at dinner I was being mocked by the locals. I ordered a random dish, via my usual method (Try to pronounce the name, have the stall owner go "huh?!" at me, then pointing at the picture until they nod) and I was happy; I was being adventrous. She asked if I wanted any Chili ("Sambal?") and i laughed and said a tiny amount (fingers pinched together). Then she started showing me all the ingredients and tyring to tell me what was in it ("Cuttlefish, dried cuttlefish") To which I'm all brave and like "don't tell me what's in it, I just want to eat it"
So the guy brings it out to me and says somehting in a language I don;t understand, I say thanks and he says "Huh?!" At this point I am starting to just accept that the combination of my accent, and the fact that I apparently mumble everything anyway, means that no one here is going to understand me. I smile politely, he smiles and walks away.
I try my meal, which is mostly deep fried tofu and beans as it turns out, and I think, yeah, this'd be nice - If I liked fish sauce. It has dawned on me I am so in the wrong place for someone who hates fish sauce. So at this point He comes over again and asks if everything is alright and why aren't I eating it fast enough. So I did what any nice person would do. I smiled and ate every last stench ridden piece of it just so I wouldn't hurt his feelings. I swear the women that waited that row of stalls were laughing at me as we left.

Fastforward to today, where I was acosted by a muslim woman who thought I didn't pay for my meal at the Funan Mall food-court ($3 Sing, brilliant value, still full now). I realised after 5 min of playing ignorant foreigner until she gave up, that I still had the receipt in my pocket...
The weirdest moment today though, was when I was writing in my journal, having given into the dark side and gone to McDonals to buy a large coke. I was peacfully lost in thought, tyring to squeaze in a joke about the fountain of wealth drying up (It has, it's being renovated) when this middle aged chinese guy comes over, smiles at me, puts a piece of paper in front of me, smile-and-nods then walks off. I opened the piece of paper and read some bizare rant about the eurasians of singapore being vulnerable due to their mixed race and being used by the muslims and indians for nefarious purposes.

What is it with me here? Do i have some sort of weird Singaporian code on me telling then to mess with me.
It's so much fun being in a place where you can hear your accent.

I love being a foreigner ;P


At 10:30 am, Anonymous Jay Daniells said...

good read mate. Damn that air port check in counter but!! - bastards. Glad ur enjoying urself. Re. ur blog - we need to get u an RSS feed I reckon!?


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