It’s been one week in Singapore, and I’ve barely had a chance to sit down apart from sleeping. Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s been going on for those curious, or just want to do a bit of healthy stalking.
Wednesday: Arrived around noon Singapore time and checked into our hotel where we will be staying for the next month. Then got some blood taken to make sure we weren’t disease mules, clambering across the border to infect a nation with HIV, Hepatitis, and Republicanism.
Thursday: We got up, ate some free hotel breakfast and got our bank accounts set up and our badges made for Resorts World Sentosa. When I asked how it looked the nice man taking the pictures said, “Looks good!” Apparently looking like a serial killer is desirable here.
For dinner we went to The Banana Leaf Apolo in little india where instead of plates, you eat off a giant banana leaf. The food was fantastic, but considering the fact that it was my first real meal in singapore, and Indian on top of that, lets just say I spent a fair share of time sitting on a white throne later that night.
Friday: With friday off we went down and explored Sentosa Island. Rode the cable car across, hit up the gym, and went to a party with a bunch of the current Universal cast in Clarke Quay. It is here that I came to discover that 90% of my coworkers were gorgeous Australians. Even better, apparently straight men are a rare commodity in this crowd. Even better than that, I’ve got the serial-killer-vibe DOWN.
Saturday: A few of the other newcomers and I, hit up Mustafa Centre. HOLY BALLS. Okay, it’s really hard to describe this place without actually going in. But if you can imagine a Walmart, Target, K-Mart, Safeway, Sears, Best Buy, Wallgreens, Home Depot, and a homeless shelter combined, it would be about half the size of this place. It just keeps going, and going and going. I’m pretty sure I changed time zones while walking from one side to another.
Later that night, we went to this place called the Blu Jaz Cafe, an awesome restaurant and music venue over in the Arab District. Spanning three floors with great food, it was hard not to have a good time here. First floor – main area of sit down eating with live jazz and violin. Second floor – dance club and full bar. Third floor – live music venue with full bar along with the menu from the first floor. I’ll definitely be back.
Walking around a mile at 3:30AM back home, it never for an instant felt that some creepy man with combover would step out of an alley way and request I be their sex slave in a sultan’s pleasure room. We did however run into five or six friendly Germans who were headed to Orchard Towers, otherwise known as the “Four Floors or Whores.” (Prostitution is legalized and controlled here.) They were very confused as to why we were headed home.
Sunday: I went and hit up the Singapore Botanical gardens including the National Orchid Garden of Singapore. With grassy fields, turtle and swan filled lakes, and lush sections of rainforest it was a hard place to leave. Later that night we hit up a place on Marina Bay for dinner. Amazing view of Downtown Singapore.
Monday / Tuesday: First day of work! Well, not really work. Corporate Induction. That says enough.
Wednesday: Training! Basically I get to just play a live video game all day. Can’t beat that. It was also staff preview night for Halloween Horror Nights here at Universal Singapore. AMAZING. I cannot imagine the work that goes into this thing. There were pits of bubbling lava, creepy demons on bungee cords leaping into sight and disappearing less than a second later, and padded rooms with strobes going off so bright that they would literally blind you for 10 seconds. You stumble around blind with the last image you saw imprinted in the back of your retina – a bloody figure in a straight jacket lumbering toward you. While never experiencing Horror Nights at Universal Hollywood, a couple people I work with said this was a MILLION times better.
And that brings us back current. So far Singapore has been a blast. It is an insanely beautiful city, filled with a surprising amount of greenery everywhere, and not a single bit of trash to be seen. If you like shopping and eating, this is the place for you. The art community seems to be quite large here with huge amount of expats. And when you do see a white person, chances are they’re Australian… and beautiful… and single… and want my body. More to come on that shortly.
With mall after mall after mall that all seem to connect to each other in the ice cold air-conditioned atmosphere underground, Singapore becomes an interconnected web of infinite shopping, tasty affordable food, and square toilets. Trust me. The toilets and I know each other quite well by now.
Well here I am, sitting at Gate 120 for Cathay Pacific flight 883 to Hong Kong with a connection to Singapore. I’ve got a little less than an hour till I say good riddance to Uncle Sam’s hairy ass and say hello to my new asian world.
Bu that’s not totally true. I know I’ll miss it. I’ll miss Panda Express making me feel like was just had an alien baby implanted in my belly; I’ll miss the hours spent every day in the only true free parking in Los Angles that many seem to call Freeways. But most of all I’ll miss the people. Yeah sure, I’ll miss my friends, but there’s that lovely contention and egoism that only LA knows, that I think I’ll miss most. While I don’t know what the people of Singapore are like quite yet, I do have an inkling I won’t just be able to assume that girl at Starbucks with the blonde hair with her hand on her hip isn’t a downright bitch anymore. While the main reason will be that asians rarely have blonde hair, it’s partially because chances are a pretty girl in LA is an actor, and hates her job working at Chili’s .
Okay they’re calling me on the plane now so I’ll have to cut this short. See ya on the other side. Literally. The other side of the World.
Alaska just won’t let me go. It’s got the grip of a dead homeless man, frozen on the streets of Anchorage in December.
Around 3:00 PM Sunday I left Homer, riding with my dad on the 5 hour drive to Anchorage where he dropped me off. Noon the next day I was still at the airport ironically named for a senator who was still alive at the time of the naming, then died in a plane cars later. (Thanks for the correction,Shawn)
While I have said in the past that the Anchorage airport is one of my favorite airports I’ve had the pleasure of sleeping in, I am somewhat grateful that for once I didn’t have to.
US Airways Flight 217. “Cancelled for Maintenance.” To me, maintenance just sounds like more fun, but of course someone has to get all worried about safety and cancels the flight. With a scheduled departure at a lovely 1:45 AM, this left over 150 passengers stranded in the middle of the 25 degree fahrenheit night in Alaska. Because of my inherent laziness, I was one of the last people in line to complain to the gate counter. When they directed everyone to rebook at the main ticket counter, outside of security, I suddenly found myself at the front of a herd of upset travelers. Smoking past some old ladies I was sixth in a queue of 150 to fix this mess.
They gave us a number of booking representitives who I surprisingly got ahold of relatively quickly. After twenty minutes on the phone, however, they basically told me the next US Airways flight wasn’t until Wednedsday, and they couldn’t book anything with the other airlines because they were sleeping. Thus I waited. Two hours later, I had a new booking on Alaska Airlines at 12:35 PM, and a free hotel room at Quality Inn. I don’t even want to know how long it took the rest of the 144 or more people to get rebooked. I was sleeping in a bed with oddly square pillows and dreaming of the mediocre continental breakfast in the morning.
The rest went fairly smoothly. I went through security again, hopped on the Alaska Airlines flight, and now I’m in Seattle, waiting for my 6:55 on United to the city of angels. And traffic. Mostly traffic. Maybe one angel smoking crack with a bum under the sixth street bridge. But on the bright side at least his sweaty grasp is a little easier to escape from.
Update – 8:15 pm: I spoke too soon. My US Airways/United flight operated by Skywest (who is actually flying this thing I don’t know) was delayed by two hours then cancelled. I ran to the United customer service desk, spent 40 minutes at the desk while this cute little bald man pecked away at a keyboard. Rebooked once more, I’m again flying on Alaska Air to LAX arriving at 9:45. Good news is I convinced him to give me a food voucher.
Update – 8:30 pm: Alaska Air’s flight apparently is landing late. Delayed 25 minutes. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee
Update – 3:00 am, wednesday: After United losing my bag in Seattle, it has finally been delivered.
Total time for everything to get from Point A to Point B: 60 Hours.