I scheduled five days in Singapore to attend to various housekeeping chores. Yes even those without homes must pay bills, call telephone companies and deal with life’s little annoyances. Elizabeth kindly opened her home to me once again and helped point me in the right direction for the myriad of public offices I needed to visit during my time there.
I spent two entire days, many dollars in taxi fare and pounds of frustration (followed by copious OMs to relieves my frustration) trying to sort out various tourist visas for my upcoming travels. Not to sound all American and entitled, but come on Vietnam and India… don’t you know who my president-elect is? Cut me some slack! In the end all I had to show for my efforts were some more pages in my passport and the addresses of various embassies in Thailand, which I will be gracing with my presence next.
Singapore is a funny place to me. It is so modern, so cosmopolitan and so sterile that it seems to lack any real definable culture. Unless sterile is a defining culture trait. During my free hours I found myself strolling through Chinatown, dining in Little India, and lounging in shopping malls trying to find something assembling community.
My time in little India helped to solidify my decision to reroute my trip, which in turn lead me to the United Airlines office, where after a little coaxing and $125 I managed to trade Korea for India. Sometimes I feel like my life is one big game of Risk. “Fine you can take South Korea, but I am moving my forces to India. Nepal is next if you aren’t careful!”
My first two in days in Singapore overlapped with Jason being in town and it was really nice to have someone to be a tourist with. Mary, Jason, Ed and I are on intercepting paths for the next few months and they are like touchstones to me along the way. I feel much less alone when I know I’ll be bumping into them in Thailand and India.
Jason and I have created a fun game whereby we dare each other to eat various unidentifiable foods around the world. This game started out as good clean fun in the candy isles and bulk food sections of a Balinese grocery stores, but took on nearly deadly proportions in Singapore’s Chinatown district and I shudder to think what horrors await me in Phuket, or India.
My various chores tended to and my load significantly lightened thanks to a trip to the post office... it is time to hit a new country. Thailand here I come.
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