Arriving in Southeast Asia, Singapore First

I touched down in Singapore ready for the third chapter in this particular westbound trip around the globe. New Zealand and Australia had been beautiful, but Southeast Asia would provide culture, languages and food to surround myself in far different than what I was used to.

I arrived in the middle of the night, closer to the morning side of things. I wandered the airport going through customs and so forth, exchanging my Aussie money into Singapore cash waiting for the first train to leave the airport for the city.

I got into the city seeing brass roofed temples in the earliest of the day's light. I walked through a park and then stopped into a commuter deli sort of place, a chicken bun and a coffee to sip on while I people watched and awaited my host in the city, a girl I'd gotten in touch with who was to meet me there.

The city began to wake up as the sun did - hard shoes knocking, gears shifting and motors revving, the piercing shriek of brakes and push bikes whizzing through the gaps - morning in a city, I couldn't recall my last.

I waited a while until my host showed up and we went up to her little apartment high up in the sky, air conditioning and a few places to sit. We talked for a bit, she had things to do and I was eager to explore a bit more.

Back into the city I went, buzzing along and finding it similar to many big cities. I went to the embassy with questions about my Thai visa, but became bored and left before getting answers assuming that all would be revealed once crossing the border, no need to think any more of it.

I went to a big library and nodded out for a bit, still going off little sleep from the early flight. From there I buzzed around more seeing temples amongst the cityscape. I wandered through a market and found the heart of what I was looking for, the sights and smells of unique food that was Asia to me before ever getting there.

An excited woman in a booth (of which there were many) smiled wide and with her eyes asking if I wanted some bubble tea, I saw the flavors and said "Milk pearl please", she shouted at the woman behind her to start making it as her smile faded to passive disinterest, she'd made her sale and was done with me. There was no need to even thank her, she'd moved on. I wandered the stalls of food looking at pictures and taking in smells as I sipped the cool tea drink, finally settling on a place getting a spicy soup Katong Larka.

I met back up with my host, she'd gotten some durian fruit for me to try, I liked it. I took a short nap, helped her move her fridge around, then headed into the city with her. She wandered an Ikea for a while still looking to flesh out her new apartment, then we met up with her friend at a market, another place for me to wander and take in the sights and smells of the tasty looking food. I was happy to see that I could afford such things, and happy to see so many spicy options, I was already liking Asia.

The next day I headed back into the city on my own to explore again, starting the taste buds off with some curry banana treat and a spring roll. Thunder turned to a down pour and dipped into the nearby library to wait it out, buckets came down as I dried off until it finally ceased.

I wandered along seeing parks and hearing music, then saw some huge unique buildings in the distance that looked straight out of Sim City. It turned out to be the Marina Bay Sands Casino, so I made my way over to get a better look. I took a walk inside and helped myself to free coffee and soda and even won fourteen Singapore dollars playing video roulette.

I continued my weaving through the streets after that, eventually looking around at people until making eye contact with someone holding a phone, they let me make a call to my host and I met up with her an hour or so later. It was a pretty simple night after that, helping her set things up in the apartment.

Pretty simple visit to Singapore, the next day I'd give hitchhiking in Asia a shot to make my way into Malaysia and eventually on to Thailand. I'd learn straight away that hitchhiking is a little different around there, that people are still awesome everywhere and that good times have now borders.

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