Greeted by a copious amount of smog, I landed on the afternoon of a September in Changi. My dear friend, Yu Ling, waited for me so she can take me to her home in Yishun. It was barely an hour after my arrival that we had to jump to meet with Ade and get some grub. The grub we planned probably years beforehand until I visited again. If you ever get a chance to talk to them, never mention my name and the word ‘corn’ in the same sentence. Please, just, don’t.
The main reason I flew to Singapore again was because my friend, Melissa, got me tickets to the Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention 2015 (still a mouthful for me, I just call it ‘convention’) weekend. The previous year, I missed it, and was only made aware roughly a month prior to the dates. But I promised that I will attend this year’s, so I did!
The inner geek in me was so happy to be in a place where I knew I belong. Star Wars everywhere. Nintendo, DC Comics, Doctor Who, even RWBY was there! Thank you as always for your generosity, Melissa; for this awesome birthday gift and the wonderful dinner!
Another highlight was when Yu Ling and I finally — FINALLY — went on our Universal Studios adventure! We are both adrenaline junkies so you can bet we have been planning to go for years since we started talking about roller coasters. In an odd twist of fate however, the Singaporean government suddenly announced that that Friday was going to be poll day, aka a holiday. Needless to say, we did not get to ride the Cylon, the most extreme of all roller coasters in the park. It was so jampacked that the gate had to close 30 minutes before actual closing time. It wasn’t the end of the world but it felt like it!
I remember years ago when my friend and I went to Chinatown, the wrong side. Yu Ling laughed at me on social media until she took me to the right Chinatown, finally, after I met with another Singaporean friend, Shannon, who encouraged me to spend my last dollars on clothes. One word about Chinatown night: food. Food is always amazing in Singapore. (I gained weight when I went back home.)
My long time friend from Manila, Kevin, saw my post of the Gardens on Instagram, and asked to meet up with me. We caught up and went on to do very tourist-y things like take photos by the Merlion. The amazing thing about that afternoon was when Kevin said he was meeting some friends who were visiting, too, but when I met them, they turned out to be the owners of Comic Alley! Okay, so, during the convention, Comic Alley was probably the only comic depot with enough materials to fangirl over. It was quite a twist, to say the least. (Nice meeting you there, Kevin and Menchie!)
The night before my flight back to Manila, I was shaken awake by Yu Ling. I was about to be annoyed because, honestly, who doesn’t like sleeping? But I couldn’t be! She handed me a slice of cake and sang ‘happy birthday’ to me, with her mom even joining in. It was such a wonderful surprise, being the icing on my vacation’s already sweet cake.
Oh, and I stumbled upon a TLC Festival that weekend, too. Just thought it was worth noting although no actual celebrities that I watch were there.
I always enjoy being in Singapore despite how tiny (and easily boring it could get) the country is. Probably because any city, despite the size, that’s efficient, clean and houses a wide variety of food is a comfort for me. There’s no question that I will always make room to go back again and again, also because I have really good friends to visit.
P.S. There is a little treasure in one Yishun hawker center. If you or anyone you know would care to travel up north about 15-30 minutes from Marina Bay, get a plate of chicken rice from one of the hawker centers there. Promise, getting lost will be worth it.