I still can’t believe I’m actually composing this post with my own laptop! I have written on and on about buying a new one, and frankly, I’m surprised no one has pointed out how redundant it was. It took me a while to be convinced that I needed one, but rendering videos via Windows Movie Maker (which is user-friendly but unfortunately limiting) and editing via Paint for months now has sealed the deal. I was using C’s old netbook and I wasn’t planning on purchasing any software until I had my own. I also seem to have an affinity for things that are hard to find, because when I finally set aside a budget and found something that fit my minimal ‘technological’ needs and aesthetic, it was a challenge to find. The search for the elusive laptop ended after five months of hunting. No, it did not end because I got my hands on it, as the easiest way to get it in Manila is to preorder (I was never the biggest fan of handing people my hard-earned money and sitting patiently while I wait a minimum of one week for it to arrive). Another alternative was to fly to Taiwan where it was surely available (if you’ve been following this travel series and watching the accompanying vlogs, even Singapore did not have it), but worry about warranty/getting it serviced/different keyboard. C went and looked for an alternative with the same specs within my price range and found me one that is also pleasing to my eyes. Yay for supportive life partners! ❤
Now the goal (here I go again) is to fix up my blog (I’ve already updated my blog’s theme, but still encountering minor issues when using Internet Explorer and mobile phone browser) and get all the posts out of my drafts before getting on and creating new ones. It seems such a feat to accomplish, given that I’ve been home for a month now and I haven’t even finished this Christmas’ travel series. On brighter news, I do think I’m back on track especially now that I’m pumped up without the itches (but still covered in patchy, discolored skin – call me Spots from now on lol). So, there’s quite a mouthful of life updates for you! 🙂
Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier that I am back to working the day shift. It’s nice to see the sun again but do you know how hard it is to wake up early? Take this day in Singapore as an example – we left the apartment by 9:30 in the morning and I actually thought that it was early! Since we were nearing noon, we decided to have brunch and eat rice for our first meal of the day. We had Japanese food this time and weird-sounding drinks that are different versions of sago’t gulaman.
Our first stop for the day is Jurong Bird Park. We’ve been to all the animal parks before, but Singapore is a small country and we wanted to have something to do. We bought the Parkhopper Plus tickets online since there’s an additional 10% discount if you do so. You can buy it in advance and visit the parks on different days as long as you visit it within 7 days of your first park visit. It’s also easier to buy tickets online since you just need to save a copy on your phone and have them scan it upon entry, instead of queueing for the tickets. Great system!
Jurong Bird Park is filled with – you guessed it – birds, and I am constantly amazed at how much Singapore values the environment. They try to contain their animals in spaces that are closest to their natural habitat. For such a small country, they put a lot of land and money to promote parks and conservation in general. I wish we could do the same here in Manila. We have Manila Zoo, but it’s unkempt and frankly, just needs to be revamped. I remember there was even a controversy with how they were taking care of the animals a few years back. 😦
(The two photos below are of my brother taking a picture of me, and the picture he took, respectively)
The park is huge! If you plan to walk the whole way, it would probably take you at least half the day to see everything. What we did was to get a copy of the park’s map, mark all the exhibits we wanted to see and board the tram to the different park stations. Once we got off a station, we explore the surrounding exhibits that we wanted to see before heading back for another tram ride. Yes, we were that lazy. 😛
The waterfall aviary houses what is allegedly the tallest manmade waterfall in the world. It was mentioned in the guided tram ride, but while I was cross checking facts in writing this post, numerous other manmade waterfalls appear when I try to search it. It’s still up there though. 🙂
If you have children along with you, the Birds of Play is perfect for them. There’s a playground and I think there are some animals that the children could interact with? I’m not entirely sure though because we only did a swift look around of the area and didn’t inspect every nook and cranny.
See what I mean about their conservation efforts? The research center has been open since 1988 and it’s where they make sure that all the birds get a chance at life.
They also have shows scheduled for the day in both the Hawk Arena and the Pools Amphitheatre. We watched both shows, which is unfortunately not on video because I usually get entranced by these kinds of display and I totally forget I have a camera with me. I distinctly remember attending one of the shows a few years back where the birds race their bicycles on the table and sing the birthday song. I wonder what happened, though, because I was looking forward to reminiscing my childhood with it but it was not included in their performance.
After the bird park, we headed to Clarke Quay. The real reason behind this outing is to try out the G-Max reverse bungee ride that was situated here. We were supposed to meet up with our cousin and dad for dinner, but we arrived early. We decided to burn our time in the food court since we weren’t sure whether there were coffee shops we could hang out in. Pro tip: always check before settling! After spending more than an hour sipping on milk tea, and munching on noodle soup, we headed up to the mall the train station was attached to.. and found out just how many cafes there were right above the food court. Haha!
To burn off all that noodles (it was yummy, though, so no regrets), we roamed around the entire mall. Let me tell you – of all the malls I have set foot on in Singapore, this was my favorite. There were so many stores that sell quirky little knick knacks that you absolutely know you wouldn’t use but is tempted to purchase anyway. There were also great finds at boutiques that sell mod clothing which I’m a big fan of. There were too many cute items for sale I was worried for my wallet!
Their wall decors do not help in trying to fight off the urge to buy everything in sight, too!
And as they say, time flies by when you’re having fun. Even I was amazed by my self-discipline when I ended up buying nothing during our entire foray into window shopping. It isn’t a surprise that I couldn’t decide on anything as there were just too many to choose from.
Dad offered to pay for our tickets for both the swing and the bungee ride, so when he got there, we went across the river to meet up with him. While walking, a couple of people availed the ride and we got to see it in action. Alas, both siblings paled and promptly backed out. They got lucky and took it as a sign from the universe that they were not meant to go on the ride when the card reader failed while dad was trying to buy the tickets.
We decided against taking the boat ride that goes all the way to Marina Bay Sands. As it turns out, the queue for the boat ride was longer at night, and we just weren’t willing to wait that long.
Dad enjoys eating in places where there’s a live band, while my sister hates it. But it’s Clarke Quay and people come here to get wasted (hopefully, not fall into the river while they’re at it) while listening to music. We walked around and ended up at a Mexican restaurant.
Aside from my sister who is also rallying an anti-drinking campaign, we all had alcoholic drinks. Not enough to even get tipsy because who I couldn’t get over at how expensive their cocktail drinks were. Ahh, we have it good here in the Philippines with our cheap booze. #priorities
We had their best-selling fajitas that I’m not a fan of. I am mostly not a fan of food that I need to assemble/cook myself (yes, that includes hotpots). I’m eating out for a reason! We also had their baby back ribs (I’ve had better, to be honest) and cheesy quesadillas (cheese + quesadillas are great anywhere, it’s not an easy dish to screw up).
We headed home after dinner and I promptly passed out on the bed. Traveling is fun, but it could get exhausting too. I find that I enjoy trips better when I don’t spend my days waking too early and having a jam-packed day to see everything there is to see. To each their own. 🙂