Friday, April 28, 2017

SIN --> BKK

Remember the cold that was tickling at the back of my throat? It turned into a full-blown upper-respiratory disaster.

When I got to Singapore, my nose, throat, and lungs were filled with all kinds of gunk--not to mention the headache, bodyache, and sore throat. Just in time to infect my dear cousin Erin! She was gracious enough to let me stay in her hotel room at the Grand Hyatt while she attended a conference, and I would like to apologize now to her and to her entire family for very probably making them ill.

As you can imagine, most of my trip to glamorous Singapore was spent in bed, attempting to recover--I even took a hot bath one night to clear my sinuses. But I did manage to get out of the hotel room a few times.

After sleeping for ten hours my first night there, I willed myself from beneath the covers and into the shower, and later out onto the street. I picked up some cold/flu medicine at 7-11, which helped. My first thought while walking through the crowds: HOLY MOLY I AM UNDERDRESSED. Admittedly, I was staying in a commercial area, but even so, everybody was perfectly put together, their outfits at the height of fashion.

I, on the other hand, was wearing a Harry Potter t-shirt.

Honestly, I found the city almost...creepy somehow? Have you watched the show Westworld? In that story, Westworld is a theme park created to mimic an 1800's wild-west town, where visitors can interact with hyperrealistic androids who have no idea they aren't real. Singapore seemed like a Westworld-esque theme park of a modern Western city. The streets were spotless--and yet it was very difficult to find trash cans. The MRT subway was clean, on time and efficient. Giant shopping malls were everywhere. The people were dressed to the nines, and every individual with whom I interacted, even briefly, struck me as cheerful and optimistic.

Like I said: creepy.

I visited two cafes that day: My Awesome Cafe, which was undoubtedly awesome, albeit expensive; and Dapper Coffee, which seemed more like a bar, and actually had a fully stocked bar, even though it was only open from 9-5. I went to the first cafe because the internet told me it was a great place to get work done, and I think the internet lied. I was the only one working there--all the other chic people were merely lunching. I went to the second because it was around the corner and up the stairs from the first, and it ended up being steampunk themed. Electroswing all afternoon.

I can never decide if I'm pro- or anti-steampunk. I want to like it, but the people who really like it are so--well. Nevermind. If you can't say anything nice...

I spent most of the next morning in bed as well, and later Erin and I did some mild sightseeing. A hot-and-humid-and-sweaty trip to Gardens by the Bay, where we witnessed the awesome majesty of the Supertrees. A cocktail (virgin, in my case) to cool down at the tippy-top of the Marina Bay Sands, where we witnessed the awesome majesty of a thunderstorm rolling in over the skyscrapers. A meal at Maxwell Road Hawker Center in Chinatown, where we both witnessed and consumed the awesome majesty of Hainanese chicken rice, along with other dishes--too many dishes. Yum.

And that's about all we had time for before we had to head back to the airport to catch our respective flights. I'll have to return to Singapore sometime when I'm not half-bedridden.

On the bright side, I think all the rest was good for me--I'm feeling a lot better now. The cold is definitely still there, but it's manageable.

As for my current location: I arrived in Bangkok late last night, and I conked out the second my head hit the pillow. My hostel, The Yard, is essentially what would happen if graphic design-obsessed Tumblr users were allowed to create a hostel. Alarmingly hip. Hip to the extent that upon check-in, they give you a glass bottle for water because they want to discourage you from using plastic, and the bottle says that's what it's for in a charming font, and they give you a small burlap bag to carry the bottle to and from the water machine, also printed with its purpose, also in a charming font, because these are the things you need to live an Instagram-worthy life. But hey, there's free (Instagram-worthy) breakfast!

I suppose the super-hipness makes sense, as it's in Bangkok's Ari neighborhood, which is also super-hip. Plenty of little cafes, many of which I've worked in today while taking it easy--I need my strength to catch the train and go sightseeing this weekend. I shouldn't make fun--it's a very nice place to stay for a very low price. Not quite as low as some of the other hostels I've stayed in, but still more than reasonable. I need to laugh at it a little, though, since it makes me feel old.

What will I do during the rest of my stay? Not sure. Bangkok is rather large, and I am but one human. Food tour? Perhaps. Palace and temples? Definitely. Bamboo hand-poked tattoo?

Just kidding, Mom.

1 comment:

  1. That is really good and interesting post, loved the way you narrated it. I don't think there was a single moment when I lost my interest in it. Thanks for sharing it

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