-flight from tokyo to singapore (spore) delayed by 2 hours. was storming in tokyo, and it must have followed us b/c it was storming when we arrived in spore.
-visiting old apartment, places i used to go to (for example, Orchard Road - known as a major shopping st.), my first job at 14 years old at mcdonalds, etc.
old apartment building
old job at mcdonalds in Tanglin Mall
new tourism building built next to tanglin mall, "uniquely singapore" is the tourism motto.
-hostel was in Little India. used to go to Little India with my family all the time. ate at the restaurant Komala Vilas about 6 times. it looks the exact same from when i would eat there with my family. their dosa is amazing.
me in the kitchen in the hostel (below 3 photos taken by Andy)
the Komala Vilas Indian restaurant
dosa (click here to read what dosa is)
-visited Arab St. area. saw and entered a nice mosque. had amazing tea. this area is also known for many fabric and carpet stores (Andy bought a nice carpet here our last day).
-went to the more upper scale Clarke Quay and Raffles Place area. passed by the Cricket Club. saw the Merlion Statue (statue with head of a lion and body of a fish - forget the guy's name, but back in the day he thought he had seen something that looked like this, but was clearly wrong b/c there were no lions on the island, but i think there were tigers, hence the delicious Tiger Beer). ate at a hawker stand (food court).
-took a 5-6 hour bus ride to kuala lumpur, malaysia (malay). malay is connected to spore by a bridge. had to remember not to drink the water and be careful of food again - spore is the only country in southeast asia where the tap water is ok to drink. when i used to live in spore i went to malay quite a few times, but had never been to kuala lumpur. overall i didn't particularly care for the city, it was just ok to me. actually quite hard to get around at first until you figure your way around.
-highlight was canopy walk in the rain forest (taken by Andy)
-5-6 hour bus ride back to spore.
-next day visited my old school, Singapore American School (click here to visit the school's website). ok so i didn't get to see the campus i actually went to because they built a new school and a new campus, but it still had a similar feel and was a great experience. i can't believe i had gone to such a rich, preppy school! but what a nice school! in every aspect. all state of the art stuff. amazing facilities. i was in awe of their dark room and photo lab. better then my university's! it would have been cool to have gone to high school there, i wish we could have stayed longer, but i'm glad we had the opportunity to at least have lived there at all.
-that evening went to chinatown. ate at a nice chinese restaurant (we had been eating at hawker stands and cheap places the whole time we were way under budget so decided to treat ourselves but i ended up getting sick from it. i don't know, i tend to get sick from chinese food easily). we tried to go back to the hostel after dinner, but the MRT (their metro/subway system) was down and we couldn't get a cab, but finally made it back.
at the nice chinese restaurant - my desert - papaya and almond cream inside (photo taken by Andy)
-next day took it easy for our last day. i got mendhi (henna - click the link) done on my hand. and ate more good food.
above: scraping off the henna (i know it looks like i'm cutting myself, but i'm not!)
below: the finished product (photo taken by Andy)
-went to the airport that night. got there around 11:45p.m. repacked my bag. relaxed on andy's carpet. ate. somehow the time passed by quickly. next thing i knew we were boarding our 6am flight back to tokyo.
-i was exhausted. run down. just from everything. still kept getting sick, sensitive stomach and whatever else.
- the heat didn't help. literally 100% humidity. i don't remember it being that hot, but i guess when you live there you get used to it.
-I FELL DOWN THE STAIRS at the hostel in kuala lumpur. that sucked. i've never done that before. it was early in the morning, i was tired, and it just happened. i had a huge bruise. it's slowly going away. and still kind of sore and hurts.
-the people in malaysia and singapore are so nice and friendly. i found them much more nice and friendly compared to thailand, laos, cambodia. its cool to see how the mix of people all get along - chinese, malay, indian, and expats, etc.
-to sum up my visit to singapore, i'll quote what my friend laura said to me about my trip, "I think its so cool that you got to go back and visit your old memories and reflect upon your life so many years ago. It must have felt surreal going back to a place where you and your family built so many happy times."
back in tokyo i met up with my brother for a few days and we went to kyoto.
geisha in the gion district of kyoto
then i flew back to the States and he went to Beijing, China for a week.
my flight was from tokyo to minneapolis and then to philly. well my flight from tokyo to minneapolis had to make a medical emergency landing in anchorage, alaska. a passenger got ill and on the flight they had made an announcement asking if there was a doctor on the flight. and then later on they made another announcement stating we were stopping in anchorage in 20 minutes. i asked a flight attendant later, and she said she didn't see the passenger, but someone towards the front (I was sitting in the back), not sure how old the guy was, but she said he was having a heart problem and was like having a heart attack, so in anchorage paramedics came and got him from the plane. and then we continued the flight to minneapolis. it was cutting it close in order for me to make my connecting flight to philly, but that flight was delayed an hour so i made it. but some other people missed their connecting flights. i have to say i really didn't mind the stop in alaska because the scenery from the plane window was beautiful.
as usual more photos on my flickr site: singapore. and malaysia.
and that's a wrap.