Thursday, July 28, 2005

Singapore: Day Two

Our journey began with a visit to my other cousins. They are still very young and my mom always takes the opportunity to visit them everytime we were in town. Since we didn't know (more like couldn't remember) where they lived, we depended on our uncle to show us the way.

After the visit, he took us all the way to Wheelock Place on Orchard Road, saving us the hassle of taking the MRT (although seriously, I can't imagine taking public transport in Singapore considered a hassle at all!) before going back to work. My brother became a member of n.y.d.c. Cafe & Restaurant and we were taking the opportunity to use the promotion vouchers he received and of course taste the delicious food.

We realised the restaurant wasn't opened yet so we went to Borders, a big bookshop located just below. I found some interesting books while browsing through their collection. I looked for Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. Turns out Chainfire is not out in this part of the region yet. Hmmm....would it spoil my reading experience if I read the ninth installment having not read the previous ones yet? I've not started yet and since it's such a big book to lug around, I think I'll put it aside first. I also looked for Dan Brown's books, especially the illustrated version of The Da Vinci Code. I read the prologue of each of his books and they really do interest me. Since there's just about four books to his name, I think I will try to read the remaining books by the end of the year. I was unable to find the illustrated version though. I was to realise later my mom and brother follow his books too and already have copies of them. Luckily I decided not to purchase any of them. ;)

After flipping through some magazines, we realised the restaurant should probably be opened by now. We walked in to a restaurant only to find out that it was the wrong one! The waitress was kind enough to point us in the right direction and turns out the right restaurant was just opposite theirs. Oh, embarassing! We ordered four different set lunches but we only need to pay for two (with the promotion voucher). We ordered the Yankee Stadium Pizza which had everything on top, The Meatball That Ate Manhattan Spaghetti, Parmesan Chicken Spaghetti and Spicy B.B. King Sandwich. The set lunch also comes with mushroom soup (or salad) and drinks. Since it was my brother's first dining since being a member, we were also entitled to TWO complimentary drinks dubbed Elephanccinos. We opted for the Iced Blueberry Elephanccino and Iced Coffee Elephanccino. To top it all up, we also tried their signature cheesecake, a slice of Goldmine Cheesecake. Yummy! We were filled to the brim and do you know how much all these delicous food cost? Only $51 with GST!!! What a bargain!

Next stop, the Singapore Science Centre. This was the second place which my brother wished to visit during this trip to Singapore. Again, he was too young to remember anything during his last visit twelve years ago. We took the MRT and bus there (which was such a breeze) and the entrance fee was $6 for an adult ticket. Wow, did they really put more stuff in here since my last visit! We were told we needed half a day to go through the whole exhibit. I think it should be revised to a full day visit! There is just so many things to see and do here. Since we were rushing for time, we didn't experience every exhibit as much as we liked. It's really a shame though. I guess, since it was a weekday, it was swarmed with group after group of students, obviously on their field trips. I guess the PETROSAINS in KLCC is not that bad when compared to this. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages.

It was fast approaching 4pm and we had to leave for my brother's convocation at the Singapore Polytechnic. My mom checked the invitation cards again and to our horror, the dress code was 'shirt and tie'. I was dressed in a white Reebok Polo-T while my youngest brother lacked a tie! We decided to try our luck at the convocation hall and if we were denied entry, I would take my youngest brother back to the Singapore Science Centre to kill time. So we stamped the back of our hands before exiting since the entrance fee entitles you to a daily pass.

My brother must have been a bit worried of sorts since he was not able to direct us on how best to reach the polytechnic on time. Should we take the bus? Should we take the MRT? Should we take the cab? Which station do we wait at? My mom was getting a bit agitated since we were just minutes away from being barred entry to the convocation hall. My mom decided to hail a taxi instead and it cost $5.50 which is quite reasonable.

We were really fortunate in being allowed entry with our non-conformity to the dress code. I have to say the graduation ceremony was really very well done and it was much better than my own undergraduate convocation. It was so professional done and it even had a live orchestra outside! Man, they really know how to make it a memorable occasion. The only bad news was I couldn't get my camera to work on multiple shots thus, missing the shots when it most mattered - when my brother receiced his scroll. We had not expected him to go on stage so soon since he was right in the middle of his course. Turns out, his coursemates were already on board the ships and only a handful were present to receive their scrolls. Due to the short notice, I couldn't set my camera in time. Fortunately, he's able to purchase a better shot through the polytechnic and it only cost $5 (and best of all, it was optional). During my time, if I remember correctly, it cost at least RM40 and it was compulsory to at least choose one of the packages available. Of course, most (if not all) chose the cheapest option available.

After having a small meal during the tea reception made available my the polytechnic, we decided on how to spend the rest of the day. Since practically all the objectives have been met, except for my mom's which is to spend time at Orchard Road. Since my brother had allocated tomorrow for that particular objective, he decided on Bugis instead. I took this opportunity to meet up with my friend instead. I called up my friend through the public phone but no one answered. When I walked away, the phone rang. I thought, probably my friend called back so I picked up the phone and it really was my friend. We decided to meet at the Raffles City MRT which is the City Hall MRT station which I mistaken for the Raffles Place MRT station. Luckily I clarified it with my friend first.

I took the same train as my family since we were going in the same direction - their destination was just a station after mine. Little did I know that I was about to make the same mistake as them! Turns out my brother took us up the wrong platform and we boarded a train going in the wrong direction! We switched over at the next station but we had already wasted a considerable amount of time. Since we weren't in a hurry or anything, I guess it was OK...just that my friend was already waiting at the City Hall MRT station! :P

I met my friend at the MRT station about 30 minutes or so later and we went for Häagen-Dazs ice-cream. We called for the Ultimate which allowed us to choose four flavours and three toppings, and also a cappucino which was their 'blackest' coffee available, something my friend wanted to go along with the sweet ice-cream. This outlet had quite a limited selection but we still managed to come up with a nice combination. It all amounted to about $20 which is relatively cheap. We were expecting it to be much costlier. During the conversation, I found out that the Harry Potter series is actually a good read. I guess I've another set of books to add to my reading list.

After the chit-chat, my friend took me to the Esplanade to view the night skyline of Singapore. We walked through a maze of pathways, tunnels and the sorts to finally reach our desired destination. It was absolutely beautiful. It seems that it is quite a similar scene to that of Hong Kong's but of course Hong Kong's is suppose to be much nicer. Anyhow, we enjoyed the nice breeze there and continued with our catching up.

We didn't get carried away this time though because we adhered to a time-limit. Hehehe....we had to catch the public transport back so we decided to call it a day before 11.30pm. Again, we took the same dizzying maze back to where we came from and I took the MRT back to my uncle's place at Bedok while my friend took the cab. While waiting for the bus at the Bedok interchange, I witnessed the police make an arrest. I don't know what it was for but it seems that the four policemen had waited for him there. Well, it was definitely something you don't see everyday and since there is so many surveillance cameras around Singapore and everyone feels so safe walking around Singapore, it was quite strange to see the arrest. I reached home, freshened up and decided to go through the newspapers to keep abreast with what was happening in the world before going to bed. It has been a really fun day today. A less hectic day compared to yesterday which was very nice. Well, another day tomorrow.


  1. Excellent choice. NYDC's Manhattan Spaghetti rocks!

    Btw, S’pore night skyline is nowhere compared to HK. But at least there’s breeze here. =)

  2. really went all the way back to my posts in july!

    hmmm....impressive indeed....:P