A Travellerspoint blog

What did I do today?

rain

Since the big quake happened in Yogyakarta, my friends asked me about my family. As far as I know none of my family or relatives were in Jogja. My family are all right in Jakarta. I am really sorry about what happened to people in Jogja, I hope they are given the strength.

Yesterday we didn't get the tickets for "Da Vinci Code", we made a booking online for today's 11:30 show. We wanted to watch it here in Singapore because they said the film was censored for 15 minutes in Jakarta. Is it real? I don't know. But today we finally saw the film. Felt so long, not as enjoyable as the book.

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After that we had lunch and made a phone call to my relatives in KL, then visited my uncle at the hospital. Orchard Road was horribly crowded!! Even worse than Jakarta in the weekend. And we could tell there were many Indonesians there, maybe they went here for weekend and shopping (the Great Singapore Sale)? I heard Malaysian students are on holiday too. Plus other tourists. Terrible. Too crowded. We couldn't even walk straight without bumping other people.

Glad to leave Orchard Road! Today we didn't do "touristy" thing. Just spending the day enjoying ourselves. Still many things to do. Such as the Night Safari. Maybe next time, hopefully.

Posted by zags 05:20 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Aimless Trip and Finally...a Companion

sunny

Friday, 26/05/2006

Finished early and again thought about visiting my uncle in the evening but didn't make it. From what I remember from the afternoon till evening my day trip was aimless. I went to get the Hard Rock Cafe Zippo lighter my friend asked me to get for him - that was why I went to Orchard Rd. No other reason except that and visiting my uncle. But again When I reached the hospital it was too late. The hospital security officer was locking the doors and there were a few lifts and I didn't know which tower I should go. It was already to late to try to reach my cousin so I left and went back to my hotel. After all I wanted to have a shower and get myself representable(?) because Didi was coming soon :)

He finally arrived! Nearly one week by myself is enough - I had enjoyed "freedom" with myself :-p and for the weekend it's nice to have someone with me. He arrived late in the evening. Late at night we (actually he) got hungry so we went out to find some light food. I know that was not important to tell, I was just glad to have him there.

Sat, 27/05/2006

My last day at Carlton Hotel. After breakfast we finished packing and checked out. Business trip was over, and I would be on personal account so we moved to another hotel.

Robertson Quay Hotel. We got a big discount from the Internet. This is a budget hotel, located by the Singapore River. My room window looks out to the river view - nice. The room is small, it reminds me of Villa Fontaine Hotel where I stayed in Tokyo. And the shower room is very small, which reminds me of the bath room in Weekly Mansion Kameido in Tokyo. All are budget hotels. But frankly speaking, even with this discount rate I got here, back in Indonesia I could get a 4-star hotel in Bandung. Hehe...

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View to Clarke Quay from my hotel room

The hotel is only a few minute walk to Clarke Quay. The nearest MRT station is Clarke Quay but we must take 90 stairs down (and up when going back). No escalator nor lift, unless we take another entrance/exit which is a little further.

Didi's first day here and he wanted to shop for IT stuff! Huahahahaaaa.....!! The nearest is Funan, so we walked there. And guess what, we bought some stuff - they're cheaper than in Jakarta!

Then we went to Kampong Glam's Arab Quarter cuz Didi hadn't been there. And again I spent the late afternoon at Jamal's cafe, Deli Moroccan, on Bussorah Street.

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From there we went to Orchard Road. No real shopping except for some crazy stuff I won't write here. The clue is: it's in Lucky Plaza ;)

We went back when our legs hurt already and still had to climb 90 stairs up to the exit of the Clarke Quay station.

After having a shower, AGAIN Didi got a call/sms from his boss and AGAIN he had to prepare some slides! Yuck. It happened in Bali, now it's happening again! Arrrgh.

Past midnight we went down stair outside to the hotel's "Beach Bar" by the river. We sat there enjoying some snacks in the night outdoors.

Posted by zags 04:52 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Wasting my time

overcast

Thu, 25/05/2006

May 25, my friend Ken's birthday! And the first day we got to know each other. We should have celebrated but here I am and there he is in Japan.

Finished early again but it was raining. D*mn. I was tempted to jump into bed and take a nap, but I went to the gym instead, got myself sweaty, took a shower and got into the steam bath to relax my muscles. When I was done the rain has stopped falling and the sky is beautiful - clear blue with white clouds. I walked to the Arab Quarter again just to check the "House of Japan", which according to Lonely Planet sells second-hand fashion sent directly from Japan. But I was disappointed and didn't get anything there. It was twilight, and I walked back to Bugis Junction and had my [early] dinner after a little window-shopping. Since I haven't been to Orchard Rd. during this trip and have to visit my uncle at a hospital there, I took an MRT to the next interchange station. It was rush hour, the train was packed with people. When I reached the interchange station, while queing for the train with so many other people I did some time calculation. Since the train would be stuffed with all those people queing with me and the time was too late to visit the hospital, I walked to the exit and took some time browsing the mall upstairs. Singapore is on a big sale season, but things are still expensive!

I went back to my hotel, sank in bed continued where I left of the book I've been reading (Haruki Murakami's "South of the Border, West of the Sun"). Even though I was sleepy it was hard to stop reading.

Posted by zags 19:41 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Nice Afternoon in Arab Quarter

sunny 29 °C

24/05/2006

Having finished things early, I left around 4:30pm heading to Arab Quarter by foot. I walked through Lim(?) Seah St. - interesting & colourful restaurants along the street. On Beach Road, again I found the sign saying "To stay within restricted zone", same as the other one I saw on North Bridge Road. What does it mean? At the end of the block there's a sign saying "End of restricted zone". Hmmm... Nggak ngerti.

I finally reached the Arab Quarter. Interesting street names: Arab Street, Haji Street, Baghdad Street, Muscat Street,... I found Samar, the restaurant Elaine recommended me to try. I didn't try it then, not yet. Still wanted to walk along and enjoy the late afternoon outdoors.

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I found the Sultan's Mosque but didn't enter. Maybe I'll enter when I go there again. Then I found this interesting part of the area in front of the mosque: Bussorah Street. This street is closed for motor vehicles. Along there are shops and small cafes & restaurants with tables outside. I really enjoy the atmosphere there. There's a bookshop with a very cosy interiors - carpets and sofa in front of the bookshelves, and the air conditioner is cool, felt good when I enter the place after being exposed to the heat and humid air outside.

I was taking photos of the neighbourhood when I realized my polarising filter was dirty! Arrgh. Need to find a cleaning solution.

It was getting late in the afternoon and my stomach started to cry for food :p I just realized that late afternoon is actually my dinner time - the time when I usually feel hungry, that is (I normally don't have late dinner bcuz I prefer sleeping.) I spent a couple of minutes trying to decide which place I will pick. Then I saw this small cafe just in front of the bookshop. DeliMoroccan. Interesting, especially because I'd never tasted Moroccan food before. I walked there and took a look on the menu. A guy, the owner of the cafe, greeted me and help me with info about the food. I ordered beef kebab and cranberry tea, and took a seat outside.

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I really enjoyed the afternoon in the interesting atmosphere there on Bussorah Street while having my kebab and sipping the tea. The owner, who introduced himself later as Jamal, came and we had a little chat. I stayed there long enough, taking my time until right after the sun set - I could tell from the adzan from the mosque. I thanked Jamal and said good bye, he gave me his email address and asked if I would come visit his cafe again. Well, probably.

So I walked back to the direction of my hotel. I was thinking about going to Funan to find a cleaner for my camera filter, but then I thought I'd try Raffles City. And I found it there - no need to go futher to Funan.

I was back at the hotel happy, satisfied and...not hungry. It's always good to have early dinner, cuz I wouldn't be hungry in the evening and I would go to sleep without my stomach full. I didn't know before that I would find the Arab Quarter so interesting. And I got a new friend there. Not a bad day at all!

Posted by zags 22:41 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

From Colonial District to the Quays to the Bay

overcast 29 °C

Late afternoon around 6:30pm I walked from my hotel, back to Chijmes to take photos (have to wait before I can put them here). Then walked to Clarke Quay, then Boat Quay. Took a rest in Boat Quay, sitting by the river. It was 8pm. After giving my legs a little rest and taking some photos, I continued walking along the river to the bay where Merlion statue stands. Very thirsty and started to get hungry. Took photos of Esplanade Theatre on the bay and the Merlion statue. Walked back to Boat Quay, had a few gulp of cold bottled water, and walked to MRT station - I wouldn't go back to the hotel by foot, no thanks.

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Chijmes from the front

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Chijmes hallway

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View to Fullerton Hotel from Boat Quay

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THE Merlion

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Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay

Took a train ride to Bugis and had dinner at Bugis Junction. When I left it was 10pm, I walked back to the hotel, tired but satisfied. Instead of spending time at the gym on treadmill getting nowhere, what I did is better. I walked, got sweaty and got to many places.

Posted by zags 18:26 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

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