08.09.2006 - 08.09.2006
I woke up really early that morning, about 5.30am. Not because of the jet lag but because we were next to a mosque which broadcasts the prayers which Muslims do every morning. I soon drifted back off to sleep and woke again at 10am. I went to the showers, which were actually larger toilet cubicles with a shower on the wall, and had a nice long shower. I forgot to mention the humidity here is almost unbearable. Two showers a day are a must!
After having a shower I went downstairs and had my free breakfast and went on the internet. What I was actually doing was putting off going outside, as I was too chicken! I decided to speak to the guy behind reception, who gave me a map and marked out places to see and to go. So I took a deep breath and ventured out into the city. The first thing I did was go the wrong way. I turned left instead of right out of the road and walked for about 20 minutes before realising. So I turned back and tried again. This time I got it right and was soon amongst the high rise buildings. I stopped and sat on a wall to get my camera and to have a drink, as the heat was unrelenting. After taking a couple of pictures I stood up to find the wall was covered in ants and so was I!
When I was sure I had de-bugged myself completely, I carried on and reached the Raffles Hotel. I took a couple of pictures of the building and of the man at the entrance, supposedly the most photographed man in the world. I had a look around the building but it just seemed to come across as an old fashioned, expensive care home for old people, rather than a hotel. Highly overpriced, if you ask me! After Raffles I walked back to Sleepy Sams, I was starving but all of the cafes or restaurants were Indian or Asian and I was too scared to ask for anything. So back at Sleepy Sams I resorted to another batch of toast.
Earlier in the day, I had seen a tour for Sentosa which left Suntec city at 6pm. Suntec was only up the road so I set off again. I reached Suntec with plenty of time to spare but there were three bus stops. I asked a security guard which stop I should wait at and he pointed out the stop at the front of the building. I had 15 minutes to wait, which wasn’t long , but when quarter past 6 came and I had been sat at the stop for half an hour. I knew it was wrong! I walked back around the building and found the stop for the Sentosa tour myself. The security guard had sent me to the wrong place.
I was so upset, I cried all the way back to the hostel. Maybe travelling wasn’t for me, I was hopeless at it. My first day and I got lost, was too scared to go outside, could only eat toast, got covered in ants and missed my tour. Now I was going to have to sit in the hostel on my own, all night. I got back to the hostel and got myself some more toast. I sat outside with a fag and a brew and contemplated what I should do next. Should I stick it out for another day or two or just cut my losses, accept that travelling isn’t for me and go home. I could probably still get my old job back. What had I got myself into??
About 15 minutes of pessimistic thoughts went by, when a lad walked out of Sam’s looking as lost as I felt. I asked him if he was ok and he explained that he had also just arrived and had got himself lost in the city that afternoon – for 6 hours!!! His name was Matt from Barnett, he had just arrived from a year in Australia and he was hotter than the weather (and that’s saying something). A saving grace, he made me realise that it doesn’t matter how long you have been travelling for, no-one knows what to do when they reach a new place, it’s just a matter of realising the fact and getting on with it.
We were talking for about an hour when an Australian girl called Carmen came over and explained that she had also just arrived in Singapore and would like to know if we wanted to get something to eat. So we went to a small café up the road which was served Indian food. I didn’t know what to order, so I copied Matt and he made a good choice. We had chicken curry and rice with roti (which is like noodle bread). We chatted and stuffed ourselves with delicious food and were so full at the end of the meal that we didn’t want to do anything else. I talked about the tours around Singapore and Carmen she would join me tomorrow on them and we could spend the day sightseeing tomorrow.
Carmen and I sat outside Sam’s for a bit and Matt went up to the dorm and chatted to Steve, the mad scouser, from Walton. At around midnight me and Carmen went to bed and agreed to meet for the tours the next morning.