Let’s continue from where I last left off. After the breakfast at the lovely Asanoya Bakery, the tummy was filled, and I was beat. I decided to take a nap before venturing out, and exploring the immediate area around the hotel, in Singapore.
I like to take a day (it usually ends up being the first day / day of arrival), to find out what’s around my hotel / room / home stay / hostel. This I have learned while playing RPGs. You never know when a side quest becomes your main.
I planned to do that once I woke up from my beauty sleep, which according to my weary eyes, I needed much. So, I slept most of the afternoon away, only waking up later in the evening. That’s when a friend, and I decided to walk around to find some tea. She needed it as badly as I did. And, I needed it badly. So much so that I ended up settling for some mild, milk tea with chia seeds. At first, I was highly doubtful that the above concoction would make it as my fix. After sipping on it though, it really did not taste so bad. It was just a tad too sweet for me. This tea concoction was from a franchise called Koi. It’s a great place if you’d like to try a mock-tail of the SEA sorts. It definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Dinner was with a few other friends, at one of the food stalls, at the food court in Bugis. Bugis is a big-ass shopping mall. It was very close to our hotel, and they all had some evening plans post dinner, and I had an open time-table. I went along. We settled on one of the Japanese fusion joints there, and the food was delectable. I settled on some Omurice A.K.A Japanese Omelette Rice, with some SEA curry. If you find yourself shopping at Bugis, and hungry then I definitely suggest the foodcourt there. It has everything for everyone; except for vegetarians. There’s nothing much for vegetarians.
Singapore Night Strolls & ToastBox
Night strolls in Singapore - Anywhere is good to walk, any time.
Post dinner, my friend, and I headed back to the hotel. Her friend, who is now a local in Singapore, was supposed to drop by. While she went ahead with her bath, etc. I was having a smoke downstairs, and bumped into him. He suggested we should all walk to where She was headed for a milonga. I immediately accepted, as he offered to show us some points of interests around, while walking.
We were out of the hotel within the next thirty minutes or so, walking on Singaporean streets at around 12:30 AM. The streets were empty, the weather was cooler, no rain, no clouds. It was a crisp night for a good walk. And, as it turns out, this walk was one was of the best of 2016.
While walking our mutual friend to her milonga, the local-friend started to mention things to do, etc., around our hotel. It was neat, and this set my time-table for the next couple of days. He also knew that she, like I, couldn’t do without some Indian chai. And thus, he suggested this place called ToastBox. I couldn’t be more happier! Oh, wait! I was happier; I was happiest while sipping on some Indian chai every morning, every single day, in Singapore!
Rainbow lights on the bridge, near Clark Quay.
ToastBox, it seems is a franchise, and has about 50 outlets around Singapore. Our hotel, had 3 of them at a stone-throw-away distance. Kudos, to the friend who had booked the hotel for us all. It also has what we Indians call ‘Maska Pav’ or Buttered bread / buns. That was my breakfast every single day, with Indian milk tea, made just right. Milk tea in Singapore is called ‘Teh with C’ — a local form of colloquialism for ‘Tea with Creamer’ I suppose. Well, whatever may be the case, it certainly was easier finding some good Indian tea in Singapore, as compared to finding it in Ceylon.
Indian Milk Tea is available at ToastBox outlets, in, and around Singapore. It's called 'Teh with C'. Also, some of these outlets will break an egg into your morning tea. Incase you're a complete vegetarian (someone who doesn't even eat eggs, A.K.A *pure vegetarian*), do make it point to tell the staff.
Thick Butter Toast with Sugar, and Teh with C.
Right, back to our night walking adventure around Singapore. We kept on walking, and I kept on noticing the roads, architecture, landmarks, and the streets. The city streets were empty, and I mean empty. Sure, there were cars around, but not many people walking. I inquired about it, to the local-friend. And, he termed it as a concrete-jungle-thing. Everyone goes home past a certain time, and everyone has work or school or something the early next morning. Looking around the city like that, it did feel like a concrete jungle. Now, I must add that even the streets back home would be empty post midnight, but they aren’t on most days. Most streets here are full of people, at the least until 1:30 AM.
Bars on the street, Singapore.
Around, about 1:25AM we reached the place where we were supposed to drop of our friend for the milonga. And then, the local-friend, and I started our walk back. At a junction of sorts, he headed home, and I started walking back to the hotel. About ten minutes into my walk, I felt like walking, and exploring some more of Singapore that night. I adored the emptiness, the weather, and the streets. The mellow lights, and dipping cars passing by. Call it whatever you may want to — wanderlust, euphoria, newbiness, et al. but, it was one of the best walks I’d have last year.
On my way back to the hotel.
Strolling like that, in the middle of the night, with no idea of where I was headed, it felt awesome-adventurous. Singapore, as a city, is planned, and designed nicely. They do care more about pedestrians. And, if you have a general idea of where you are in relation to where you want to be (just like life), you can find your way home. I was pretty sure too, that I could find my way back to the hotel without touching my phone or launching Google Maps. And as it turns out, I didn’t have to. I wandered around aimlessly, and only returned back to the hotel around 2:40ish AM in the morning. I had taken some photographs while my walk-about in the middle of the night, and you can see those embedded all over this place.
Central Fire Station, Singapore: On my way back to the hotel.
As a tip, it is now, and at the time of my trip there, perfectly safe to walk the streets of Singapore as a solo tourist. They have CCTV camera’s installed everywhere, and they aren’t just for show. Although later, I would find out that Singapore, as a community, does seem to have some cracks at the seams, and there are problems; but, nothing that would concern or compromise a tourist’s safety while walking on the streets there, at any given time of the day. Unless there’s something like a riot going on, which you know is like a big safety hazard everywhere else too. These problems are few in number, and occurrences in Singapore or that is what I was told. With all that being said, be vigilant, and responsible; always put your safety first.
Chimes Chapel in the Night, Singapore.
I’ll stop here for today, and dish out some more exciting tips, and places to go in Singapore, in the next series of posts.
Singapore Travels: A Series Of Posts.
There was just so much to do in Singapore, such wonderful experiences, and there’s just so much to write about, and recommend that I think it only makes sense to break it all into a series of posts. The next part of Singapore Travels series is coming soon.