Have a little faith in Singapore
Morning and Happy Sunday, Earthlings.
I am so excited to write about my travel to Singapore because I just cannot get over the afterglow of it. I was in Singapore from 25th to 26th, it was just after my short trip to Penang. I arrived at home around 10 in the evening and my flight to Singapore was the next day at 11.30 A.M, therefore I had to wake up early to check-in and all. I took Tiger Airways instead of AirAsia, simply because they offered cheaper last-minute tickets (no promotion intended haha) and I would like to try to travel with another airline. So, that was my first travel with Tiger. I boarded the flight with my travel buddy, Yanka. Finally, I am so happy that I could travel along with her since she had been unavailable these past few weeks. She was supposed to join all the kooks of our bachelorettes parties, jammies and all. Did I mention about the kooks? Oh wait, here the details go.
Day 1: The arrival and The Kooks
We arrived at Singapore approximately around 12.35 P.M and it was an on-time landing, everything was so convenient. We landed at Changi's budget terminal and that was my first time being there. The terminal was not as crowded as LCCT, which was good, and it was smaller. To reach the MRT station, we had to travel to Changi Terminal 2 by provided shuttle bus then caught train to the city. Our destination was Chinatown, because that was where our hostel located. The single MRT journey costed SGD 3.20 and it took about 30 minutes from Changi to Chinatown.
We stayed at Wink Hostel, and boy, the hostel was just perfect. I found out about this hostel from internet as I searched for hostels in Chinatown. It was another first time for me, and Yanka, to stay at hostel. Therefore, I was searching for the most comfortable and safest hostel possible. Both of us agreed to stay at hostel that would provide all-female dorm. Many hostels in Chinatown had their male and female guests mixed in one dorm, but in Wink, they provided one dorm for female. From the description "indulgence of a budget" and the pictures they put on their website, I was really attracted to stay there, and they were not exaggerating. It was a really nice place to stay.
We were staying at Saga dorm. The staff explained that Saga was named after the oldest tree in Singapore. As I entered our room interior theme was orange... nice. Each room has different color theme and name, by the way. There were 6 beds made of 3 bunk beds inside the dorm. Yanka got the top bed and I slept at the bottom. For one night stay, it charged around SGD 50.
my bed inside the dorm
Compared to many hostels in Chinatown, the price was rather expensive but obviously not overpriced! The hostel was clean, safe and nicely decorated. The staffs were helpful, either online or on-the-ground. I wish we could stay longer in the hostel as I hoped to make friends and adventures with other guests that came from different countries. Well, maybe next time.
Around 5 in the evening we moved our way to the concert venue, Esplanade. Oh yeah, did I mention about The Kooks earlier? Yup, we travelled all the way to Singapore to catch them live! We are huge fans of The Kooks, especially, Yanka. She was dying to see Luke Pritchard on stage. As for me, The Kooks reminds me most of my high-school years, in which, I used to be very conscious about music trends, and I got hooked by The Kooks and they have been my favorite British/Indie band ever since. Before the concert start we were chilling down by the bay and found some drinks to 'buka puasa'. The concert starts at 7.30 and guests were advised to be seated at the venue approximately 15 minutes before the event starts. However, Maghrib in Singapore started around 7.18 and they would not allow us to bring in drinks in venue, or probably the worst, we could get fined... It is Singapore after all hehe. So, we chose to stay outside a little while and longer to wait for 'buka puasa', after all the band would not start to play sharply at 7.30, would they? There was also an opening act by The Sets and it gave us some space of time to drink first.
at the venue
The Sets performance was good as well. By the way, Yanka and I were not seated next to each other though, she was on the level 1, she bought the 1st class ticket and I was seated on the first foyer because I bought the 2nd class one. We were separated and I thought it was going to be rather awkward and dull watching concert without company, but it turned out to be as rocking anyways.
I sat next to group of teenagers. They looked like a group of teens who appeared a lot on my Tumblr timeline, and the boys made me comment, "what one direction are doing here?". I highly doubted that they like or even know the band, and I was right... whoa, I sounded like The Kooks-expert here. Anyway, I did not mean anything, the show was obviously opened for anyone. Next to my left was a working man who looked like just came back from office with all shirt and black pants. That was very awkward indeed, but he seemed to enjoy the show anyway... but he sat. I was like, "one does not simply sit during The Kooks' performance!" Anyway, Yanka also complained about the same thing on the 1st class. She overheard another tumblr-ed bule guest on the 1st class asked to her friend, "What is this band called, The Kooks or the Klooks?", listening to her that I was like, "let's trade our tickets, missy!" But there are always a situation similar like this in every concert and it can be irritating for those who are dying to wish to watch their favorite musician closely.
Anyhow, after 5 songs from the opening act, The Sets, who claimed to be nervous to open for The Kooks--but you guys were rocking--and very teasing long break after that, on 8.30 The Kooks was finally on stage. My friend Yanka, and the other guests who sat on the 1st class were all moving from the seats towards the front of the stage, and I was like very envy but supporting her who struggled forward and through until she reached the stage close enough. She could not move any further later on, because the very front part has been reserved for some guests , I dunno, maybe the groupies? or any special guests...
the kooks on stage
Finally Luke and the gang were all onstage and opened the concert with "Seaside" and people were singing along. I remember before we entered the hall there was a precaution that said the concert will use strong lighting and haze effect, or something like that, and they were not joking. The lighting and stage appearance were indeed... premium. Before this, I was watching Sara Bareilles in Esplanade as well, but the lighting was rather calm than this and less theatrical. They also provided the guests with complimentary earplug just in case if the music were just too loud.... they did mean it! I decided not to take any because nothing is too loud for The Kooks!
After Seaside, they were playing some songs from Junk of The Heart, their latest album, such as "Runaway","Is it Me", "Killing Me" and my favorite, "Rosie". It came to my surprise that they also played "Sofa Song"! It is the first song that is responsible for getting me hooked with the band! I did not expect they would play the song since the song was one of their early records yet I was satisfied then they moved on to their early songs such as "Jackie Big Tits" that was performed acoustic by the frontman, Luke Pritchard. The some groovy tunes like "Ooh La" and "Do you Wanna." There were some songs from their early albums which I am not familiar with, but I was grooving to it anyways, and there were songs that I expected them to perform but they did not such as "How'd you like that", "Petulia" and "Mr. Maker"
The most theatrical performance was "Saboteur" the song that they only published on youtube. Fortunately, I watched the video before watching the concert so I was aware beforehand haha. The performance was very galant, it was starting really ballad, and then rocking, and then ballad, and then rocking! It was awesome. I liked the part when they put limelight to Luke who played the piano.
They also performed my other favorite tunes such as, "Sway" and "Always where I need to be". Anyhow, I did not scream for the encore. It was not because I did not want them on stage but otherwise, I expected them to come back onstage anyway and perform their hit, "Junk of the Heart"... and they did! Plus, they played "Naive" at the end of the concert.... MY LIFE WAS COMPLETE! By the way, I notice a girl threw a bra on stage during the encore, and I was made to realize, so this is happening in rock concert, huh?
It was a great concert that I will remember for a lifetime. Eventhough, I was separated from my friend and be seated next to strangers, I enjoyed it so much. It did not matter how loud I screamed and get all groovy all by myself that the person next to me would glance quizzically at me as if I am a crazy person... next time they'd be performing in country nearby, I would really like to but the 1st ticket so I could meet Luke and get all Kooks around him. He is a very jumpy lead singer and interactive!
The concert ended at 10 P.M and we got to eat dinner before leaving for our hostel. Ever since, I attended the concert, there were no days without The Kooks songs.
Day 2 : The exhibitions and The departure
We had our sahur on the hostel and we also had complimentary of bread, jams, juices/coffe/tea and cereal by the hostel aside from Chicken Wings we bought from McDonalds. After sahur and morning prayer I continued to sleep and Yanka was preparing for her early departure back to KL. She was taking the morning flight around 9 in the morning. By the time she was boarding, I was fully-awake. I was getting ready to check out and travel around Chinatown to buy some souvenirs before heading to something I long await for... The Harry Potter Exhibition!
Art and Science museum in Marina Bay Sands
The exhibition was located on Marina Bay Sand's Art and Science Museum. The admission fee is around SGD 20, but since I bought another ticket to Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of eternity exhibition as well, it costed me like SGD 24 plus complimentary of 6 cans of Coke... then I thought what a waste of compliment during puasa. I knew these 6 cans would be thrown to trashcan anyway on the airport.
Weasley's flying car on the entrance
Anyhow, I felt really excited and awkward to enter the exhibition alone. The others went with their family, friends or partners. I managed to take a picture alone in the photo booth though, which was very pathetic and rather turned out like "forever alone" picture with me, a castle and Gryffindor scarf. We entered the museum first with a row of well-lit Harry Potter movie posters and then we were having interactive session with the sorting hat. Then we were watching the complete reel of Harry Potter movies... I did not know for others but it was very emotional for me knowing that Harry was growing as the same as my and my friend's ages and times (in the movie) and knowing that it all ended. It gave me chills.
After the reel, we were free to explore the inside of the exhibition. There were common room, the great hall, the forbidden forest and the classrom, and we could even pulled out the Mandrake roots and I did. I was nervous at the first time because it looked so real.
I did not know whether the displayed clothing was the one that were actually worn by the actors, if they were, then I could imagine the actual size of the actors, like Emma Watson, Dan Radcliffe and even Robert Pattinson--yup, apart from being Edward, I think he was so charming for Cedric. The setting was very interactive, we could see moving pictures, not movies, but pictures with moving characters, you know, like the ones they always show and describe in movies and books, which created a real experience of Hogwarts. I could also see Fat Lady! What caught me the most was the Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem! Unfortunately, I could not snap a picture of it since they prohibited photography inside the exhibition.
The real temptation was the shop! So many things going on from Broomstick, Hedwigs stuffed dolls, posters, collectibles such as badges, galleons, wands, and the deathly hallows necklace! There were also books and posters. But I could only manage to buy few... insufficient budget. I also bought the cheapest item sold there which were Bertie Botts all flavored beans (and I did try them all with my brother and his friends the day after) and the chocolate frog.
what my galleons (or SGDs) are spent for...
After the Harry Potter exhibition I moved to the Andy Warhol exhibition, it was just for killing time really, my flight were still 5 hours away, so I spent another hour wandered there and to the main art science museum at the top level.
But, Andy Warhol is one respectable artist after all and I would like to pay a visit to his exhibition. The exhibition was located on the Basement floor and the 3rd floor. The basement showcased Warhol's influence on S.E Asia's artist and artwork and the 3rd floor was where all his work showcased. I watched some of his featured. I like the video where he captured the sight of Empire States from the dark to dawn but it took like 8 hours and it showed nothing but the Empire States building, as Warhol quoted, "I just happen to like ordinary things.", but surprisingly those ordinary things that created his signatures that people would remember for a lifetime. It was interesting to see his works and visited "The Factory". I watched some of interview videos of him and I liked the way he always appears cool and rather ignorant. He was like, "I don't know" with giggles under his shades, when he was asked about government or people that came against him and his artworks. Artsy, he is.
And there that was, the final travel story... for now. I hope there are many travel stories to come and to share with you. I write my stories, by all means, I am not boasting or anything.
I write whenever I feel there's a cause for celebration, that I want to be always celebrative. So, I encourage you, if you have any stories to tell, write it down, share and be celebrative about it :)
Just have a little faith in you.
After the travel...
I arrived in KL around 7.30 P.M and I had to buka puasa whilst walking down the immigration counter, as always, buka on the road. I was so cranky because I had so many things to packed and I was extremely tired from the ongoing travel. It turned out that I have lost my travel bag lock and I had to buy a new one (then in the morning I lost the new lock again, and I bought for the second one) I looked so awful and all wrinkly cranky when I visited the convenience store to buy boxes to pack my unexpected overloading handcarries, then I decided to buy add-ons for extra baggage. It was so tiring. I was so tired that I missed the alarm for sahur!
The next day, my flight to Palembang was supposed to be on 1.00 P.M but it was delayed to an hour later. I was like all exhausted and trying to be patient. I arrived at Palembang around 3.00 P.M and a hour and half later I was busy helping my mother--I would really like to run and hide but I could not--since we were holding a giveback event for Ramadhan. It was a good deed after all, and I was glad that the event turned out good.
After that, and now... let me sign out for a good rest.