Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 38

Where The Wind Takes Me Series - Table of Contents

EntryNotable Places/EventsStart of DayEnd of Day
Day 0 - Apr 21-22 2024Plane (Edmonton > Calgary > Tokyo)Edmonton, CanadaTokyo, Japan
Day 1 - Tue Apr 23 2024Akihabara, Sensoji, Tokyo Sky Arena, Taiwan Food FestivalTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 2 - Wed Apr 24 2024Nezu Shrine, Tokyo National MuseumTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 3 - Thu Apr 25 2024Akihabara, Ginza, Yurakucho, Bocchi the Rock! Exhibition (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 4 - Fri Apr 26 2024Craft Gyoza Fes, Niku Fes, Odaiba, Kameido Tenjin ShrineTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 5 - Sat Apr 27 2024Niconico Chokaigi 2024Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 6 - Sun Apr 28 2024M3-53Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 7 - Mon Apr 29 2024Train (Tokyo > Osaka)Tokyo, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 8 - Tue Apr 30 2024Tsurumibashi, Expo Commemorative Park, Osaka Station (with Miyu)Osaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 9 - Wed May 01 2024Kyoto, Takenobu Inari Shrine, SaiinOsaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 10 - Thu, May 02 2024Train (Osaka > Tokyo)Osaka, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 11 - Fri May 03 2024Reitaisai 21Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 12 - Sat May 04 2024Japan Jam 2024 (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 13 - Sun May 05 2024National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 14 - Mon May 06 2024Plane (Tokyo > Taipei), Liaoning Night MarketTokyo, JapanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 15 - Tue May 07 2024Taipei Main Station Underground Mall, Ximending Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 16 - Wed May 08 2024Shilin Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 17 - Thu May 09 2024Raohe Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 18 - Fri May 10 2024Songjiang Market, Guang Hua Digital Plaza, Shida Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 19 - Sat May 11 2024Dihua Street, Huaxi Street Night Market, Guangzhou Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 20 - Sun May 12 2024Gongguan Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 21 - Mon May 13 2024Plane (Taipei > HK), Train (HK > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelTaipei, TaiwanGuangzhou, China
Day 22 - Tue May 14 2024Zhongfu Square, Alpaca Sighting (with Kel), Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 23 - Wed May 15 2024Panyu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 24 - Thu May 16 2024Nancun Wanbo (with Kel), Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 25 - Fri May 17 2024Train (Guangzhou > Xiamen), Zhongshan RoadGuangzhou, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 26 - Sat May 18 2024Xiamen Railway StationXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 27 - Sun May 19 2024Mingfa Shopping MallXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 28 - Mon May 20 2024Train (Xiamen > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelXiamen, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 29 - Tue May 21 2024Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 30 - Wed May 22 2024Tianhe Computer Town, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 31 - Thu May 23 2024Comic City, Shangxiajiu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 32 - Fri May 24 2024Train (Guangzhou > Hong Kong)Guangzhou, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 33 - Sat May 25 2024Wan Chai, Temple StreetHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 34 - Sun May 26 2024Chungking Mansions, Nathan Road, Ladies' MarketHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 35 - Mon May 27 2024Central Market, Sino CentreHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 36 - Tue May 28 2024Tea at Minimal (with WingBenny), Dragon CentreHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 37 - Wed May 29 2024Plane (HK > Singapore), Tampines N2 Shopping StreetHong Kong, ChinaSimei, Singapore
Day 38 - Thu May 30 2024Tampines Regional CentreSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 39 - Fri May 31 2024Lunch (with Debbie and Zixiang), Bras Basah Complex, I Light SingaporeSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 40 - Sat Jun 01 2024People's Park Complex, People's Park CentreSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 41 - Sun Jun 02 2024BishanSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 42 - Mon Jun 03 2024Dunman High School, Katong Shopping Centre, Parkway ParadeSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 43 - Tue Jun 04 2024Hell's MuseumSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 44 - Wed Jun 05 2024Flight (Singapore > San Francisco > Vancouver > Edmonton)Simei, SingaporeEdmonton, Canada
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts!Edmonton, CanadaWe'll see

Thursday, May 30 2024 (Day 38)

While typing away on my cramped little bed this morning, I got word that one of the real bedrooms upstairs was available, because it had been booked off for one of the regulars of my hostess, Belinda, but Belinda had contacted said regular who had said that s/he wouldn’t be by until May 05, which was the day that I was leaving. So I got an upgrade for $30 a night extra, for my remaining 6 nights for a total of $350 (7 x $50) + $180 (6 x $30), which is somewhere around $75 a night, well within my budget still. And look at the room that the extra $30 bought:

Compared to that other room that was so small that I could touch both ends of the room with my outstretched arms at the same time? Yes please. The power socket wasn’t working though so I had to get that replaced, and I knocked my foot against the triangular table on the right side of the bed at one point and opened a tiny wound on it, but otherwise it was great. The bathroom here is shared with one of the other guest rooms, with doors (that can be locked from both sides) leading out of the toilet to both rooms, just like my other Singapore lodging stay two years ago. I never did take a picture of that shared toilet, but I did take one of this one. They are very similar houses architecturally even though they are in different “towns” (Simei vs Kembangan) or neighbourhoods in Singapore.

I couldn’t actually make the payment though — the Revolut link that Belinda had given me the night before no longer worked because she had hit some sort of limit from not-signed-up users through her link, and I couldn’t sign up because it wasn’t available in Canada (nor even the States, apparently). She tried giving me her bank details too for a bank transfer but she was missing a bunch of information so it wouldn’t work. We both refused to use Paypal due to fees. In the end, I told her I’d just go withdraw a bunch of money from an ATM since I wanted to withdraw a bit more anyway, and give her $180 once I got back home, which she agreed to and which I did later that evening.

On my way out early this afternoon, I ran into Belinda and her two dogs, and got introductions to them. Lassie is the black dog and came up to me for me in a friendly manner to get a pet on her nose, while Tommy is the white dog who stayed where he was and barked at me a bit.

My goal for the day today was to walk around — one of my childhood memories that I’ve briefly mentioned before was that I occasionally walked home from Simei MRT Station to my Tampines 294 home. Although we stayed in Tampines, which used to be known as the E11 train station (East 11) when I was living in Singapore but is now known as EW2 (East-West 2). Simei was its adjacent station, formerly E10 (East 10) but now EW3 (East-West 3). Their numbers might have changed, but not their positions, and I mentioned yesterday that I had basically travelled to a shopping street near my old Tampines 294 house to eat from this lodging in Simei where I was staying, as the towns/neighbourhoods were all very close by each other.

Today the weather was supposedly going to storm at some point (it never did) and my morning was taken up by moving upstairs, then by work, then by blog, so it was past lunch time by the time I was ready to go out. I wanted to go to the shopping mall at Simei to eat first, and then I wanted to retrace my old walk from Simei to Tampines and see if I could still recognize anything, as there was one specific spot that I remember from childhood memories.

The first part of that plan involved walking back to the station that I had arrived at yesterday, Simei MRT Station. I took a slightly different route back, primarily to avoid the funeral which was still going on (I could see it across the street when I walked by the area). The most interesting thing I came across on this route was a cat lazily stretched out on this hot day, trying to get some reprieve from the heat. It raised its head to stare at me and then laid back down again.

Eastpoint looked like this once I reached it.

I took a couple of pictures of some random store inside and then a little book sale that they were having in the lobby of the mall:

Before heading upstairs and finding an interesting-looking store to have lunch at. It was called Yew Kee Specialties and the specific dish I tried was called their Yew Kee Set, which seemed to be a mishmash combination of stuff from some of their other meat dishes. it was pathetic though. Tiny portions on huge plates for the cost of $6.50, not worth it at all.

While walking around the mall after lunch, wondering if I should grab any extra bites before heading out, I saw a pigeon wandering around the bottom level of the very much indoor mall.

It was obviously taking refuge from the heat outside too. It proceeded to walk into a KFC, and I dutifully followed it in and sat down.

I wasn’t exactly in the mood for an expensive burger but I had my usual overpriced whipped potato anyway, since I love that dish to bits, even if $4:35 for this tiny bowl was outrageous.

It did whet the appetite a little more though, and the bird waited around until I was done and leaving the store before it flew off as well, as an employee finally approached it with a phone while it was on this table.

It flew off deeper into the mall, I had no idea exactly where it went but I wished it all the best. While I was in Eastpoint, I also picked up a couple of cheap clothes that were just under $6 each and that I liked.

I should probably do this a bit more, I like and do need more cheap clothing to wear around the house and for short outdoor runs back home. I also need some sandals or slippers. Singapore’s probably a pretty good place to buy those, as long as they fit within the luggage bag, which they should as I don’t really have much of a shopping list to buy for the family this time.

I also wandered into a Daiso store, which is supposed to be a 100 yen Japanese store. Even allowing for import fees and such though, their prices were ridiculous.

100 (and 150) yen items cost $2.18 SGD, which is the equivalent about 250 yen currently. Wow. I did see one of my favourite drinks, the Sangaria Maroyaka banana milk bottle, in their store though:

But I was never going to support them at that sort of store-wide cut-throat price policy. After leaving Eastpoint, I noticed that on the other side of the station was a small outdoor row of shops as well:

And one of the stores had something I hadn’t bought from in a long time — a row of bottled herbal teas and stuff outside of the store. I had a bottle of barley — it was very warm but pretty good.

I then started my trek from Simei MRT Station toward my former Tampines 294 house, which was about halfway between Simei and Tampines but a little ways away from the actual track. The journey started with me just following the track, though.

The walking route deviated away from the track when we hit the beautifully named PIE, or the Pan-Island Expressway. I had to cross an overhead bridge to get over the expressway.

I vaguely remember crossing this road in my memories, but I don’t actually remember the bridge. The area I do remember is just after the bridge though, as I was expecting a “curvy path that followed the expressway” that “passed through a grassy area” and was “some distance away from HDB blocks”. Well, the curvy path still exists:

You can see it curving a bit in the distance as it follows the expressway that is to the right of those trees and foliage on the right side of the picture. I don’t remember the pavilion thing to the left though, where two people were exercising and doing pushups or something as I walked by. However, without that pavilion there, that probably satisfies the rest of my prophecy as well, with a grassy area before some HDB blocks a little further on.

I didn’t recognize much else from there, even as I walked onwards down the path and then deviated on my way toward my former home.

I hadn’t seen a garbage dump/recycling center for quite some time so I took a picture of one too, as two men stood atop a pile of cardboard and wood furniture.

I didn’t quite head to my former Tampines 294 house again — I felt like there was nothing for me there anymore, but just like yesterday I came within a couple of hundred feet to the block, basically within eyeshot and across a road from it. Instead, I deviated my path to head toward the Tampines Regional Centre malls that I was very familiar with from prior visits, passing a school on the way there that I wanted to take a picture of:

And then a random card top-up machine in the middle of nowhere, not even by a bus stop never mind a train station.

I eventually joined up with a path following under the train tracks again, and followed it myself for the shelter. I passed another community garden of some kind along that path as well.

Tampines Regional Centre is made up of two malls that were here when I was here 20+ years ago, Tampines Mall and Century Square, as well as two others that were not, Tampines One and Our Tampines Hub. There was also a small outdoor mall area centered around the Tampines Bus Interchange. I’d revisited this area two years ago and was flabbergasted by the changes then, but between that point and now not much else had changed yet, and there was a sort of sad nostalgia wafting through my soul as I walked through the area again, starting with the outdoor bit.

I didn’t visit Our Tampines Hub as it was a bit out of the way, but I did visit the other three malls, starting with Tampines One. I never really liked this mall though and kind of half-heartedly went through it without taking any good photographs. Next, I went to Tampines Mall, and took a couple of a sale in the ground floor mall lobby there, as well as a large Toys’R’Us store that I walked around in for a bit but found to be way too commercialized (or way too Disneyfied, I guess, instead of highlighting smaller toy brands.)

Then I went to Century Square, which due to the old L5R card shop there has always held a special place in my heart. This mall also had a little sale of some sort going on in the lobby of the main floor:

But I wasn’t too interested and walked on, exploring the stores. I was intrigued by the names of these perfumes, Nike and Reebok, in a men’s perfume store (or the men’s section of a general perfume store, not sure) that was having a closing down sale. I wondered why people would want to name their perfumes after shoes.

I also wandered into a supermarket and saw a drink brand called 100 Plus. Old memories. I hadn’t seen this drink brand in decades.

Finally, I went to a food court in Century Park called The Food Market to have dinner. I wandered back and forth for about 15 minutes, peering at the stalls and at what sort of portion sizes people were getting, before electing to have some Mee Siam Soup, the same dish that I had wanted to get yesterday but was told that that store sold it as a breakfast/lunch dish only. Well, this time, I had it for (early) dinner!

I walked back to the nearby Tampines train station after that, planning to take the train back to another station, Upper Changi Station, that was somewhat near my lodging. This was along the Downtown Line rather than the East-West Line, and it was a simple two stops to get to the correct station. Along the way, I found this sign again, which I remember from my last trip to Singapore but which never fails to amuse me because of the finality of the “no durian” warning sign, so much so even a fine isn’t listed.

I came out at Upper Changi by a nice post-secondary campus called the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and there was a huge dragon lantern there that I took a picture of.

While the walk home from Simei MRT station was primarily through HDB blocks, the walk home from Upper Changi MRT Station was primarily through bungalows. The sun was setting by that point so the temperature had fallen a bit, and I took advantage to snap a couple of pictures on the way home.

I even found a cat hiding inside a bush, watching me.. watching me.. watching me..

Nothing else of note happened once I got home, I paid Belinda the rest of the money for the upgrade, had a nice shower, then coughed up my lungs for the rest of the evening while I worked on my blog and finished up a bunch of work, including a work meeting with my boss where my “new” pair of earphones would not work on my computer for my meeting for some reason, but worked perfectly fine when I attempted the same meeting via my phone.

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