Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 39

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

Friday, May 31 2024 (Day 39)

I had been reaching out to some of my old Dunman friends over Whatsapp, and had arranged to meet Debbie and Zixiang for lunch today. We were meeting at a noodle store at Beach Road, near Bugis Junction, which was about an hour away from my Simei dwelling. There was also supposed to be a 100% chance of thunderstorms today, so I brought an umbrella along today after meeting John, Belinda‘s husband, on the way out the door. Spoiler: It never rained in the end (beside a brief shower while I was on the train), so I lugged around that umbrella without using it all day.

My first stop of the day was Bugis Junction, the upscale tourist trap shopping mall attached to the Bugis MRT Station, and where they felt the need to have “Caution: Floor Wet” signs next to a water fountain on the floor.

The air-conditioning was neat though, so I walked through the mall, then made my way from there to our meeting place past some random sculptures and some pretty roadside shops.

I also went down a street called Haji Lane, a “back lane” linend with what seemed to be artsy eateries and bars.

We were meeting up at a place called Blanco Court Prawn Mee, and I reached there first and commandeered a table near the entrance where I could watch out for Zixiang and Debbie to arrive, and also watch with interest as two tour buses pulled up and sent a bunch of tourists down that artsy street that I had just come up, whose entrance was next to and parallel to the front entrance to this Blanco Court food centre.

Zixiang came first (but didn’t see me initially until I took out Tigey and held him in the air) and Debbie came by shortly after that. Zixiang had run out of mobile data for the month and we poked fun of him a little for that. Debbie suggested that we eat the normal Prawn Mee that they had, as the more expensive version just gave larger, oversized prawns instead of more noodles or more broth, so that’s what we did. She paid for us all and we then repaid her afterwards.

Mmm. It was no Hokkien Mee, but it was sort of a sister dish, and all of us except the hapless prawns enjoyed the meal. The eatery was apparently really busy every day around lunch, so Debbie had planned for us to meet here at 1:30 pm just after the lunch rush was ending, and she nailed the timing perfectly, as the place looked busy but the stall queue was empty and the place itself gradually cleared out as we ate.

After eating, we excused ourself and walked around, before ending up at another nearby place called Kampong Glam Cafe. Debbie bought us some milk tea (I’m now realizing that I never paid her back for this) and we sat at a table to continue chatting with each other.

Our conversations went from Zixiang‘s new motorcycle and his exploits with a previous one, to the woes of owning a car in Singapore, the efforts needed to keep healthy as we grew old, Beano’s (Debbie‘s daughter) daycare and future school outlook, Debbie‘s art work and her aim of getting her PhD and tenure somewhere Zixiang‘s lawyer work with his company and his own dreams of the future, places I should consider seeing while I was back in Singapore, and more besides. We took a couple pictures while we were there too:

And I gave them both Edmonton postcards before they had to scatter at about 3:30 pm. We followed Zixiang back to near where he had parked his motorcycle so that we could look at it:

and then Debbie and I stepped into a nearby mall called Golden Landmark Shopping Complex to cool off as she talked about her current art project, a game set in a “strata mall” like this one, where all the stalls were independently owned instead of being owned by a parent company who leased it out. I was familiar with the term REIT malls for that sort of mall, but I was not familiar with strata malls as a term for the independent sort of mall. Googling that term gives a bunch of other malls in Singapore that I now want to visit. Anyway Debbie offered to let me playtest her game/art project when it was ready closer to the end of 2024, and I hope she remembers this as I would love to check it out. She also talked about VRChat as a medium for meeting and exploring worlds, sort of like Second Life, which I have dabbled in slightly in the distant past. All notes I am writing down here to remind me to check out in the future.

I parted ways with Debbie in the mall, and explored it a little bit more once she left the building. It didn’t have much for me, primarily catering to Indian clothing and textiles, but it was still very pretty (and reflective, as Debbie had pointed out) to look at.

I then made my way out and back through Bugis Junction, because it was air-conditioned and the outside was hot and humid. I passed a sculpture that somehow reminded me of home.

Walking on, I came across a strata mall called Bras Basah Complex.

There were signs about a book sale going on, and this strata mall apparently specialized in books and printing and exam papers and similar things to that, with the books primarily being a mix of English and Chinese ones.

I said in my dream diary that one of my recurring dream themes is exploring shops for certain gamebooks (as well as L5R cards), and this place certainly felt a bit like I was walking through a dream. I actually did find a couple gamebooks on a bunch of shelves that I ran into when I turned a random corner on the second floor.

Ignore all those no photography signs like I did. Anyway, I haven’t had many bookstore dreams lately, maybe this experience will elicit a couple of those dreams again.

This mall was not an indoors mall though, so it was also hot and humid (and probably not so good for the books left outside). I wandered on after that, in and out through a couple of other malls, and stopped for a drink at Raffles City.

It was called Iced Butterfly Pea Barley. What a pretentious name, right? The drink had warm barley beans at the bottom and then blue iced liquid on top of that, which was an interesting mix of temperatures. Nothing that really tickled my fancy in the end though.

I also saw a store named Thai Express, which raised an eyebrow for me because Thai Express is a chain restaurant in Canada.

Apparently Thai Express with a normal “i” is the chain restaurant in Singapore and Thaï Express with an extra dot over the “i” (is this considered an umlaut?) is the chain restaurant in Canada. What a weird link to find out about between my two home countries.

Finally, I ended up at the Marina Bay area, outside the famous Marina Bay Sands hotel, where I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening walking around.

I don’t think I had actually been inside the Marina Bay Sands hotel before as I always considered it far too rich for my blood, so I was either unaware or had forgotten that there was actually a huge mall taking up the bottom few levels of the hotel as well.

I walked from one end to the other and back, enjoying the air-conditioning. And the sights. And my restraint to not buy anything from this overpriced place.

I was here because there was an I Light Singapore event in the evening, with a bunch of lit-up exhibitions similar to the one that I had attended with Debbie two years ago. This time, sustainability was one of the main themes of the event and there was also a little marketplace with sustainable goods there on the riverside promenade in conjunction with an event called The Conscious Festival x I Light Singapore.

I liked this, and it reminded me of Central Market in Hong Kong, a location that I had previously visited and really enjoyed on this trip. I had somewhat regretted not buying the toothpaste from there, since I was actually out of travel toothpaste now, so I picked up a weird container of 14 toothpaste tablets for $5 from a store called Oasis: The Beauty Station which will last me the rest of the trip and make it so I don’t have to buy an actual tube.

Besides a small shopping list, I don’t actually have much else to “do” on the trip and I still have some available space in my luggage, so I would like to seek out some interesting things to “buy and try”. We’ll see if that actually comes to fruition though. I might just end up with more cheap clothes instead.

I walked around a bit taking pictures of the nice scenery. Or of people taking pictures of the nice scenery.

There was also a little festival area called Gastro Beats nearby that was free to enter:

It had a number of children’s rides on one side, a few expensive retail stalls in the middle largely focused on Indonesian goods and pet goods, a stage near the front, interesting-looking food stalls lined up near the back, and lots of tables for people to sit at.

However, the food prices here were RIDICULOUS. Seriously, there was a stall selling Fried Hokkien Mee here for $20, which is more than even the one single restaurant that sells it in Edmonton, where restaurant prices are through the roof as is, prices it at.

I refused to eat here and left the festival. The sun was rapidly setting by now, and I took more pictures of the skyline:

And then started looking at the I Light Singapore exhibits, which had all begin to light up by this point. The one just outside the Gastro Beats festival was made to look like three balls of yarn in a tree, and was meant to raise questions about the sustainability of fast fashion.

The next exhibition was a ring of lights that just looked like an enlarged bracelet or something, except that each segment of the circle (which was sturdy enough for an adult to sit on or a child to stand on) had a little sensor on top, and when covered the sensor would change colours. The entire ring also occasionally changed colours on top of that.

There were other ones in the area that I didn’t understand as well but that were nonetheless pretty.

And this giant thing visible from across the bay that was so big that I just went around taking pictures of people instead of the exhibit itself once I arrived there.

The bay itself was lovely this time of night, since one of my fetishes is a neon-lit night city skyline.

But frankly I hadn’t eaten and was getting worried about being able to find a food place in time that wasn’t $20 per meal, and the bay was far too big to walk a full circle around in order to see all the exhibits that were spread out around the waterfront. And it was still hot and humid. Singapore would be so much more of a lovely, walkable place if it was just 5 degrees Celsius lower in temperature at all times.

I walked over to Raffles Place MRT Station and took the train back east toward Simei MRT Station, but I decided to stop off along the way to have dinner at one of the random malls and stations that I was somewhat familiar with. I picked Paya Lebar and its PLQ Mall for this one, and ended up at a nice, if still slightly overpriced, air-conditioned food court inside the mall.

There I finally had my first proper Fried Hokkien Mee dish of the trip, even if it was $6.50 for a paltry amount.

This was the same mall that I had previously acquired Napatak from, and I went back to the same store to look at the claw machines too. But this late at night, the claw machines weren’t particularly stacked, even though an attendant was trying to fluff up the plushies and make them look more tempting. Also the Napatak plushie line was no longer there. I watched a couple other people play the claw machines, and they won a couple, but these claws are rigged to open on the way up most of the time, which drops the plushie back down. But at least it doesn’t throw the plushie further back into the machine like the Taipei claw machines. That’s how I had won my Napatak two years ago — the plushies were stacked so high that even the rigged drop caused the plushie to bounce into the chute.

Finally, I stopped by a Watsons drug store and bought some lozenges, specifically this one, which is from the a brand called Nin Jiom that produces a very famous and effective peppermint cough syrup called Pei Pa Koa.

These lozenges were okay! It’s hard to say which ones are effective or ineffective, but they seem to work on the rear end of whatever my coughing sickness is.

I took the train the rest of the way back to Simei MRT Station and then walked home from there. It was well past nightfall by then and I really liked looking at the illuminated HDB flats/buildings at night as I walked by them.

I made my way home without incident, took a long shower, started to uploaded some photos to the blog, and promptly fell asleep. Whoops. Good morning from the next day!

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