Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 43

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

Tuesday, Jun 04 2024 (Day 43)

Kynji had linked this ad that she saw yesterday in Discord:

That’s all very good, but I won’t be around for another Friday, so there was no way for me to go to that. However, that name actually jogged a memory — Hell’s Museum was actually a museum curated by one of my classmates, Eisen. I’ve talked about this before previously on my blog, actually. I had forgotten all about it, but I did want to visit this, and even though that twilight tour was not possible on this trip, the museum itself was apparently open every day besides Monday anyway. And hey, guess what, today wasn’t Monday. In addition, this museum was on the west side of the island, where I hadn’t yet went to on this trip. So that felt like a good plan for my final day here.

I left my lodging around lunch time, and first stopped off at a small coffee shop called Fei Siong.

It was interesting because it seemed to be located right up against where a road ended in front of a community centre, to the point that there were road barriers dividing the food area from the road to prevent cars from just barreling into the tables. The cars were parked right up against the edge of the tables even, like so.

I went to the halal Malay store here and had a dish that I had not had yet this trip — lontong, which is basically mostly vegetables and rice cakes (and sometimes meat — this one had eggs) with a light curry broth.

Mm. After food, I took the train a long distance west, about an hour or so until i reached Buona Vista MRT Station, and then changed lines until I got to Haw Par Villa Station.

Hell’s Museum was located inside Haw Par Villa, which was a large estate/cultural park with lots of Chinese-themed sculptures and a couple of shops and museums. I didn’t go through all of it, or even a third of it, but it was very pretty.

It was far, far too hot to walk around outdoors though. Instead, I saw the sign for Hell’s Museum, and went that way.

I had to pass through a Haw Par Villa museum shop to actually get into the Hell’s Museum — the entrance to the museum was through the shop itself, and the tickets could be bought right there at the counter. The shop itself amused me because it had a shelf for Tiger Balm ointments despite being a museum shop:

As it turned out, there were also Tiger Balm themed sculptures outside too:

And apparently Haw Par Villa used to be known as Tiger Balm Garden. And even more interestingly, this was because Haw Par Villa was initially created and developed in the first place by the two Burmese-Chinese brothers who also developed Tiger Balm in the first place. Cool.

The museum shop also contained a rack of books, and I saw a book there that was authored by Eisen himself! I bought a copy of that book for $40, before then adding a ticket to the museum for an additional $20.

I followed the side door out of the museum shop to the Hell’s Museum entrance, and was amused by this sign on the latter building’s door.

But Trin‘s dog, Rhea, passed away a couple of days ago, so this sign also reminded me of that sad event. Tigey and I had met Rhea when I went to Los Angeles a couple of years ago.

Hell’s Museum itself consisted firstly of an introduction movie talking about man’s search for meaning in life and who we are, as well as what happens to us when we die, and touching on how different religions handle this and how they can broadly be divided into two separate categories, religions that were rooted in western Asia that think of time and one’s life and afterlife as a linear progresion (birth -> death -> heaven/hell), and religions that were rooted in southern/eastern Asia that think of time and one’s life in a cyclical progression (birth -> death -> rebirth).

It then had a bunch of indoor and outdoor stations showcasing different elements of life and death in different religions, with a particular focus on Singapore and local beliefs and considerations and history, like how different ethnicities handled death and cremation. There were wall info dumps, examples of pots and graves and shrines and even a coffin, indoor and outdoor sculptures, and more. The following gallery contains some of my pictures of the place.

Oddly enough, in the middle of all that, there was a little fountain pond with a terrapin that one could donatem oney to get food to feed it. I only catalogued it, I didn’t actually feed it. Sorry terrapin.

I left Haw Par Villa after this, and begin to consider what I wanted for my last meal in town. I hadn’t had a really good plate of Fried Hokkien Mee yet, so I did some googling to find a highly rated store in town, and settled on a store called Original Serangoon Fried Hokkien Mee, near Farrer Park MRT Station, which was a new station to me and on a train line (the North East Line) that I had barely ever sat on at all. I made my way over there and passed by some nice architecture and shops on the 5-10 minute or so walk from the station to the store.

The store itself was one of several stalls in a slightly squalid roadside coffee shop/kopitiam, and there were a bunch more stalls located in an adjacent space across a minor side road that might or might not have been considered part of the same kopitiam too, I wasn’t too sure. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a coffee shop split by a road though, so probably not, especially since our chairs were red and their chairs were grey, but then it would be weird that there were two kopitiams so close to each other too.

I made my order anyway and things got a bit weird here because an old uncle took my order, and a few minutes later I saw a woman pouring a plate of hokkien mee into a takeout container for what seemed to be my order. I clarified that I was eating here, not bringing the order home, and the woman said something about the uncle being hard of hearing and probably mishearing my order, and she poured my order back onto a plate instead. Then she was confused and asked what my exact order was, as in their books I had ordered two $10 plates of hokkien mee to go. I said I had ordered only one plate, and that it was to stay, and showed them the $10 note in my hand. The old uncle got chided by the woman for getting the order so wrong, and when I also apologized she said again that he could be hard of hearing and that people sometimes had to speak louder for him to hear the order or somethin. Not that I had any way of knowing (and why didn’t he confirm the order with me if he wasn’t sure?) but they didn’t blame me for it.

Anyway this plate, while expensive, was excellent, and there were smaller and cheaper versions of the dish too, I just picked the one with the largest portion to have as much as possible of my favourite dish for what was ostensibly my final meal here.

I then walked back toward the station after that very satisfying meal, passing this neat-looking temple along the way. This was the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, according to Google Maps.

There was a local mall that I wanted to visit, both to cool off and to visitĀ  the local supermarket for some last-minute items that Kel wanted. This mall was called City Square Mall:

And from the outside it looked neat, there was a little hedge garden and an outdoor playground outside the front door, as well as a downstairs area with what looked like a mini amusement area with a bouncy castle or something.

But when I got in, it looked like the mall was half-dead, even though there was a good amount of foot traffic since it was connected to the MRT Station underground and since Little India in general, where this area was considered to be in, tended to be perpetually busy. The upstairs floors, for example, looked like there were plenty of closed shops:

Lots of shops were open downstairs though, and I went down, taking note of weird escalator layouts:

Although lots of shops were open in the basement, half the basement seemed to be covered in temporary construction floorings as well, making walking around weird as it felt like the floor was wobbling a little as people walked around since there were little air pockets underneath the temporary floor.

Either way, it wasn’t a very nice mall, but the supermarket was nice and big, so I grabbed the items that Kel wanted, as well as a box of tea for myself, and then hurried out of the store before I got sick since my sweat had not dried up yet and the air-conditioning was very powerful inside the supermarket. I did get tangled up at the self-checkout stationĀ  and had to be rescued twice by the attendant, once because it wouldn’t accept my phone’s contactless credit card swipe and I had to bring out the physical card for the reader to accept it, and then again right after that because the receipt dispenser had gotten stuck somehow and needed to be untangled. But somehow I escaped with my loot and made my way home.

My plane ride the next day was at 8:45 am, and I had been trying to figure out what the quickest route from my lodging to the nearby Changi Airport was. I had several options, a bus and train rides from several train stations near me, but the first bus looked like it would get me to the airport only by 6:15 am, and only if I caught it on time, whereas the trains looked like they would get me there even later. The one exception was a train ride from Expo Station, the third nearest station to me and about a 20 minute walk away from me, which would get me there before 6 am, if I wanted to drag my suitcase along 20 minutes worth of pavement in the morning heat to get there.

I had no idea if it was feasible, but I at least wanted to try and scout out that route, so I took the train station to that line since the ride home from Farrer Park MRT Station took me to Chinatown Station for my transfer onto the Circle Line, which both my nearest station, Upper Changi Station, as well as this Expo Station, were on. So I took the train to that station, the very end station in the line, and started walking from there. The sun had gone behind some clouds by this time and was about an hour from setting, so I took a picture of the sky and started to walk home.

About halfway home, when I was standing by a traffic light with a bunch of other people, I saw one of them also snapping photographs of the sky with his phone, and when I tooked at why he was doing that, I saw that one of the clouds was glimmering like a rainbow even though there had been no rain that day since possibly the very early morning.

The glimmering rainbow cloud is in the middle of the shot there. Very neat. I wonder what phenomenon or reflection caused that.

When I got back to the house, I met Belinda and chatted to her for some time about Singapore and Canada and retirement and finances and housing prices and weather and other such adult topics. I gave her one of my remaining Edmonton postcards, and also talked to her about my schedule the next day and my different options as to when I would be leaving to be able to reach the airport on time. 6:15 am was probably fine, I said, for the 8:45 am flight, even though it would probably mean that I wouldn’t have much time in the Changi Airport lounge if I wanted to spend one of my remaining lounge entitlements (I think I still have 4 out of 6 for the year) on it there. John came by at this point, and said that either he or Belinda could give me a ride tomorrow morning to the airport for free, if I met them downstairs at 6:10 am or so tomorrow, which sounded great to me. He said it would only take about 5-10 minutes from the house. That sounded a lot less stressful than public transport, so that was nice of them!

Finally, this is a picture of the loot that I acquired today.

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 42

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 44

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