Back in May, I found a SUPER good deal to go to Singapore for a week (hotel and flights included) for $2000 in September. I was very excited because I was finally travelling again after five years!!!
Actually, for the past decade, prior to my San Diego + LA trip, I had only gone to China in 2014 for treatment, and to New York City for several days back in 2017. I had been so sick that I couldn’t really go anywhere. That is why I’ll be travelling A LOT this year and in 2023.
Anyhow, I only told several people I would be coming after I had booked my ticket because I wasn’t going to arrive until September, so I didn’t think I’d need to give people four months of notice. It seemed too much.
Because I deal with Chinese to English translations, I know quite a lot of people in Singapore, and probably had met roughly 30 people on this trip. As a result, I’ll be breaking down my posts into seven or eight (one for each day). It would be impossible for me to describe my experience and everyone in one post.
Quite a number of people had told me that my previous post was way too long, and they couldn’t remember who was who, because the letters confused them too much. So, I’ll be using their discord names or a shorter version of their discord names instead. Hope you’ll enjoy!
The first two Singaporeans I told were Fallen and Cosy. I had met Fallen over six years ago on a translation discord server. Back then, I was translating on my blog because I wanted to grow my audience, and wanted people to read my blog posts.
Meanwhile, Fallen was translating and editing on volarenovels. However, Fallen actually can’t read Chinese. He read/listened based on the sound of the word (pinyin), instead of reading the characters themselves.
I thought he was nuts because it seemed so much extra work, but I eventually met more people that translated based on listening as well. Some people could read, but not speak. Some people could speak, but not read. In the end, I guess as long as you can process what the text is trying to say, it doesn’t matter!
Anyway, Fallen was asking for help in the translation server, and I helped him out back then. I think eventually, he privately messaged me and asked me to read his novel (and I did). At the time, I was also promoting my novel and my blog.
Back then, because I wasn’t really working due to my poor health, I had quite a lot of time. I would hop onto discord voice chat and talk to random people from all over the world and karaoke with them. I really enjoyed listening to different accents, and songs in different languages!
People might find it really odd, but I’ve actually met and maintained quite a few close relationships through discord (both male and female). However, most of the really close ones were formed years ago when I used to have a lot more time to chat leisurely.
Anyway, at the time, Fallen would hop on VC (voice chat) sometimes, and listen to either conversations/people singing. I remember I would tell him to hop on sometimes to chat/listen. He rarely spoke, but he would type a lot. I even remembered playing pipa for him once and he played the piano for me before as well. But that was soooo long ago, and I haven’t touched my instrument in years.
Throughout the years, I had made numerous Fallen jokes that he did not find funny. Ex. I told him he should name his future son “Trippin” since he’s “Fallen” LOLOL. I thought it was hilarious, but he just thought I was lame.
One of Fallen’s hobbies is reading, so he read all my translations from the time we met online (and probably most of my blog posts). From time to time, he would ask me for book recommendations. We would go for months without talking, but when we did talk, it would be quite a lengthy conversation.
However, Fallen never sent me any photos of himself. I had asked for years, but he said I would only see if I came to visit Singapore. He is not a fan of social media. (Disclaimer: I did not go visit Singapore because I wanted to see his face, BUT I did want to meet him. He’s the first Singaporean I had ever spoken to!!)
Anyway, Fallen told me if I was coming over, I had to give him a lot of notice, since he had to take time off work in advance because of his job. So, after I booked my flight, I told him I was coming!! He offered to get me from the airport if I wasn’t arriving in the middle of the night; I arrived at 7am.
Anyhow, when I arrived, I messaged Fallen and told him where I was, and took a picture of the area around me so that he could easily find me. I was grumbling and sad because I wanted to get a SIM card, but the lady at the booth told me I’d need to pay $60 for a 100GB one that would be valid for a month. But I didn’t need 100GB! I was only here for a week! Sadly, she said that was the only option. Fallen told me to wait until he got there; he was probably fifteen minutes away.
Later on, I noticed a good looking guy walking towards me. I didn’t know it was Fallen. Then, he stopped in front of me and said hi, so I was like, “Uh, are you Fallen?” LOL
And he said yes. I blurted, “Why wouldn’t you send me a picture for the past six years? You look fine!?! So cute?!?!”
I was honestly so confused. I had thought he didn’t want to share his picture with me because he was afraid I’d judge him based on his appearance and wouldn’t really get to know him for who he was. But I like him for the person that he is, not his looks!
Anyway, I gave him a hug, which he did reciprocate, but if I were to describe the hug, it would be more like, “Ok, I’ll hug you since you are hugging me.” HAHA.
Fallen said that we could go elsewhere to find another place to get a SIM card. He seemed to know the airport, so I just followed along. Oh, I also got a 3-day visitor’s transportation pass for $10 for unlimited travel!
After taking the elevator and walking around for ten minutes or so, we found a shop and Fallen asked the lady at the counter if she had a SIM card for a short stay (7 days). The lady actually had one for $12 only!!! I can’t remember how many GB, but it was enough to last me (I have bad memory).
I was very happy it was $12 instead of $60. Woo hoo! Thanks for getting it for me, Fallen!
But I am really bad with tech, so I had quite a lot of trouble getting the SIM card to work. Eventually, it connected, but I was still unable to use it properly. Fallen helped me fix it after playing around with a bunch of settings, but he didn’t tell me what he did. Ugggghhh. Instead, he was constantly insulting me.
Oh yeah! Fallen brought the stick thing for the iPhone, since he asked me if I needed something to take out my SIM card. That was very thoughtful of him.
However, Fallen kept making fun of my outfit because I looked such a tourist. I had one of those camping hats on, and I tied my jacket around my waist. I was wearing long sleeves since it was cold on the plane, so I guess I looked like I was ready to go hiking or something since I had a backpack and was wearing running shoes too. HAHA.
We walked around the Jewel (the Singapore airport), and it was soooo nice. I swear, Singapore has an INSANE airport. It looks more like a high-end hotel or something. The washrooms are soooooooooo pretty.
Sadly, the water fountain wasn’t on because I was there so early in the morning. But it was already so hot that I felt like I was going to melt.
Fallen asked me if I had eaten. I said the airline served food a few hours ago, but I was ready to eat!
He then told me that we were going to take the Grab (that’s what they use in Singapore instead of Uber) to a Hawker Centre near the airport so that I could try a lot of the items I had on my list.
Fallen asked me again if I wanted to change since I was going to die in the heat, but I said I wasn’t changing until I got to the hotel. Check-in was at 3pm, so there was still quite a lot of time. Fallen thought I was insane and said I was going to die.
Anyway, the driver arrived, and Fallen confirmed where we were going in Mandarin. Most of the taxi drivers speak either Hokkien or Mandarin, so Fallen automatically switches languages depending on where we are/go. He asked me if I understood, and I did! I can actually understand 95% of Mandarin. Despite being Cantonese, I consume mostly Mandarin content (youtube, music, dramas, and shows). However, speaking is slightly tougher since I get the tones confused sometimes; but I can listen, type, sing, and read. Though, I do speak if I have to.
Fallen said taking the Grab was easier because otherwise we would need to commute for an hour due to all the transfers.
Sadly, when we arrived at our destination, it turned out the hawker centre was under renovations, and that it wouldn’t be open for the next few months. I didn’t get to try the carrot cake! *sobs* But it was fine. We ended up eating at a Middle Eastern outdoor restaurant nearby, and it was really good!!
I thought it was quite interesting, since the outdoor dining style/design kind of reminded me of China, but also not. I ordered a murtabak, and that was so big that I couldn’t finish. I decided to eat the rest for lunch later. I also got an iced milo! It was very nice. Milo kind of tastes like chocolate milk, but not really. It’s hard to explain. This was our meal.
After lunch, it was around 10:30am. It was still too early to go to my hotel, and I had gotten some souvenirs for Fallen that he had requested because the items he wanted had free shipping in Canada, and he had gotten me some pork jerky in return because I said I wanted some. So, we went to his home first.
Now, before you think I’m crazy for going to a stranger’s place, you have to realize that I’m actually very close to Fallen. We bicker and roast each other a lot, but it’s really not surface level. He thinks I don’t remember anything he tells me, but I do remember most of it. I remember his favourite book, one of his favourite kdramas, his passions, and etc.
Also, the person he used to edit for, Prem, is also a close friend of mine. I’m also close to Prem’s wife, Bunbun. Bunbun had organized a gathering years ago with the volare people, and Fallen had attended that. (I will go into detail with Prem and Bunbun when I meet them on Day 4).
Not to mention, I had created group chats/messaged in the chats of each day that I’d be coming. An example of a group would be Sept 10th. That way, everyone in that group cannot say they forget which day I was seeing them, since the date was the title of the group chat.
I had done my research and made a list of places/things I wanted to see or do. I had shown Fallen and asked him if he liked anything on the list. If he did, he could join me. If not, I’d ask someone else to go.
Initially, I had wanted to go kayaking, and Fallen was doing a lot of research to help me find places. I had also invited Chai and Cosy to the group chat, because I wanted to see them also on my first day here. (I will describe Chai more in depth on Day 4 & Cosy more on Day 3).
Cosy said that it would be a terrible idea to go kayaking in the afternoon if I wanted to have dinner or do something afterwards, because most people would want to go home to shower since they’d be all sticky and gross. Once people were home, they would not want to come back out again.
Fallen said he would need the finalized numbers as well, since he would need to make reservations ahead of time. And he encouraged me to get more people, because he said it would be more fun with a large group. So if he really had ill intentions, why would he ask me to invite everyone and expose himself to even more people in all these different group chats?
Anyway, I have to move on because it’s not even 11am and I still have the whole day to write about!
On our way to Fallen’s home, the sky was turning grey, and I was worried. “Is it going to rain?” I asked.
Fallen responded, “Do I look like the weatherman to you? How do I know? We’ll find out.”
While we were on the bus, it started to rain, and I was a bit worried since neither of us had an umbrella. Fallen said that luckily we only had to cross the street, and there was shelter for the rest of the way.
So, when there were few cars around, we dashed across the road and walked through a bunch of narrow outdoor pathways that led to his home. It was like a maze.
We passed by a school, a playground, and an airy place people probably do tai chi in the mornings. When the elevator arrived, it looked like someone was moving furniture, and a guy was waving.
I initially thought he was being friendly, so I waved back and beamed, “Hello!”
Fallen facepalmed and said, “Are you stupid? He’s saying the elevator is full. Not hi! We are not friendly here!”
I glared at him and muttered, “You’re mean!”
He sneered, “What’s new? You already know that.”
I retorted, “You hater!”
And then he made fun of my outfit again. He ridiculed, “Look around you. Who dresses like you? You are 10 out of 10 tourist.”
Anyway, we arrived at his home, and his father was working in the living room. I said hi, and noticed Fallen’s home had massive fans. They were so gigantic. I don’t think we have those in Canada. Or at least, I’ve never seen them.
Anyhow, Fallen gave me the pork jerky, and I gave him the espresso spoons he had wanted from the US. They were the prettiest, most expensive spoons I had ever seen.
Fallen is a huge coffee fan though. He has his own espresso machine, and it looks super fancy. While he made me some coffee, I went to charge my phone and tried to cool down with two fans blowing at me. Haha.
Singapore is extremely humid, so even if the temperature isn’t that high, you feel all wet and sticky everywhere.
Me and Fallen chatted a bit more, and I drank the coffee very slowly. It was nice though. Thanks for making me coffee, Fallen!
Then, he asked me what I wanted to do afterwards. I had told him previously that I wanted to go see the fire station near my hotel, and also the National Museum of Singapore. But Fallen was like, “Why would you want to go see a fire station? Are you into fire trucks?”
That hater. I wanted to go check out the history of the fire trucks!! I like museums, okay?
And the National Museum of Singapore is free for Singaporean citizens anyway. I think only tourists have to pay. But I was actually quite exhausted, and Cosy had texted me saying she might be free to meet around 4 for a bit, since she was going to be in my area doing a facial. However, she was only available for an hour or so, because she already had dinner plans.
So, I suggested to Fallen, why don’t we just go to my hotel, and I’ll finish eating my food from earlier, and we can just chat and then meet Cosy before we have dinner with Raku?
Fallen said it would take approximately an hour to get to my hotel from public transportation, and we called to see if we could check in a bit earlier. The receptionist said ok, so we left around noon and got there slightly after one.
When I got to the Riverside Hotel Robertson Quay, I was pleasantly surprised my room was pretty damn nice despite how cheap my trip was. It was far nicer than the hotel I had stayed in LA, and that was at the Marriott Hotel in Beverly Hills!!
Here’s a picture of my room:
Anyway, Fallen sat on the sofa chair, while I sat on the chair by the desk, and I finished my food. It was so filling!!
I also ate a piece of the pork jerky, and it was yummy. I told Fallen to have some, but he told me to eat it all. I suggested, maybe I should share it with people? And he’s like, “No. There isn’t enough to share! There are nine pieces or something.”
He had bought me two packs, but the pieces were quite gigantic. I decided to eat a piece a day, since the airport wouldn’t allow me to bring it back.
Anyway, I changed into a dress, and said I was going to put some make up on. Fallen was like, “Oh, but you already look great! Except for that one pimple in the middle.”
I was like, “Omg, I didn’t even notice the pimple! And would it kill you to say anything nice? Ughhh!!!”
I swear, Fallen is so nice and mean at the same time. That guy has issues.
Anyway, he was playing on his phone, while I went to change and did my makeup. I think he said something nice, but he’s not exactly very good at giving me compliments, so I can’t even recall what he said.
I asked him if he had to change, and he thought I was accusing him of dressing too casual. Well, I didn’t know if the restaurant we were going to had a dress code. I know people tend to dress fancier in Asia overall.
By now, it was around 3. I told him we should go meet Cosy first. We took the bus, and got off somewhere near Central. I think it was near Dhoby Ghaut station.
When we were inside the mall, I messaged Cosy and she said she was downstairs at a place called 九鲜. I was actually sooooo surprised by how CHEAP the items were. The dessert was only $3!!! If I had ordered the same thing in Toronto, it would cost at least $8 before tax and tips.
Fallen suddenly had a call, and he had to be in a meeting. I thought it was so weird he had to be in a meeting since he took the week off. He said it was toxic work culture. Ahhh!
Anyway, before Cosy saw me and Fallen, she texted me asking what Fallen was like. I texted back, “Pretty boy.” Haha!
I mean, I don’t know how else to describe him physically. It’s a compliment, ok!?
And it was nice to see Cosy again since we had barely gotten to spend time together last month in LA. We talked a bit, and Fallen joined in after he was done his meeting.
Surprisingly, they got along almost instantaneously and started ganging up on me. Cosy also likes to tease and roast me a lot. -_-
They made fun of how I can’t multitask (I really can’t), and Fallen told her how tourist I looked earlier. I showed her the picture that he took of me, and she said, “Omg, if I was there, I wouldn’t even walk next to you.”
She was laughing her head off too. What a bully!!!
But me and Cosy are very close, and I trust her a lot. I will go into more detail on Day 3, since this post is already too long.
Cosy was actually not supposed to see me until Sept 13th, but I would be seeing her a lot throughout the week! You guys will get to see what a mischievous bully she is. So stay tuned!
Cosy had to leave at 5, and we wandered around a bit before heading over to Somerset station to meet up with Raku. We walked the rest of the way since it was nearby.
Raku said she was on her way, but said that I might find her a surprise. I was confused by what she meant, and Fallen made a random guess. “Maybe Raku is male.”
But I was adamant. “Noooo. I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure Raku is female.”
However, Fallen kept thinking Raku was a man. I remained unwavering though.
Raku was one of the first translators that I had trained four years ago, and worked on UPX with me years ago! I remembered she was still in high school, and was very driven to translate!
Anyway, I was very excited to meet Raku. She told me she would come out to meet me whenever she didn’t have class. Yay!
While we were waiting for Raku, Fallen took me to this super cute clothing store called Playdress, and it was soooo cheap in comparison to Canadian stores! In Canada, we have to pay tax on top of everything we buy. In my province, the tax is 13%. So if an item cost $100, you have to pay $113.
I didn’t want to buy anything, but they had a really good deal. If you buy three items, it was 15% off, so I ended up buying three items. Sigh. I failed to resist the temptation.
It’s super cute though! I will definitely wear it when it’s warmer.
Singaporean clothes fit me a lot better, because everything is very big for me in Canada. Most of the female models are at least 5’9 (175cm), while I’m only 5’2 and a half (158cm). So, it’s quite a struggle to find clothes that fit right. Sometimes, I have to go get children sizes.
Anyhow, Raku arrived while I was trying on clothes, so Fallen went to get her. We are all in the same volare server, and they had exchanged a few messages before as well.
When I came out, Raku and Fallen were waiting for me! And I was right! Raku was female! But she was wearing long sleeves, and two layers, so it was a bit shocking since it was quite hot (It turned out that that was the surprise).
Raku gave me a PRO GRACE cup that I shall use! I’ll bring the PRO GRACE cup and use it whenever I travel. Thank you, Raku! I was really happy to meet you!!
I tried to give Raku a hug, but if I had to describe her reaction, it’d be, “Ah, save me!” lol.
Anyway, we went to the Japanese restaurant, and they gave us the island instead of a table because there were only three of us.
Me and Fallen bicker a lot, but I wanted to make sure that Raku didn’t feel left out, so I wanted her to sit in between us.
Raku could actually read Japanese and speak a bit. It is so impressive! She was trying to explain the items on the menu to me. I could only read the Chinese characters.
Fallen really wanted to go to this place because they serve a lot of alcohol, and he really enjoys drinking. The food was nice too. Meanwhile, Raku had never tasted alcohol, and she was too afraid to get drunk in front of us. We tried to convince her to try some, but she was too worried, so we respected her decision.
I like drinking as well, but I didn’t drink that much because of health reasons and also I didn’t want to use the washroom so often. In Singapore, most of the restaurants don’t have washrooms inside. You have to go out and walk quite a while since the washrooms are generally shared between different businesses. It is a bit troublesome.
Anyhow, Raku probably noticed how Fallen was such a hater towards me, and she asked him, “Are you usually like this?”
To which, Fallen replied, “No. Just to her.”
I don’t know if I should feel honoured or offended. Sigh. Then Raku goes, “Ohhhh! So you’re probably 刀子嘴豆腐心!” (This means: Your mouth is sharp like a knife, but your heart is soft like tofu).
Fallen’s mouth is definitely sharp like a knife, but I don’t know about the tofu heart. I will provide many examples throughout the week.
Anyhow, when we headed to the washroom, Fallen told me that I was too enthusiastic and that Raku was soooooo scared of me.
“No way man! If she’s scared, she’s not gonna come out multiple times. I think Raku is going to see me at least FOUR times this week!!!!!” I stood up straight and proudly declared.
He exclaimed, “Don’t you see how stiff she is whenever you go, “RAKUUUU!!” She’s backing away!”
I replied, “Yeahhh, I think she’s not comfortable with hugs or touch. But maybe she secretly likes it because she likes to spend time with me. Hehehehehehe.”
I made a smug expression and wiggled my eyebrows.
Fallen gave me a dirty look in response.
Dinner was good, and we probably stayed there for around two hours. After dinner, Cosy called and asked where we were. However, I was exhausted from my flight, and I didn’t want to meet up so late. I said that I’d see her next week. But little did I know that I would see her again on Sunday…
Sorry, I tried to cut it down, but there was so much to say. Hopefully the other posts won’t be as long! Let me know if you read the whole thing 🙂 And do you think Fallen is a hater?
10 thoughts on “Day 1: Arrival (Friday, Sept 9th)”
Talking to random people on Discord from all over the world!!! And you say that I am the chatterbox! You even gave private music performance and even received private music performance! But, it reminded me of the old yahoo public chat rooms when I was in school. It was such a long time ago. I suddenly feel very ancient ahahahhahaaaa
Listening and translating indeed sounds like a lot of work! I respect the person who has that much patience.
I understand why your friend didn’t want to share his pic. It is not just bad looking people who are conscious of their looks. Good looking people have it rough. They cannot determine if a person is genuinely interested in them or just smitten with their looks.
You couldn’t get the sim card to work! No one could have resisted making a snide remark 😛
I think, your friend Fallen, knows you very well because he brought the sim card stick ahahhahahaaa
It’s a pity that the Hawker Center was closed.
We have the same thing here.. we wave if the elevator is full. Telling the people outside not to step in. I can imagine you standing outside and saying hi… oh my stomach. I am laughing so much. The person in the elevator would have been so confused.
Fire station and Museum… I am totally judging you, again 😛
Your friend doesn’t want you to share the stuff he bought specifically for you with other people 😛
A station named “Dhoby Ghaut”????? That really surprised me. It is a Hindi word meaning “A place by the river where people wash clothes”, unless it has a different meaning in Singaporean native language. Why in the world would they name a station as “Dhoby Ghaut”?
Meeting on your day off!!! Seriously? I sympathize with your friend.
I don’t think Fallen is a hater. He reminds me of brother/cousin brothers/nephews (not females, in any form of relationship) who are really really mean to me but they are very sweet to everyone else. They are comfortable roasting me because they know I won’t take offense… or even if I did take offense, I will be mean to them in return (or beat them up) & not cut off relations or something. It is just good fun. Being yourself and not hiding behind a mask of politeness. You can be like that only in front of your family or very good friends.
Did you have fun visiting Fire station & the museum? I have to ask, did you go Kayaking or not??? You wrote so much about it but didn’t tell whether you ultimately went or not.
Yeah yeah… I write a lot 😛
There are still a few things that I want to say… I’ll message you on discord 😀
AHAHHA. That was sooo long ago! I haven’t sung karaoke on discord in years, and I don’t think I’ve even touched my Chinese instrument since 2018 or 2019… Back in 2016-2018 era, I was quite active on Discord, and made a lot of online friends. Nowadays, even if I hop on, it’s brief. I probably only talk for a few minutes to say hi and happy birthday to some of them. But recently I did watch an anime with my Australian friend. It took months because I’m so busy. -_-” I also take months to finish a drama… sometimes, I don’t have the motivation, so even if I am interested in a series, I would still take more than a week to watch one episode (or longer).
Anyway, I’m not sure why the station is named Dhoby Ghaut. I think a lot of the stations are in different languages (probably Malay? Tamil? Maybe Chinese? English? Hindi? No idea). Singapore is quite diverse!
And I guess Fallen is shy. Haha. I didn’t end up going to the Fire Station. I’ll have to go another time. I didn’t go kayaking either. It was too much work and difficult to plan. I think it’s easier just to go in a small group or ask a few people. I was trying to plan big events, and it was quite a lot of work. Next time, I’ll probably meet more people one on one since I didn’t get to do that with most of the ppl because my schedule was so packed. I did end up going to the National Museum of Singapore though! It was nice. But I went on my 6th day. I’ll eventually write about it. It’s probably going to take months because it takes so long to write each post…
Thanks for taking the time to read, Dimple! I’ll talk to you on discord. Thanks for being patient with me too. I know I suck and take forever to respond at times!
Ok! I’ll talk to you on Discord.
For the record, you don’t suck. You are sooooooooooo busy. But you still take time to read and reply to every text/comment. I respect that. Not everyone can do it 😛
Hahaahha there’s no way Raku would be afraid of you!! Can’t wait for part 2!! (Here’s to more ratings for your hugs 🤣)
And is Fallen a hater? Hmmmmmm, I wonder if its because you’re so close to your online buddies that they can treat you like close friends!! Especially since Cosy treats you the same way too haha. The banter between you all sounds just like a novel.
This is so different from your LA/SD trip already! It seems like you are suuuper close to the folks in SG, and they are so nice to you too! Thanks for sharing pics of your trip, I traveled to SG many many years ago so I’m certain it’s hella different now. Looking forward to more, especially karaoke!
Thanks for reading, Slumber!! Haha. I have known the volare ppl a lot longer! But I have also known Taffy and Lupe for a long time. Taffy was one of the ones I karaoked with back then. And Lupe came to visit me in Toronto back in Dec of 2017.
I hadn’t met the other WW staff before prior to LA. Lol Cosy is a huge bully (but super sweet and savage too). You shall see on Day 3 and Day 5 post! It takes soooo long to write about it.
And stay tuned for more jokes. I am super lucky to know so many great online friends. And thanks for flying down to meet me in San Diego back in July!!
😆 Turns out I accidentally read the 3rd day instead of this one. I was surprised that most restaurant in Singapore doesn’t have washrooms inside, but what makes me more amazed is how you describe everything in detail. 😆 more pictures next time! Your story is so vivid but I want to see pictures as well. ❤️
Thank you for reading, Yuuko! I added more pictures in Day 4! Hehe. Have you read all four so far? Or just 1 and 3? Which day do you like the most so far? ☺️☺️