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?!?!” Continue reading “Day 1: Arrival (Friday, Sept 9th)”