One Sunday morning while I was in Christchurch, New Zealand, I met two women from Singapore. We connected immediately over food and good conversation. Upon parting, we said that if we were ever in each other’s countries, we would be sure to catch up.
Three months later, I was searching for plane tickets from Perth, Australia, to the Philippines and discovered a route with a long layover in Singapore. I could experience two countries on one plane ticket!
So I contacted my new friends, and we planned a 21-hour Singaporean adventure.
But first, here are some photos from my last day in the Southern Hemisphere:
The day I flew from Perth to Singapore was monumental: I crossed the Equator and once again entered my native Northern Hemisphere. The computer screen in front of my seat on Singapore Airlines showed our flight path, and I watched our progress for a majority of the flight. I wasn’t exactly sure where the Equator was, but I knew it was somewhere around here:
As soon as I stepped off the plane, I felt the heat and humidity and despite having been in winter for the last two months almost immediately adjusted back to my normal “summer and hot in July” schedule.
This was my first time in Asia, and it didn’t really sink in that I was actually there. The whole thing felt unreal.
My Singaporean friends gave me several options for places we could visit, such as the zoo and botanic gardens. I’d visited many similar places and spent a lot of time in nature throughout the last year, so I decided to do something completely different: Universal Studios.
Jurassic Park was our first stop for a gentle coaster ride over the forest canopy and a water ride through the park to see the dinosaurs. But then, the T-rex got loose!
We also went to Far Far Away, the land of Shrek.
Then, I found my favorite kind of slushie (grape) and pretended to be a movie director.
I felt at home in New York City.
If you knew me ten years ago, you would know I did not do roller coasters.
But this time, I wanted to try something new.
So we rode scary roller coasters.
One of the roller coasters was inside this pyramid. I enjoyed it so much I rode it twice. So I celebrated by posing as an Egyptian statue.
I enjoyed Sci Fi City.
Bert and Ernie welcomed us to the Brown Derby.
At the end of the day, I found New Zealand on the Universal globe. It was its own golden island at the bottom of the world, standing proudly and Kiwi-ly independently, a stronghold before beautiful Antarctica.
The amount of daylight in the country was exactly twelve hours, give or take a few minutes, and it was dark two hours later than it had been yesterday in Australia.
J and I drove into the city.
We found a band performing one of my favorite genres of music, jazz.
Then, we arrived at the hawker’s market next to the bay. A hawker’s market contains several booths that sell various Singaporean dishes, which are big enough for two to three people. Dessert is from one booth, drinks from another, and main meals from several other booths. L, the second Singaporean I had met in Christchurch, joined us there.
Here is some of the food we ate. It was really good. One of the dishes was called carrot cake, but it did not involve an American vision of carrot cake at all. It was more like an omelette than anything else.
We also had some dessert with coconut milk, beans and green jelly made of durian, a fruit.
We sat on a bench along the bay, watching the rehearsals for Singapore’s National Day and admiring the night skyline view.
A good night. I was burnt from going from winter directly to summer.
The next morning, I rode the train to the airport and flew to the Philippines.