Sometimes life comes at you and it comes at you HARD. If you guys follow me on SnapChat (yewandesoba) you will have seen how intense the month of May was for me at work. I was working between 14-16 hour days non stop and even some weekends. Being at the office till midnight was not even a big deal.
At the end of May, I delivered one of the major projects that was tied to my coming for this assignment and I'm grateful to God that it was a huge success. I was given a big regional project to lead of which I had no real prior experience. There was a lot of confusion and self doubt as I made my way along but I never stopped holding on to God and praying that he helps me deliver in excellence. He did just that!
I started off the month travelling to Singapore for a team meeting. Quick shout out to Hong Kong for this amazing thing they have called "In-Town Check-In"...It is basically what the name implies, instead of lugging your bags all the way to the airport in a taxi, you can simply check them in at Central and board the Airport Express with only your hand luggage for a third of the price. The best part is that you don't get to see your bags again till you arrive at your destination! When you get to the airport, you simply waltz your way through immigration. How fantastic is that??? Hong Kong finds new ways to blow my mind daily.
The meeting was for 2 days but I decided to take 2 extra days to explore the city a little. It would have been a damn shame to go to Singapore and not see much more than the 4 walls of the conference room wouldn't it?
Despite how much I love HK, I discovered that Singapore is the perfect side chick, it's like the younger, sexier version of Hong Kong! I fell in love and I didn't even get to see as much as I wanted to! I didn't love it immediately though, my first experience at Immigration was being pulled aside for intense questioning. Lol..These people kept me waiting for almost one hour before finally letting me go...I don't blame them though, the Nigerian passport green is no Immigration officer's favourite colour.
Amazing view of the city as I landed
Changi Airport, Singapore
After the harassment, I got into a taxi and headed to my hotel. I stayed at the Hotel Jen in Tanglin, a lovely boutique hotel in what I would consider Central Singapore. I loved staying there, there was something so cosy and warm about the place that made me feel really comfortable. The breakfast buffet was also on fleet...always an added bonus.
First two days were spent between meetings and team dinners. One of the evenings we went to a restaurant called Jumbo Seafood which is one of the most popular restaurants in the City, a must-try for tourists I was told. I knew it was a serious affair when they brought out bibs...
We had delicious fresh fish and crab that was taken right out of the big aquarium in the restaurant...Point and Kill at its finest.
The main star of the night was the Pepper Crab...It is a signature dish in Singapore and one of the city's best kept secrets. The pepper crab was why we needed the bibs, we had to go right in there with pliers and our fingers to be able to devour the huge crab parts. It tasted fantastic and was a messy but fun experience at the same time. You should try pepper crab when you are in Singapore :)
These little bread balls were hot and delicious...reminded me lovingly of puff puff
After dinner, my team mates and I decided to do some night exploring and we went somewhere called Haji Lane. It is the cool, hipsterish road in Singapore with the most beautiful coloured houses that are now bars and pubs and some awesome graffiti. I wish I could have visited it in the day time but I didn't get round to it. Managed to get two nice pictures from that night though.
The meeting ended on a Friday and that evening I and a couple of work friends went up to Marina Bay where we caught some stunning views of the city...
The famous infinity pool
We went to dinner at a Thai restaurant called Ren Thai and had an amazing time. Nothing like good food and great company.
Later on that night, I met up with Labake, a friend from Lag days who now lives in Singapore. We ended up at this place (I don't recall the name) where the DJ was really great. It's a rare thing to find a DJ that plays black people music in Asia so I always get excited when I run into one.
On Saturday I put my tourist hat on and went on a tour of Sentosa Island, one of the biggest island resorts in Singapore. It is referred to as the State of Fun for good reason, there is so much to do in Sentosa that one day is simply not adequate. I think of it as their version of Disneyland, a destination for fun! From beaches to rides to theme parks to a 4D Cinema and lots more. I had an amazing day, felt great to be a child again :)
Sidenote, I bought the Sentosa Island tour off Viator.com. If you are ever in a city and looking for what to do Viator is an amazing place to find tours.
We travelled to Sentosa by cable car and I was really nervous before we got in. I'm not exactly scared of heights but I just imagined that riding in a clear cabin, so high off the ground would be a scary experience but it wasn't, it was beautiful!
The VIEWS.from the cable car were stunning..
We started off at the Underwater world aquarium which got really boring for me quickly...I mean how many fish can one marvel at till one gets tired?
After that we saw a Dolphin and Sea Lions show which was incredible to watch. It's amazing how trainable animals are...
After the show, our next stop was Madame Tussauds, which strangely enough is the first one I have ever been too. How would have thought that my first experience would be in Asia?
It made me very proud to see an African icon :)
I got to see the Merlion in Sentosa, a symbolic structure in Singapore that's half lion, ha;f fish. There is another Merlion in the main city.
On Sunday, I made sure that my flight was booked for much later in the evening so I could get some more time to explore! I went to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a 156 year old master piece that is a UNESCO world heritage site. The main attraction at the Botanic Garden for me was the National Orchid Garden- the world's largest display of Orchids with over 60,000 orchids. Orchids are my absolute favourite flower so this place has been on my bucket list for quite a while. Let's just say that I was in heaven as I walked through the beauty of nature at its finest. I felt happy and at peace, I almost wanted to lie on the floor and bask in the beauty of the garden...God is indeed great!
I left Singapore a very happy girl :)
Before I made my way to the airport, I stopped by at Labake's house where she had made lunch. First time I was having jollof rice since the move..I had to physically restrain myself from dancing..haha! Major shout out to @labbyjay!
I was having such a good time at her house that I almost got carried away and left only at the nick of time to be able to make my flight back.
The short time spent in Singapore was amazing but I want MORE, MORE MORE! I will be going back for sure, most likely with bad :)
Big smiles on the way back to HK
Back in HK...Food!
Labake was very generous and shared Plantain and Indomie with me...In the coming weeks, I enjoyed a taste of home every now and again :)
Made a new restaurant discovery...I stumbled upon a gem of a Thai place called GreyHound one day when I was looking for where to have lunch. Food was excellent!
The dessert knocked my socks off. This is a crepe cake...I don't think I need to describe how good it was to you. I'll let the picture do the talking.
Since I got here, I had been trying and failing to stick to being #FitFam...There's way too much delicious food out here guys. Anyway, when I saw that the situation was getting critical, lol. I decided to reign myself back in and do a 5 day juice cleanse. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth but I survived without cheating at all or worse fainting!
The Beauty of the Hong Kong Tram
I mentioned earlier that this city finds a new way to wow me everyday right? Well my new thing is the Tram! When I first got to HK, I used to take the MTR because it was fast, efficient and familiar. The downside though is the overwhelming numbers of people in their thousands that pass though the station to board trains everyday. I seriously used to get lightheaded dealing with the crowds so I decided to stop taking the MTR and start taking taxis to work.
Wrong idea! Not only are taxis way more expensive, the experience is horrendous. Majority of the taxi drivers don't speak English and they are usually quite rude and aggressive. After struggling to get one of them to even stop for me (I don't know if this is a racism thing), I would get into the taxi and not even be acknowledged till I say where I am going. Even then, the taxi man would still not utter a word, drive recklessly to my destination and bring the car to a screeching halt, waiting for me to pay and get lost. I mean there are a few nice ones but majority of them are assholes and I used to start my day off getting pissed. I decided it wasn't healthy so I spoke to my colleague about transportation options and he told me about the tram!
The tram is not only quick and efficient, it is cheaper than the MTR with none of the maddening crowds that MTR stations harbour. The icing on the cake is that it offers amazing views of the city as you ride along. What's not to love? It is the perfect solution for me. I have decided to reserve terrible taxi experiences for only when I absolutely need them...That's a tip for you...when you visit HK, ditch the MTR and taxis and hop on the tram....Best way to get around....
I'll end this really long recount of my month here...I hope you guys enjoyed it! :)
Peace and Love,