I set the alarm to 7:30 a.m. but I woke up early. It’s not a big surprise for me right now. It happened to me the last time I was here. I guess being in another country gives me a built-in alarm clock.
So I’m here again in Singapore, or as my friend calls it, “Sillypore”. I’ll be attending the Asian Publishing Convention for two days starting today till Friday. My first impression after getting the email was it’s more for the magazine guys than us, but after reading the sessions I knew that there are a lot of interesting things here that I can learn (hopefully) and bring back to the Philippines.
The trip’s been pretty good so far.
From coach, I was upgraded to Mabuhay class without me knowing it. I probably wasn’t paying attention, and at 5:00 in the morning, who would be? My seat number was 14K and I was looking for it in my usual Fiesta Class area when it dawned on me that the count for the economy rows start at 30. And so yes, I travelled three and a half hours to Singapore enjoying better food, bottomless drinks (orange juice for me), a nicer, cushier and bigger seat, a tad bit better in-flight entertainment (I watched Iron Man again) and more legroom.
When I arrived at Changi Airport, I was worried about my cellphone. I had to turn it off when I boarded the plane in Manila but the power button’s damaged, and so there’s a big chance I won’t be having a working cellphone for the whole trip. After immigration, I pulled out my mechanical pencil and started to press the power button. Nothing happened. But after a few minutes of practically pressing every point of that power button, it finally turned on. Whew!
Taking a cab from the airport to the city is a bit too expensive for me. It can set you off about S$20+ (roughly P600). The cheapest alternative would be the MRT but that would have been more viable if I wasn’t lugging around with a behemoth of a suitcase (yes, blame the Pinoy in me). The next best thing is the airport shuttle. At S$9 a ride from the airport to the hotel, it’s a bargain. The downside of that is you will have to share the coach with other travelers going to their hotels and wait for your turn for them to drop you off yours. Well, yesterday, I only had to wait for 10 minutes for the shuttle to arrive and – here’s the good part – I was the only passenger! Oh yeah baby! So for S$9 I was traveling to my hotel with just me and the driver in a vehicle bigger than a limo!
And so yeah, I may be traveling alone but I really feel that someone’s watching after me.
Yesterday’s free day was mainly spent hunting and shopping for everyone’s bilin and pakiusap. I met up with Carl in HMV at the Citylink Mall and bought Karen her Coldplay album. Then after having lunch at Pepper Lunch in Funan, we went up to Challenger to buy Tec’s earphones, laptop cleaners for Eric and Cherry, and a 4GB thumbdrive for Gerry. We traveled by train to Orchard after and went to Kinokuniya in Takashimaya to buy Charo’s Watchmen graphic novel, Uniball pens, and Tec’s Hana Yori Dango Volume 37. I also met up with Irene to give her her shoes and Yay’s instant pancit canton. Carl had to leave to pick up Kyan and so it was a solo flight for me from that point to Paragon for Muji stuff.
I went back to the hotel by cab after that. I was too tired (and lazy?) to take the train to Outram and walk 15 minutes.
Dinner was with my friend Ken from my previous company. It was in this nice Japanese restaurant along one of the side streets near Orchard. It was his treat. Well that and the cab ride back.
So today’s the convention day. It starts at 9:00 a.m. and so I’ll be getting ready in a few minutes. I just have to cross the street to get to the convention venue and so I have enough time to grab something to eat at the hotel lobby.