After spending Labor Day weekend in London with the family, I walk back into work around 8:30 AM. Say hi to a few coworkers, get settled, answer some questions about the trip, all the normal stuff. Then I see Erik. The first words out of his mouth were “Want to go to Singapore next weekend?” and my automatic response was “Sure!” I was serious, but what I didn’t know was that he was serious as well. So we head up to the room that Alex is sitting in, and then they start talking about these tickets they found and how Alex needs the mileage to make Platinum status on United. By 11 AM, we had booked $600 tickets and would be traveling for 3.5 days total, all to spend 2 days in Singapore. And we could not have been more excited. It was going to take a cab, a train, another train, and two planes to get us there – the timing was so tight that we decided it was going to be a “backpacks only” trip. We were so far back in economy that there was no chance of getting carry-ons in the overhead storage anyway.
We researched and planned out an extensive vitamin regimen to help us combat the jet lag and keep us going during our time there – the last thing we wanted was to be falling asleep in the middle of the day. We found a ridiculously cheap hostel that would give us a private room for all of us and was located within walking distance of plenty of restaurants and bars, and the F1 Grand Prix was happening that weekend! It was all falling into place so easily. And all with only 8 days of prep time. I had little experience with Asia, my only other foray into the Orient being an all too brief stint in China in 2015, and the boys had never left the east coast. It was like the blind and their one-eyed king. (Ok, that’s a lie, they’ve both left the country. But never to Asia.)
Thursday, Sept 15th
Hopped the train to Newark, almost had to leave without Alex. Casual start to the trip. But then we get to the airport five hours before our flight leaves, and what do we do? We don’t work, of course. We start drinking. Pitchers of bloody marys, beers, terrible and severely overpriced food. Needless to say we had a fun few hours in the airport. And that was before we started in on the mini bottles we brought for the plane. Of course, after takeoff, I proceeded to sneak up into the economy plus section (where Erik and Alex were already seated) and we promptly got sauced and passed out for the remainder of the flight. Good times all around. Another hop, skip, and a jump through Hong Kong and we were in Singapore!
We caught a cab to the hostel and started looking around (it’s a gorgeous city state and I highly recommend going if you ever have the chance, even if it’s just for 56 hours). Our cabbie was very knowledgeable and gave us some good tips and places to check out, most of which we probably missed because, you know, we were only there for two days. So we get to the hostel and go to check in, only to find out that ERIK booked to come in the next day! Despite the fact that it was 2 AM and no one else was going to be checking in, the guy at the desk insisted on charging us exorbitant rates for the night, equaling almost the exact same amount we were paying for the other two nights combined. Which of course we (Erik) paid. Fuckin’ Erik. So we dropped our stuff and went out to explore! Because, of course, we were jetlagged and it was 3 in the afternoon, our time. We found a great 24 hr restaurant and discovered our new favorite beer: Tiger Beer.
Saturday, Sept 17th
The next day, we hit the streets and explored a lot. Temples, shops, bars, and of course, Singapore slings. The real fun started that night, though, when we found our way to Attica. See, it was the F1 Grand Prix that weekend, and Attica was doing a F1 themed promotion. They had a racing simulator set up, and the fastest lap time won a bottle of Dom Perignon and VIP service. So Erik, being the race car driver that he is, decides to take a crack at it. His method was to use a pit stop as a shortcut, which the event coordinator laughed at him for doing, but in the end, guess who was laughing? Us, as we enjoyed our free bottle of Dom and VIP lounge. Sadly, it was just us up there and we quickly polished off the Dom and abandoned the lounge for the crowded dance floor. There we met guys from the Singapore Army, they liked to throw champagne glasses into the crowd. Keepin’ the people safe. But then the club closed, and our luck ran out. We caught an overly expensive pedi-cab home, but Alex had the guy drop us off two miles away from our hostel by accident. So we get out and start walking. And then the monsoon hit. And we. Got. SOAKED. To the bone. I don’t think we could have been any more drenched had we jumped in a pool. Anyway, then we got some food, went home, took some Xanax, and fell asleep outside on the beanbags. See Exhibit X.
Sunday, Sept 18th
So the next day, we slept in (aka we slept for like 6 hours between 6 AM and 12 PM) and hit up the Marina Bay Sands, and the Gardens by the Bay, which were both seriously unreal. I can’t even describe the views, so I won’t. See below.
We then made our way down to the race, and if you’ve never heard the sound of an F1 whooshing past, I seriously recommend going to a race. It was nuts. We tried to take some videos, but they turned out terribly. Also, the cheap seats don’t give you views of much other than the straightaways. Which aren’t terribly fun to watch. But it was still totally worth it, and the Imagine Dragons concert afterwards was amazing. All in all, a fantastic way to spend our last few hours in Singapore.
We stayed up all night that night, walking around, packing, and hitting up the airport way too early for our flight. We were afraid if we slept, we wouldn’t wake up and we’d be in Singapore forever. Which wouldn’t be that bad, but we had to get back to work. And what do you know, we rolled in on Tuesday morning at 8 AM looking fresh to death. Mission accomplished.