Got up very early this morning, headed to the SkyTrain to get to the airport. I left about 6:30am. I’m glad I left when I did because if I had to catch a later train, I may have not made the plane in time. The airport link seems to only come every 15 minutes or so. First, I took the BTS train to the Airport Link train, then waited and waited for that train. It only took about 20 minutes to get to the airport because there are only 6 stops from end to end of that route, but I was still a little nervous about making my flight. Thankfully, when I got to the airport, they opened up a new line just when I got there. There was a long line of people in front of me, but they seemed to all be part of the same group, so I didn’t feel bad jumping over to the new line. Plus, I had no bags to check, so why not, right?
Flight was delayed but uneventful. Arrival in Singapore was a pain. There were several other flights arriving at the same time into the passport control area and I didn’t know the address of the place I was staying! The one piece of info I always forget when flying into another country. You’d think I would have learned this by now. For crying out loud, I’ve filled up a passport and a half, yet I never fail to forget this minor detail of a local address. Anyway, as per usual, I end up in the slowest line. I watched the line next to me as 5 people went through for every 1 person in my line. So frustrating! It took an hour to get through, and I was meeting Gillian’s aunt, so I was feeling bad about making them wait this whole time. Plus, I couldn’t call their number from my phone. Luckily, Pak Kheng, Gillian’s aunt, called my phone so I could tell her what the holdup was.
By the time I got through passport control, I rushed outside the airport and right past Pak Kheng! She finally found me outside. Hahah I should have been paying more attention. Well, of course she and Philip, her husband, took me right to eat lunch and started stuffing me with food. I felt bad because when it’s hot and humid, my appetite disappears and I get full much faster, so I wasn’t able to finish everything they bought for me. I did have a nice coconut though. Man, that juice is good!
We ate in a nice park right on the beach, so after lunch, we went for a walk around a reservoir where they have cable waterskiing. This is an amazing thing. Maybe you have heard about it, but I hadn’t. Basically, there are a string of cables that encircle the area high above the water. You strap on this wakeboard as if it were a snowboard, boots, bindings and all. The cable runs continuously and they strap you onto it as it goes by. It pulls you off the platform and into the water, and you have to stay upright. You can either go just on the water, or there are a whole bunch of jumps you can do for tricks. We watched a bunch of people do it and were impressed, but when we walked to the launching place, we saw that it was more difficult than it looked. One guy just kept crashing upon hitting the water. I looked at the prices and you could pay $32 for an hour or $7 for just one go round. However, the stipulation was that no matter where you fall, that counts as one round. So, the bloke that was falling off the platform would have had that count as his $7. I hope he paid for an hour! Even with the difficulty, it still looked like fun. Maybe someday I’ll try it in the States.
I got a tour of the amazing beautiful house that was designed by Philip and Pak Kheng. It’s very open with lots of natural light and windows. They even have a wet kitchen and a dry kitchen. I guess it’s a Chinese thing, so the smells of the Chinese food can float out into the world and not get embedded into the walls of the house. They live here with Jonathan, their son, and Pak Kheng’s mother. It’s a great family.
I needed to get passport photos taken for both the visa and for my work permit, so Pak Kheng took me down the hill to the photo place and I got some shots taken. While we waited, we stopped at a fruit juice stand. You know how I love me some fresh fruit juice! They had freshly squeezed lime juice and Chinese pears, which I LOVE. Pak Kheng refuses to let me pay for anything! She is too generous!
So, today is Pak Kheng’s niece’s 25th birthday and a bunch of family is coming over to celebrate! We had to go grocery shopping for dinner, so we headed to the market and finally I was able to change some money. I need $100 Singapore dollars and I have to have exact change, so I got that done. When we got back to the house, the family was all here. Stephanie and Samantha are the cousins and their parents were also here.
Samantha is quite the chef and prepared lamb and mashed potatoes and potato salad for dinner. I tried to help, but it was a situation of too many cooks in the kitchen and I was just getting in the way. Haha I ended up just hanging out with Steph and chatting while dinner was being made. The men grilled some steaks and there was also soup. It was quite the feast! We all sat down to dinner and had a lovely time. Steph and Sam went to university and some of high school in Australia, so their accents are very fluid, especially Samantha’s. Sometimes she sounds American, sometimes Chinese and sometimes Aussie, depending on what she is talking about and who she is talking to. It made me laugh.
After dinner, we (Jon, Steph, Sam, Paul (Sam’s boyfriend), and I) attempted to play a game of Monopoly cards, which is highly confusing, but were interrupted by the demand for birthday cake, so the game was abandoned in favor of more conversation. Eventually, I just got too tired, and Pak Kheng started kicking people out, so I just went to bed. We had to get up for church early anyway.