2010 Summer Adventure - Singapore, Day 2, Part 1

Arghhhhh! wake-up call 6:30 AM and it's still dark outside!  It seems that sunrise and sunset come later in Singapore than in the Philippines.  We were instructed to be at the lobby by 8 AM for our short ride to Fort Canning Lodge for instructions on the cruise, some activities and lunch at their Coffee House. By 1 PM we were let loose at Orchard Road, first stop...Ngee Ann City where the high-end Japanese owned department store Takashimaya is located. We were brought to Level 2 where all the branded boutiques were and where we were instructed to converge back at the information lobby by 5:30 PM.  Since my point of interest was neither electronics nor the high-end brands, I opted to walk along Orchard Road to look for The Heeren where a neighbor's son works at the Subway Restaurant. After walking several hundred meters, I saw it but unfortunately, the son was off duty but will be coming in at 5 PM for some paperwork but I could not wait for him, so I just left a message.  What fascinated me however was the way it's escalators were running...left side was for going down while the right side was for going up, unlike ours in the Philippines which was the other way around.


From there, I was off to my favorite Marks and Spencers (M&S) Store at the Centrepoint Mall...why?...well because I might get lucky and they might have stocks my size (wink, wink) and lo and behold! they did!!! I was able to buy 3 nice bras which cost me S$137 and would entitle me to a tax rebate at the airport...yay!!! They were actually cheaper compared to M&S Manila, saving as much as Php200 per bra, not including the rebate :)  Now that I have accomplished my goal, I decided to go back to Ngee Ann City and looking back down the road I came from, I realized that I was just a corner away from the hotel where we stayed...wth!!!  I have walked more kilometers in Singapore than at any given time in my mid-life! Wow! like the old Camel advertisement...I could say, I'd walk a mile for my M&S! hahahaha!  

I was finished "shopping" by 2:30 PM and so I started my walk back to Takashimaya...now this is just early afternoon with the mid-day sun still at its peak...I could feel my sweat pouring and it's a good thing I brought along a small towel "just in case".  Let me just say here that the Philippines is warm, even hot and humid but at least there is a breeze...Singapore is...just hot and humid. And there is no choice but to walk outside since the malls are separate from each other and so, I crossed at least 4 pedestrian lanes, walking fast at each one... and to think that I could not remember when was the last time I crossed a busy main road in the Philippines.  

Our malls (SM, Ayala, Robinsons, Greenhills,etc...) are better, more efficient and infinitely more comfortable to walk around since there are places to sit too and we also have free wi-fi almost everywhere!  Some of my companions went to Lucky Plaza where the electronics were but I still think we have better prices here in PI and as long as you can establish a relationship with the seller, it would be easier to deal with them.  Once I got back to Takashimaya, I tried to look for a place to sit but there was none! I moved around the mall for almost an hour, my feet and knees killing me, and decided to go up to a coffee shop at Level 4 where I was hoping to sit but it was full, not to mention expensive, so I was resigned to either go out in the heat and sit on the steps or use the restrooms...to rest, what else?  And then, I saw an old couple sitting at the only bench outside the coffee shop.  So I waited for them to leave and when they did, made a quick walk and sat on the bench for about 1 and a half hours!  One of my companions found me there and took the empty space beside me...he also had several shopping bags with him and we had a good laugh about how our feet were hurting from all the walking.  

finally a seat!!!

By 5 PM, I decided to take a look at the bookstore (very much like Powerbooks) beside me, Kinokuniya and this is where I found moleskines! They were a bit more expensive than where I get them online at Avalon.ph but unlike Avalon which has mostly black, they had all types and colors, so I got the red ones :)  I also browsed around the branded boutiques...Jimmy Choo, Bruno Magli (where there was shoes I would love to wear but after looking at the price, I lost taste for it...ugh), Gucci, Hermes, Cartier, Tiffany etc...it's a good thing I really don't care for branded things!  I went to the meeting area and almost all of us were already there...with several shopping bags filled with goods they bargained for like laptops/notebooks/iPads, cameras, gadgets, bags, shoes, etc.  They got good prices for their purchases but in my opinion being a sale addict...our prices during a sale here in the Philippines is still cheaper especially for branded goods. I think that when shopping abroad we should have a good idea of sale prices in Manila (not just in our provinces) to be able to make a good purchase.  Anyway everybody was happy with their buys and we went off to have an early dinner at Seoul Garden at level 5 of the mall before embarking on our Star Cruise. I used to be curious about Korean food being an ex-Kdrama addict but not anymore...the only recognizable thing I ate there were the chili fish balls and the chicken sausage...the rest were edible but in the realm of the unknown.


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