Yen was in Singapore for a business-trip so we met up last June 17. I fetched her at her hotel on the day she arrived and brought her to the ultimate tourist destination here – Sentosa.
Yen was the same old Yen that I met seven years ago, so that meant she wore high heels everywhere, even on a tour of an island. It also meant that she still cracked jokes over everything.
At one point while we were sitting down in the middle of the merlion walk, resting because her feet hurt from all the walking in those high heels, she told me about a personal dilemma she was facing and then ended it by saying, “Maybe I should talk to the merlion about this. Merl, what do you think of my problem?”
“To which the merlion will reply, ‘Are you kidding me? I am stuck in place and can’t even walk and you ask me for life advice?!?'” I said. We both laughed at that.
|Yen and me with our adviser and wish-granter, the merlion|
Then Yen got another brilliant idea and insisted that we could wish on the merlion. Ok, fine. So I humored her and we both threw a coin into the pond at the merlion’s base. Can’t hurt, right? (Song in the background: Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars… I could really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now…)
|Yen insisted that we could wish on the merlion. Ok, fine.|
After moving on from the merlion, we came across the lake of dreams, and this time it was me who insisted that we could wish on it. “I mean, look at it, its very name makes it very wishable!”
We didn’t throw coins into it this time, though, instead, I told her about the ritual at the fountain of wealth where one goes round the fountain and making a wish while dipping one’s hands in the water. We did the same here.
After we made our silent wishes, I told her, “I made my wish different here, so that we’d know which one works – the merlion or the lake of dreams – depending on which one of my wishes came true.” She agreed that it was a good idea.
And you know what? The very next day, one of my wishes did come true. I am not joking, this is very serious, it was a very serious wish, one that I badly needed to come true. Can you guess on which one I made it?
|The Lake of Dreams. The name makes it very wishable, doesn’t it?|
Then we arrived at Universal Studios and Yen wondered if all the mist coming out of the huge globe was cold. I didn’t know, actually, so we stepped into it and yes, it was cold! We needed that on this incredibly humid day. We also needed drinks and ice cream, so we bought some Coke and Magnum, the latter of which Yen had never tried before. We sat down and ate it before deciding to head for the beach.
|Yen in the cool mists of Universal Studios|
We rode a bus to Siloso Beach and when we got there, we got tempted to walk in the sand with our bare feet. I was glad Yen could take off her high heels. Since we still got time before the start of the Songs of the Sea show, we found some tarpaulin and sat down on the beach.
As I sat there with the cool sea breeze wafting over my body, it suddenly struck me how happy I was to be there, and that it really doesn’t take a lot to make one happy. The beach is really all I need.
|Yen on Siloso Beach|
Unfortunately we had to cut our little picnic short so we caught a tram to the Songs of the Sea spot and got in line. We were there with time to spare but still, the best seats in the house were already taken and we had to make do with side seats.
I have lost track of how many times I have seen this show – somewhere close to ten, I believe. It’s the best show in Singapore and I always recommend it to my tourist friends, and more often than not I end up accompanying them.
But even though I have almost memorized the show by now, I am still not immune to the charms of the fireballs and laser lights and water shows and fireworks. It’s also always lovely to see the look of pure awe on the face of someone who has seen it for the first time. Yen was so delighted and because she is Yen, she actually insisted on singing along with the lead, Ali. LOL.
As I sat there smiling at her delight, I suddenly remembered the last time I had been here, months ago. It was the only time I watched Songs of the Sea while it was raining; it’s a rain-or-shine show. They give out free raincoats to the customers but that’s not enough to keep out the cold. Luckily for me, I had something else to keep me warm then, or rather, someone, whose hand was wrapped around mine.
|Songs of the Sea|
After the show we walked around Vivo City mall for a bit before deciding to call it a night as we both had work the next day. We agreed to meet again that Friday.
So that Friday I stuffed a backpack full of overnight clothes and a bottle of tequila. I met Yen at her hotel. She bought dinner for us – sweet and sour pork with rice, cokes and some mango pudding for dessert. It was a simple meal but the fact that we drank our coke out of wine glasses and that we were eating in a hotel made us feel classy. I really loved the mango pudding though. I don’t actually know if that is its name, by the way. Yen doesn’t remember either.
|Overnight in Yen’s hotel|
Meanwhile, Gelle was also on a business trip in Manila and Drew was meeting her at her hotel. So we decided to have a Skype reunion. The line was choppy, so we ended up saying “hello” over and over. We laughed a lot. Some things never change.
After dinner, we moved on to what Friday nights are for – booze. Yen bought the lemons from the market and actually got them cut in the same place where she bought our dinner. They cut them and then put each lemon into separate plastic bags. We found it funny, not sure why. I guess we just laugh about everything.
We didn’t have shot glasses so we used the wine glasses and I can’t recall how many shots we had but we really really loved the kick from the lemon.
After that we left and headed to St James Powerstation. Ladies have free entrance, so we hopped into most of the bars, starting with Movida.
I had Yen try the Singapore sling in one of the bars – I think it was Dragonfly or something like that. It reignited the buzz that was starting to fade and we yelled and danced and got tired of the scene and took a cab back to the hotel after a couple of hours.
Then she had to check out and do some shopping before catching her flight back home while I had to attend a class. It was a reunion well spent. Too bad the others couldn’t be with us. It would have made it even more fun.