Monday, July 12, 2010

Singapore, Part 3: The Merlion and Meeting Sheila's Friends.

[Sound of an alarm clock]

"Ah, man, it cannot be time to wake up already," I thought to myself. But sadly it was, so Sheila and I began fumbling around in the dark and got ready to leave as we were meeting Sheila's friend, Jeng, for breakfast at her apartment. I was so happy that I had decided to pack the night before as I could barely think I was so tired. Thank goodness for Sheila or I would've gone back to sleep. She treated me as if I was a wounded soldier in battle.

-Begin Scene-
[Sounds of gun fire and explosions]

Me: Ugh...I can't make it, Sheila! I'm too tired! Just go! Enjoy the breakfast without me!

Sheila: I'm not leaving you behind, Adam! We're in this together! I made a promise to Jeng that the BOTH of us would arrive at her apartment together and I'll be damned if I break that promise! It's going to be a delicious breakfast, and I'm going to see to it that you're there to enjoy it with me! Now get up!

-End Scene-

The sun was just beginning to perch over the horizon as we left the hostel. The streets of Singapore were noticeably absent of people as we walked to the MRT station. It was quiet. A little too quiet, really. After, both, a MRT and bus ride we successfully arrived at Jeng's house on time. All in all, it took about an hour.

"Hey!" Sheila and Jeng both shouted in excitement, after Jeng opened the door to greet us. They were pretty happy to see one another to say the least, as they continued to hug and frolic around.

"Oh," said Sheila finding a second to introduce me, "This is Adam."

"Hi," Jeng said, "Nice to meet you." And the both of them quickly scurried off to the kitchen speaking in tagalog.

Eh, women . . .

Jeng and her boyfriend, Kenny, share the apartment with 3 other people: Ellen & Amiel, a pair of newlyweds, and Joan. All Filipinos. After everyone left work, leaving Sheila and I with the apartment to ourselves, we lounged around for half the day waiting for the rain to stop.

After a late start, Sheila took me to see the Merlion located near Singapore's financial street along the harbor. I still don't understand the significance of the Merlion but there were a lot of people, including us, who took pictures in front of it. It's some sort of touristy gimmick, I think. On our way back over the bridge, Sheila and I indulged and bought a few ice cream sandwiches. Yummy.

We met up with Jeng at a McDonald's restaurant after she got off work as I was craving a Big Mac. So delicious. I don't know why but I was craving Big Macs the entire time I was in Singapore. It was nice to deviate from the rice and noodles diet for once. Don't get me wrong I love rice and noodles, but dang, having it 3 times a day for 8 months gets a little bit old.

After consuming my delicious, satisfying Big Mac the 3 of us took a stroll around the neighborhood before returning to the apartment.
As we were walking towards the MRT Jeng noticed that Sheila and I were holding hands.

"Why are you holding hands?" Jeng half-jokingly shouted while pointing at us. "Are you her boyfriend?" Sheila began to laugh as she explained to me prior to visiting Singapore of the cultural differences between the US and the Philippines in terms of relationships. Apparently, in the Philippines, it's taboo or frowned upon for a male and femal to show affection if they're not "officially" labeled as a couple. Maybe it's not taboo, but it sure creates a lot of gossip.

Back at the apartment Sheila and Jeng prepared and served dinner. The Philippines is a country deep rooted in Catholicism and its influence could be observed at the dinner table as everyone said a silent prayer before eating.

Before we went to sleep, Sheila requested - more like ordered - that I give her my dirty clothes so she could hand wash them. I definitely didn't have to be coerced to hand over my dirty clothes to be washed for me. I found it very sweet that Sheila enjoyed cooking my meals and washing my clothes. So nurturing. I liked.


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