Sunday, March 30, 2014

Singapore, here I come!

Barely having finished unpacking my bags after my trip to Hong Kong in January, I had to board a plane again, this time to visit INSEAD Singapore, one of the best business schools in Southeast Asia. Yes, I plan on pursuing an MBA or MSc Economics so I've been visiting business schools and interacting with people  currently enrolled or already finished with their programs.

My Singapore trip turned out to be an adventure in itself because it took me 14 hours to get there and being alone in a different country is an experience I haven't had since I went to Brisbane last (for my graduation). Nevertheless, it's fun.

14 hours to Singapore
Yes, it took me 14 hours to get to Singapore. I got bumped off my Manila-Singapore five-hour flight because the original plane was malfunctioning and the alternate plane was a smaller one. The ground crew found me a seat in a Cebu-Singapore flight, which meant that I had to catch the next flight to Cebu to make it in time! This must be how it feels like to be in the Amazing Race sans a teammate, a challenge, and a detour, I thought as I ran around the airport to get to the right gate. But when I got there, lo and behold! the flight was delayed by an hour. So I was able to have lunch and mingle with the rest of the passengers going to Cebu. Once in the plane, passengers waited another hour before the plane took off because the queue in Manila's airspace was crowded. By the time we landed at the Mactan International Airport, it was dark. 

My plane ride to Singapore. Yes. it's mine. It even has my initials. See?

I had to run (again) on the tarmac because I had to catch the flight to Singapore (which was leaving in about an hour). It's the second time for me to be on the tarmac beside giant planes but I couldn't stop this time and take a photo because of the time limit (*sigh*). To cut the long story short, I arrived in Singapore seven hours after my original arrival time. I had to take a cab from the airport to the hotel because of the late hour. It's a good thing I took a cab because otherwise, I wouldn't have witnessed the festival called "Thaipusam", in the Little India district.

I don't know what the festival is all about but the parade late on my first night (or wee hours of the morning of my first day) was an interesting thing to see.

Several roads closed so the cab driver had to take several detours to get to the hotel I was staying at. There wasn't much to see at that hour so I decided to just wait until the morning to go around and explore the area around the hotel.