Day 6: Saturday
We arrived in Singapore at about 4:00pm local time. Our hotel was REALLY nice. One thing I learned is that European hotels are generally smaller and not as nice. In Singapore, both hotels I've stayed at have been very large, nice and over-the-top with their customer service.
We met at 7:00pm that night for dinner and we all were craving an American meal, so we went to California Pizza Kitchen. We then had a few drinks after dinner at a bar near our hotel. Low key night because we were all exhausted. I went to sleep that night around 11:00pm and I woke up several times throughout the night, but was able to sleep until 11:00am on Sunday. That felt good after several nights of not enough sleep.
Day 7: Sunday
Dick (the Controller), Peggy (the Deloitte partner) & I ventured to Chinatown. We walked to the subway and figured that out. It was really crowded on one of the trains! Chinatown was good - they have a lot of super cheap stuff - I bought a couple pillow covers for S$2 (Singapore dollars), or about $1.30US. They're cute, but clearly not the best in quality, so we'll see how long they last. I decided not to do souvenirs for anyone because it gets a little difficult with so many to by for. Sorry family! It was VERY hot that day - about 90 degrees, so we were pretty sweaty and gross when all was said and done.
On the way back, I had an interesting subway encounter. Two women and two young boys were riding right next to me, and the one little boy started to have a potty accident. Mom panicked and grabbed a bath towel (I think they were going to the beach), stood the kid up, pulled down his pants and said "piss." Um, what? I couldn't turn away as the kid peed into the towel that his mom was holding up to him. Strange.
That night we had dinner with the Asia Finance Lead (he's American), the Asia Controller (she's Canadian) and the Credit Lead (he's Indian). It was a pretty good dinner - we were glad to have Mark the Finance Lead with us, as he ordered a variety of stuff we would like. One of the items was some kind of really messy crab, so they came around and put bibs on all of us.Day 8: Monday
Monday was a long day of meetings - the same as Europe with people from all over Asia presenting. Again, it was great to meet some of the people I had traded numerous emails with. Monday night we had our group dinner, but first we all went on the Singapore Flyer, which is basically a huge, slow ferris wheel that gives a great view of the city.
The ferris wheel car:The group (notice how I tower over all of the women): View of the city (notice the floating soccer field in the foreground - crazy!): Then we had dinner at an Indian restaurant. The food was pretty good, but Indian is not my favorite cuisine. Gotta love that nan though!
Day 9: Tuesday
Tuesday was another long day of meetings. That night, Jason, Peggy & I decided to go to Chinatown and get massages, based on a recommendation from the locals. The place was called Jin Jing Physician, which was interesting to me. My massage was pretty normal, with the exception of the last 10 minutes or so, when she went to town on my head. She got out some tool and was basically scraping my head, then she started pounding on it. Not my idea of a soothing massage. Jason & Peggy, however, had it much worse. They both said it felt like they were getting beat up - their masseuses were really rough.
Day 10: Wednesday
We taught training on Wednesday and left the office around 2:30. We decided to explore Singapore so we went to this place called Sentosa Island. We rode this funny "ride" called the Luge. The signs totally hyped this thing, and their slogan was "One time is never enough." Turns out it was basically a go cart with no motor that you rode downhill. Funny.
We stayed up all night Wednesday night and got back to the hotel around 3:00am. The car was picking us up at 4:00am for our ride to the airport, so we thought this would be a good strategy to help us sleep on the plane.
Day 11: Thursday
After a 3-hour flight to Hong Kong, an almost 2 hour layover and a 14-hour flight to Chicago, we got delayed for an extra 5 hours in Chicago. I despise O'Hare airport - I have the most terrible luck there. We finally made it home after 10:00pm Thursday (we gained 13 hours) after a 30-hour travel day. Phew!
I'm happy to report that my sleeping is completely back to normal and I'm Ambien-free - this is much quicker than last year's trip. I'm becoming a pro at 'round the world travel!