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Travel Writing In Singapore

I’ve always thought that being a travel writer was the embodiment of what a writer’s writing career. I was right…it is, therefore, I am thankful that I got the chance to do that. Even if nobody wants to hire me to be a travel writer ever again in this lifetime, at least I can go to my grave saying, ‘Yeah, I did that and it was cool’. Sort of like when I told my kids that I used to sing rock sings…they were like….’wow, cool!’ Yup, it was cool indeed. 

I don’t think writing about the places I’ve been to and discussing them here is appropriate since I am being paid to do it and it should be intellectual property belonging to my client so I shall refrain from doing that. I’ll discuss them with you in person. :-)  Or you should just get a copy of Female, Nuyou or Men's Health in a couple of months when the booklet comes out. I'm under Singapore, ok? Hee hee hee....had to point you in the right direction. 

But I will blog about the experience and what I went through as a first-time travel writer. 

The Love shack experience

We did not have a lot of time to prepare for this travel writing project and it’s anybody’s guess the kind of budget we’re looking at. Whatever it is, it’s on a tight budget. I am sure this is purely accidental but you should have seen my shell-shocked expression when we arrived at the ‘hotel’. 

Good lawrd. By the time we reached the ‘lobby’, conversations along the lines of ‘how much per hour’ sucked all air out of my lungs. I felt like retching. OK, this has got to be a mistake! I can’t sleep here

But turns out, I can. And I did. 

I was disconcerted with the in-coming, out-going couples at first but by the second night we were there, I couldn’t see them already partly because I was already dead tired from all that walking. The line of taxies lining up outside in the middle of the night still disturbed me, though but I used another entrance to the side so that I could side-step them. Phew! There. Problem solved. 

Just in case, I bought a Twilight DVD and played it over and over and over again in the room (to drown out potential noise) while I slept. I’ve got the script memorized but I came home with a deep fixation with Robert Pattinson. I brought that home from Singapore

Apart from one night, I did not wake up to screams, shrieks, moans, groans and sound of things creaking, banging or smashing. Conclusion is…..Singaporeans made decent love at night even with *ahems*; and two, damn, this hotel’s got THICK walls. Good. 

The preparation…or lacking thereof.

As mentioned, this came as suddenly as my crush on my new love, Robert Pattinson….sort of like slammed me into a concrete wall…nose first… the speed of 200 kmph. Therefore, I did not get a lot of time to prepare, send out emails or make calls to prepare the shop owners of our visit. We sort of like…..hopped into their shops and demand away. 

Didn’t work. 

The photographer got mighty pissed off that he was stuck with a dumbo like me. Sigh….not in my plans, really. If I could see this coming, trust me, I would do everything within my power to pave the yellow brick road for this journey. So, this is a virgin experience for me….painful but enjoyable on the whole. Get it? Yeah, I knew you would. Now, go Clorox your brain. 

The lack of preparation meant that we ran into more walls than we anticipated. So, on the third day of our visit, we had to use the two-prong approach. I was faster on my feet because I wasn’t carrying anything (apart from the laptop on my back, that is) with me and I could make observations, snap photos, ask questions and then just go; as opposed to the job of a photographer.

So, I sped through the island of Singapore, attacking as many surprised people as I could and asked them there and then if I could get the photographer to pop by….SOON. If they said ‘yes’, then I would let the photog know and he would head on over. He didn’t need me for the scenic shots so, this worked out quite well. 

Talk about rolling with the punches, huh? 


Before heading over, I didn’t have a very good impression about Singaporeans. Sorry, guys, but this is the truth. It’s a private joke between the two countries – Singapore and Malaysia – we jab at each other all the time. 

But I have a relatively good impression about Singaporeans now. They’re not as bad as I imagined them to be. Maybe if I stayed longer and mingled with them more, the difference between Malaysians and Singaporeans would have been more apparent. 

Now….if only they would bloody reduce the price of stuff there, goddamnit! Which, resulted in….. 

My diet

I have to mention that because of the schedule and the budget, I stuck to a one-meal-a-day diet. I literally starved myself half to death while running around with a laptop on my back….I must have at least lost 20kg. 

Nah! Just kidding. :-) I didn’t even notice my hunger, actually. Being frantic half the time does that to you. I get used to eating soaked cup noodles in my bedroom in my hotel at night before I sleep. Oh. That’s how I got my noodles belly, huh? 

Ah well. I learned and at least I am looking forward to the next trip...if any. Now that I know what it's supposed to be like, I won't be as frantic. *fingers, toes and eyes crossed* 


angie ng said…
welcome back to m'sia ... at least you don't have to miss your kids anymore! :)

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