Like usual took the night train all the way down to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore. There's just something about taking the train than the bus besides the 8 hour journey, it just seems more adventurous and relaxing, less of a hurry of getting from one place to another. The puffing engine pulling 8 or so carriages along the cool iron tracks, some parts smooth as silk and others like a raging river wobbling the cabins left and right, the click clacking sound of the iron wheels switching iron rails, grinding and pounding onto the tracks and the screeching sound of iron brakes, the forward and back motion jerks as the cabins compress to a stopping halt.
... and it's cheap, 64 bucks from KL - Singapore and back.
The other fun factor was that I didn't book any rooms for my stay :) So there was that exciting sense of urgency to find a bed at Prince of Wales a great backpackers hostel in Little India, Singapore. Designed with a pub downstairs and performances every night, its run by a helpful Australian host. It felt a bit awkward as I was the only Asian guy around, but I guess it's just that strange feeling of being around a group people from another culture, you try hard not to step on other peoples toes and stink up the place. It was an interesting experience.
Well, got a bed, took a shower and went straight to the Singapore Expo to register and check the booths out. Unfortunately like what my friends who had visited CGO the previous 2 years mentioned that it was getting smaller and smaller, and true enough this years' just seemed so .... dead. I've been to the first CGO in 2006 and that was a blast, people rushing to meet others, crowded and the air was full of festivity, maybe it was the first kind of CG conference in SE Asia region. Well, this year it just seemed dead, small pockets of people walking around 10 booths and the lack of lights just made it feel like a sinking ship. Either way, went around and check out the booths and chatted with some recruiters. Bumped into my friends who'd reached 2 days earlier for their "Track" ~ Workshop. Had lunch and discussed about the dying conference. Left after lunch and headed for city center.
My annual Pilgrimage to the Mint Museum of Toys situated right next to Raffles Hotel. About a year ago I found out that there is an authentic Bugs Bunny there autographed by Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Friz Frelang. You read books and articles about the golden era of animation, Warner Bros and Disney, countless photos of famous directors and animators but it just doesn't have as an impact as actually seeing a stuffed plush Bugs from that era signed by these great directors, something tangible and not just of words and pictures but history infused within an object of the past. Besides, Mr. Richard Tan the curator has an extensive knowledge in tin toys and memorabilia of the past, a nice guy to chat with.
Well, after visiting Bugs and all, I went over to the end of the town to meet another friend. Along the way I spotted this road side ad for Burger King, and honestly I'd never expect to see such advertisement in conservative Singapore, well I had to take a picture before they take it down :)
UPDATE : While browsing Digg.com this article came up about BK's Advertising, read the comments at the bottom of the page, specific~ly haysoos' comment.
On the way back there were these wicked cloud formation, it looked like Water Colour utilizing wet on wet technique.
Went back to the PoW to shower and come back out to meet up with my friends from CGO for dinner, finally had a chance to meet Jose Cua. Also had a chance to meet up with another friend of mine who's been staying in Singapore for the past few months, brought us go makan at some kopitiam next to a stadium somewhere, and had some nice fried seafood. Chatted, walked back to the hostel and crashed for the night.
The wonderful thing about Singapore is that I feel so safe walking around in the dark alone, maybe its just me being fool hardy but you just don't get that feeling in Malaysia.
That was it for my first day when I arrived in Singapore, lots of walking and by the time I got back to my bed my toes were aching and blistered. Slept like a log.
By the way I've set up a Flickr account, so if you want to see what I saw when I was in Singapore go check it out. Dick if you're reading this, the photo with the title Dick is not regarding you :)