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Reisverslag OMWT: Singapore
21 december 2014
Together with Jaewan I skipped the night at soulless Seoul Station in a super Korean fashion by watching a film in a DVDbang. As soon as the entrance to the airport rail opened we moved ourselves over there with all my heavy bags. Backpacking definitely had a different feel during winter. Of course it was snowing when I walked my bags to the station. I also worried a lot about my buried liquids since airport crews tend to throw luggage around. Fingers crossed for a safe journey; also for the liquids. Before boarding the train I hugged Jaewan goodbye and received a gift. Only later I would find out how well he got to know me in such a short time. He definitely encourages me to have confidence in making friends all over the world. At the airport everything was as usual; just at Shanghai my flight got delayed with more than one hour. It pissed me off, but I still had to be grateful towards the persons sitting next to me: I was so tired that I basically fell asleep anytime and they had to wake me up every time there was food or some important announcement. One particular moment didn’t allow me to fall asleep though: that moment that all children announce the landing with their cries. It was a good thing though, because I was awake to see Singapore (and Malaysia?) lighted up in the dark, forming a contrast with the black waters. The thunder at the background, which I’ve never witnessed from this viewpoint before, contributed to an “enlighted” atmosphere. Once I arrived in Singapore and got my bags and stuff I moved myself to Lorong Chuan to meet my Couchsurfing host Vanessa. It was so warm; really like Indonesia and Malaysia; 32 degrees instead of minus 6; and the layers of clothes I stripped off one by one weighted probably more than 2 kilograms together. After living in such an ethnic homogenous and conservative country like Korea I was awed by all the diversity in Singapore. The overall experience of arriving in Singapore was so nice, just like Vanessa and her place. I quickly had to change clothes though, because I would be partying with Joanne again. I left, wearing a skirt and high heels, but at the party place I felt so underdressed. Girls with tons of makeup, wearing dresses everywhere… Even though alcohol is so expensive in Singapore, plenty of people seemed tipsy around 1 o’clock (whereas Koreans tend to get drunk at 10 already), with white expats being overrepresented. With Joanne, a friend of her, and several “connections which make nightlife cheaper” we partied and ate bak kut the (pork rib soup) afterwards until 5. I arrived at Vanessa’s by taxi, without having spent anything that night. Even though I was so tired, the night made me feel young again. Even though I really liked Koreans, it was interesting to see so many different faces and styles again. Yeah diversity!
Going to Singapore feels like traveling, while being in Korea just felt like living. Life in Korea, without getting boring, got normal to me. The same streets, the familiar food, the people you know, home.. It got normal. I would sometimes forget about the time slipping away and before I knew I only had just a few weekends left to enjoy. Of course, I've always been enjoying, but I'm talking about these rare moments that you actually realize that you are enjoying the moment. Like, for a moment you stop and think and catch yourself being happy that you can experience that moment. If I am like that I feel like I make the moment even more memorable. I tried to make memories and as I was saying goodbye to more and more people, I realized that I made these memories together with others. Everyone might come to forget these moments, but I believe that they will somehow for ever contribute to our lives.
I left South-Korea without any regrets about what I experienced or did not experience. It has been a very valuable time for me. I'm happy. They say that home is where your heart is; through happy encounters with awesome people I'll just let my heart grow to the extent that anywhere I go is home.
22 december 2014 14:56 | Door: mama
Enjoy your days in Singapore with friends.
Have a good journey back home.
And I'm looking forward to see you and give you a big big hug!