Another relaxing weekend in Singapore, where virtually all my friends left the country without me. Luckily, we were paid a visit by the "Swedes Undercover" (as Andrey would call it) and I was able to hang out with the family for Gong-Gong's birthday.
When leaving Cambodia, Sebastian said that we had to do karaoke upon his return to Singapore. I thought it sounded like a great way to get to know the Asian culture, since Ruohan told me that karaoke is a really popular activity in Asia. So, Friday night, we all went to the KBox at Marina Square.
We didn't really know what to expect, since we had never heard of doing karaoke with only a small group of people. There is absolutely nothing like these karaoke places in the US. Basically, you get a whole room to yourself for just you and your friends. In our room, we had a couch here, then the TV in the other corner of the room, and the touch screen control panel next to the couch. It turned out to be lots of fun, as we were all belting out tunes.
I'm not sure though that we did karaoke quite like the Asians do it. Ruohan said that we were getting MANY strange stares as people walked past our room. Apparently, no one really sings English songs; only Chinese songs. And he said no one really raps either. Andrey just kept picking rap songs. Which are ok to listen to, but very difficult to sing karaoke to. However, his poor choice of songs can be attributed to the fact that he was wired on caffeine. The comment he had for this picture of himself was "After 5 redbulls and 2 cappuccinos... the second me comes out!"
The thing about these places is that you can stay late. And since you're paying a lot, you'll stay as late as they let you. When we checked in, they said the checkout time was 4:00am. Needless to say, we were there until about 3:45. At that point I was about to fall asleep. All our voices were shot from yelling so much, and no one had had as much caffeine as Andrey. And completely unrelated to karaoke, but just to show you the Asian way of college, when I got back at 4:15am on Friday night (or Saturday morning), there were STILL people up studying in the lounges. People here never sleep. But back to karaoke. The only thing that was disappointing was that they didn't have Build Me Up Buttercup, which Nyle reminded me is the best karaoke song ever. All in all though, I'm glad I went because now that's one more thing I can check off my list of things to do in Singapore.
Another thing I can check off my list is eating at the Raffles Hotel (that was never really on the list, but I can say I did it!). For Gong-Gong's birthday, we ate at Soup Restaurant, then headed over to the Raffles Hotel to get some dessert and a young coconut for myself since I hadn't tried it yet.
Apparently, getting a young coconut instead of an old one is very important, or else you won't be able to scrape out the meat after you drink the juice.
One thing that I have learned in Singapore is to be more patient and appreciative of family. Aunty Lay Hoon laughs because she said that here I was coming to Singapore for independence, and then my parents and aunt and grandparents follow me! Which I can't say I mind. It is nice to have family around, and other exchange students express their jealousy at the fact that I get to see family all the time.
And I'm glad Aunty Lay Hoon brought us to the Raffles Hotel for dessert yesterday since just getting a glimpse of the lobby makes me want to go back there and go to the Long Bar.
The Long Bar is where the Singapore Sling was invented, and no trip to Singapore is complete without trying the original drink. This poster in the window of the Raffles Hotel Shop makes that perfectly clear.
I'll need to find out how to do that soon since I only have 5 more weekends left in Singapore! And only two and a half of them will actually be spent in Singapore. I can't believe how time has flown. And although I really love Singapore and I'm going to miss it so much when I leave, there's still no place like home.