“Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions . . . by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell
Journal, 27 November 2011. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Singapore.
FROM THE FRIDGE TO THE FRYING PAN.
A brick wall of hot, heavy, steamy air greets me as I exit the airplane. Even on a rainy day, Kuala Lumpur still feels like a sauna.
Luggage has been automatically sent to my connection flight to Singapore. Good, one less thing to worry about. I send a text to Mom and Dad to let them know I landed safely, and another one to Idil to wish her a happy birthday.
My legs are numb and constantly tingling from the long flight. Eyes and head are drowsy from sleep deprivation but in high spirits.
WELCOME TO THE LION CITY.
6pm when I finally land in Singapore. It’s impossibly hot here as well, I can barely breathe.
I buy an EZ Link Pass to use with the local metro. The card feels remarkably similar to an Oyster card: pass it on the scanner on the way in, pass it again on the way out, and top it up when you run out of credit. The yellow line of the underground network is also called the Circle Line, just like in London.
Returning to the surface, I notice people drive their cars on the wrong side of the road around here too. And most seem to speak perfect English.
Amazing. Considering the Brits left Singapore ages ago, they sure left a strong mark behind.
A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP.
Hostel Amigos. The place is practically deserted. The communal area sucks, it’s actually cooler and more pleasant inside the dorms. There is one computer for everyone’s use but it’s not working, and neither is the Wi-Fi.
I’m the only one in the dorm apart from a Chinese fellow that doesn’t speak a word of English. We humorously attempt to communicate with one another for a bit.
Shower. Human again. I go and explore the neighbourhood and find a place to eat at the local food market. Not sure what it is I’ve ordered, it looks like a carrot omelette. Clueless about the juice as well. Tastes good though.
Back at the hostel I fall asleep immediately. Jet lag kicks in about four hours later, around 1am.
My mind spends the next seven hours awake in bed, excited and entertained with thoughts of joy and gratitude.
• I’m here.