From the BK to the SK
For me, one of the best judges of whether I truly love a place is I can imagine myself living there, see my life before my eyes and feel at home before I even set foot into exploring whatever immense city I'm traveling through. It's like love at first sight for me when I visit a city, and it's this feeling that kind of just pulsates through your body with each beat of your heart. I have to admit, most places I have been I've been able to picture myself living in, but that's no matter; each city makes me feel that way for a different reason.
Singapore was just such a break from the uniformity of Korea. It was just a beautiful, clean land filled with state‐of‐the art everything and people whose lifestyles I envied from the moment I stepped off the plane. It was definitely an expensive city, though, so having a well‐paid job is probably a good thing to have if you want to live in such a city.
We spent only three days there, which when you're traveling is just bordering enough time but also falling short of truly experincing the culture and lifestyle there (in my opinion at least). Though, as I said, it was so expensive I don't think we could have spent a week there and still have money left for our second part of the trip, so it was best that we left when we did.
One of the other reasons I think I fell so in love with Singapore is because it reminded me that I was doing something that I love: backpacking. Granted, I was doing it only for a few weeks, but we met some girls and some other people at our hostel whose stories made me tear up inside with jealousy, and I couldn't imagine returning to work and my life in Korea. It isn't that I didn't like it, but I think right now I am definitely going to be hitting my low because traveling put me on such a high, but it was over faster than I could comprehend. We met people at our hostel who were traveling for just a few weeks or for a few months, some even for a year.
There were these two British girls our age we talked with for a while the first night we arrived in Singapore. It's just this incredible thing to meet people who you barely know at all but can relate to on levels that you can't relate to with many other people in your life. We all shared one addiction, and we were passing around our stories like they were drugs and were getting high off one another's stashes. My friend Amanda told me she could see how excited I got and how in love I was with life when I was sitting and talking with them.
Anyway, we did some shopping in Singapre, and I got my ear pierced, something I've been wanting to do for years but have been so scared that it would hurt too much. (I prefer to drink snake's blood instead.) We went to the zoo, which was one of the coolest zoos I have ever been to in my life. It was an 'open zoo', the world's largest rainforest zoo I think. The animals weren't behind cages, so there were monkeys flying over my head or kangaroos that I could reach out and touch and these beautiful white tigers that were about 20 yards away from where we stood. We passed zibras and giraffes and hippos that were an arm's length away, and for the most part the entire zoo was like this. It was really, really cool. It felt like walking through an African safari or something (though definitely no where near as intense).
But Sunday in Singapore was my favorite day by far. My friend Amanda and I shopped our lives away, wandering through stores with clothes so beautiful that our wallets were slowly drying up like deserts. We finally decided to catch the train back at around 6 p.m., and the scene before us was something that made my entire soul scream with excitement.
Little India on a Sunday night is the coolest experience I will have, for the time being, to actually being in India. There were people e v e r y w h e r e. No, let me correct that: There were MEN everywhere. They were just aimlessly walking all around, pouring into the streets and creating traffic jams on these little narrow side streets you could only see in a movie. There were men hanging out of the windows, looking down with searching eyes and steady faces through the commotion below. There were men just hanging out on the street corners, standing around and talking, doing absolutely nothing. We stopped in a little restaurant to eat that had all of its seating outside, but we had to move closer to the counter because of all the passerbys. They honestly just filtered through schools of fish. It was honestly like watching a schools of fish swim right before your eyes, in these big, big, big groups all moving with the same pace and in the same direction. What struck me most, though, aside from the endless men on every inch of sidewalk space and overflowing onto the streets was the way that they walked. It was like a race for my eyes to keep up with. There was just something about their steps that were livelier, faster than a lesiurely walk but not as determined as people rushing to get to a certain place. It was the most interesting thing I've ever seen in my life, and it made me eager to get to India. It just seriously lit an even bigger fire in my heart that burns with a desire to go to India and explore the country.
I really didn't want to leave Singapore. I loved it so much. I know that culturally, aside from my experience on Sunday night, isn't all too challenging of a lifestyle as it is living elsewhere in Asia. Everyone in Singapore speaks English and it is very Westernized, which is probably what we needed. I know for my friend Amanda and I the shopping sent us into overdrive, and it was nice to have a break in the endless collective fashion that is like a plague in Korea. Everyone dresses the exact same.
But, our time in Singapore had to come to an end, and I think our wallets needed some replinishing after just three days.
I'll make my way back to Singapore one day, when I have more money and more time to spend there and treat myself to a little beautiful R and R, but I did leave with some mixed feelings. I had a heavy heart because I felt like I fell in love with that city, but I felt all the more excie

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