Continued from 48 Hours of Jet Lag in Singapore, Part I

Singapore is a shopping-lovers haven, and if it weren’t for the food, would be my worst nightmare. I seem to have missed out on that female gene that compels the rest of my gender to shop. You could spend days riding the metro from one mall to another, never seeing the light of day, and getting blissfully (or horrifyingly, in my case) lost in store after endless store.

From the bus stop, we were supposed to transfer over to the Sentosa Express, which should have been easy enough. But this stop, like many in the city, was in the midst of a massive shopping mall, while our previous bus had deposited us just outside the mall. This one was named VivoCity, and a city it was.

We started wandering around, trying to follow the vague signs for the Sentosa Express. Before too long we happened upon a Rip Curl store. Normally it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but there was a shark bikini I had eyed back in Houston that hadn’t been stocked in my size. Maybe this shop would have it. It was Asia after all, where I was slightly larger than the average person. So we succumbed to the spirit of shopping in Singapore, and bought some new beachwear. (Alas, the shark bikini was still not to be found).

Upon exiting the store, we decided that now was as good a time as any to stop for lunch, as this mall, no doubt, had an endless array of dining options. We found a suitable Japanese restaurant and ordered some quail egg yakitori and eel donburi. They also had some odd, probiotic-type drink with chunks of jelly floating around on a two-for-one special. Why not try something new, right? Fletch tried a cranberry and I tried the citrus pineapple. The verdict on their drinkability was still out after the first glass, so we ordered a second round, which I promptly knocked over, splattering my second pair of white shorts with bright yellow spots. Yes, just the right shade of yellow too. Luckily the spots were on the outside of my leg.

We finished lunch and I decided against making the hour journey each way back to the room just to change again. The aquarium would offer plenty of other things to look at besides one person’s yellow spotted shorts. Hopefully no one would notice, and whoever did, would never see me again.

The malls in Singapore are like the casinos in Vegas. There are no end of them, and once you get inside, they are still never ending, designed to get you good and lost so that you can never leave. I’ve never actually been to Vegas, but I hear that’s how things go. I have been to Singapore on several occasions, and let me tell you, my time spent in shopping malls has been 99% completely and utterly lost. You don't go in by choice either (or maybe you do if shopping is your thing); you're forced inside because that's where the public transport stop is annoyingly located

The signs to the Sentosa Express were vague, and said only that it was on level three. There was no indication as to what level we might currently be on, and the place extended down into basements as well as upwards. There was a good deal of wandering around, dodging crowds of Sunday shoppers before we finally managed to conclude with some certainty that we had found the third level. Then, like a scavenger hunt, we had to search around for the next sign. This is how ridiculously massive the malls in Singapore are; you can’t even find an entire public transport stop. (I also lost an entire ship port inside a Singapore mall on another occasion. It's a bit like losing a blue whale in the ocean).

We finally managed to locate the next sign, indicating that the Sentosa Express was next to the Food City, or Food Empire, or some other foody name that indicated a city unto itself. We found this food megalopolis, the entirety of which was decorated like an old-time China Town. We made our way around the parameter of the place, outside in the open air by this point. We didn’t have much option for which direction to go as the entire pathway was lined with towering construction walls. You’d have thought that being outside and up on the third story, we should have been able to look around and see which direction an entire island was in, but no, our entire view was obstructed by the walls. We kept walking, the only direction in which we were allowed to go, until we found ourselves back where we had started. After a moment of exasperated sighs from both of us, we tried again. This time we walked straight through the entirety of the Chinese lantern-lit food city, without even being tempted by any of the mouth-watering aromas, and voila, there was the Sentosa Express on the other side.

We scanned our fare cards on the sensor pads and nothing. The Sentosa Express wasn’t actually included in the public transport serviced by the fare card. There was a brief moment where we decided to just walk it; there was a walkway to the island and Google claimed it was only a 15 minute walk from our present location to the aquarium. Of course, the entry point to the walkway wasn’t located with the monorail, even though they ran parallel. Finding the walkway would require another Sherlock Holmes search through the mall. Luckily Fletch saved us from that trouble by noticing that it was already 4:30. There was no sense in going to the aquarium so late in the day. Luckily again for me, Fletch possesses the superpowers of a homing pigeon. I know that doesn’t sound very glamorous initially, but it has saved us on many occasions over the years. Once he has seen how to get to a place, he can always find his way back again. He had us out of that horrid mall in record time once we had decided to head back to the room. We both breathed a sigh of relief once we were outdoors again.

There were so many nice colors as our bus drove past this hotel. I tried to capture a shot in time.

We had grand plans of going to see the light shows at Gardens by the Bay that evening, plans that were thwarted by a sudden rainstorm and my assortment of stained clothing that was meant to last me the next two weeks. So we waited for the rain to lighten up and spent our evening at a laundromat instead. We also had grand plans to pay a visit to Maxwell Food Centre, the heart and soul of Singaporean cuisine, for dinner. Jet lag hit sudden and hard though, and we instead decided to browse the little local hawker centers around the laundromat. As neither of us was particularly hungry yet, we walked the laundry back to the room before deciding on food. Once we got back to the room I crashed hard, not even able to persuade myself to rise from the comfort of bed for dinner, and I’m not typically one to pass on good food. Jet lag is a vicious thing.