Singapore: An atrocious arrival to civilization

We arrived at the Singapore border control by bus from Melaka with high hopes. We were finally to enter an advanced civilisation, an economic powerhouse, a multicultural metropolitan ranked with the best in the world… & most importantly, TOILET SEATS!! Singapore was by far the most developed & westernised port of call on our journey, a far cry from the majority of the places we had been before. We had left the poverty-stricken north & had descended into the riches of the newest state in South East Asia.

We left the bus to go through passport control & were to meet back on board the bus the other side of the border in Singapore. For some reason though, the immigration officer was not keen on my newly issued South Korean visa, prompting a barrage of questions & a call to her supervisor for advice. After eventually getting through customs we headed down to meet the bus, only to find it had left!! Needless to say we were fuming! We had no Singaporean currency & very little Malaysian money left after purposeless purchases at the services to rid ourselves of change. We had been left stranded at the bloody border!! After a few moments of blind panic & general cursing of the bus driver we got on a local bus where the driver kindly allowed us to pay in Malaysian ringgit & gave us a discount so we could afford to get on!

It was 11pm by the time we reached our destination in the heart of Singapore & ALL the private rooms were taken. We wandered the backpacker area for an hour looking for somewhere to stay before succumbing to the fact we would have to stay in a shared room for the night… with 2 weird Indian guys, a mute Canadian & another guy who was asleep the whole time snoring. Fun times.

We woke up early the next morning to move into a private room across the street, dumped our bags & headed out for the day praying Singapore had something to offer that would mend our dampened mood. Thankfully our atrocious arrival in civilized Singapore was not to continue…

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