Singapore was humid, multicultural and SO much bigger than I thought it would be!!
The reason that this was even more pronounced was because instead of having free time in this port, I was the leader of a “challenge program”. The challenge consisted of touring around Singapore, based on what the group wanted to do, speaking as much English as possible throughout the day with mini missions thrown in to keep it interesting! Think an ESL version of the Amazing Race. It was really fun! My group ended up spending most of our time in Little India, tasting sweets, buying saris, exploring temples and getting lost trying to Arab Street. For lunch we headed to Chinatown and ate chili crab while enjoying a much needed rest and a really great discussion getting to know each other. Finally, after spending some more time in Chinatown looking around, we finally headed to the iconic Merlion, but we were cutting our time so close that we had to run there from the MRT (asking directions in English every step of the way), snap some photos, briefly enjoy the view of the bay and the massive Marina Bay Sands and then run back to MRT (subway) to get back to the waterfront by the time limit. We got there with only two minutes to spare.
After my responsibilities as a leader were over I had just under two hours to explore the city on my own. Although I had spent most of the morning there with my group, I loved Little India so much that I really wanted to go back at my own pace. I went to the hawkers (food stands) and got a pulled coffee, wandered through the shops a bit more, bought a delicious samosa (!!) and was able to get my “peace picture” for Singapore. I grabbed the MRT back to the harbour front and only had about 10 minutes on wifi to wish my parents happy anniversary before passing through customs and back onto the boat. After a long day, it felt good to be “home”.