Singapore Redux: Concised Edition
Very early on the morning after my wedding day (03/16), I have to leave my beloved spankin’ new wife to the city of Lions for an official visitation for The Company to Citibank Singapore, Ltd. for benchmarking purposes.
At 4:00 am, my father-in-law and my wife dropped me off at the Soekarno-Hatta airport. I have told them of my intention to go by taxi, but they both insisted on accompanying me to the airport. It was a little bit awkward for me, as the sun hasn’t yet rose and I’m sure they were tired from the previous day’s event, but I accepted their offer.
After a quick morning prayer, I met my colleagues at gate E3. There were three junior officers – including yours truly – and two senior officers on the team. The later being the head of IT division and vice head of the funds and services division, high-ranking indeed. We checked-in for the GA822 flight ETD 06:30 am and paid our international travel tax – fiskal in our lingo.
The on-time flight was all smooth all the way to Changi. The flight took an hour and a half or so. We tried to catch the shuttle bus to our hotel – Changi Village Hotel – but we were 15 minutes late so we used the minibus cab (SGD 50.00) instead. The hotel was very posh and modern, a huge departure from the hotel from my previous Singaporean adventure.
After leaving our luggage at the concierge – the hotel’s check-in time was 02:00 pm – we took the bus to the nearest point to Orchard Road. We decided to look around for a place to do lunch. We set our feet to the The Paragon on Orchard Road. We found an Indonesian restaurant, Tambuah Mas on the floor directory on went straightly there. The bosses ordered for us: two gado-gado, one tahu telor, three pieces of Indonesian fried chicken, and a bamboo container of rice – a typical Indonesian diet, heavy in carbohydrate. Heheh. Why they insisted on Indonesian food right there in Singapore, only heaven knows. The food was so-so but the conversation after that went for around an hour and a half.
Right after lunch we decided to part ways. The bosses went shopping for golf equipments or something; Bli Nyoman wanted to meet up with several of his friends; which left me and Muharto with nothing much to do. So, Mumu and me went to the beloved Mustafa Centre. I wanted to buy souvenirs for the guys at my office and he got nothing else to do. “I wanted to save money for the furniture for my new home,” he said. He got punished for his own words when, after my shopping, he broke his trouser’s zipper in the Farrer Park MRT station toilet. Poor Mumu. I called home to ma bell with my newly bought Phoenix calling card when he had a wardrobe malfunction in the toilet. Hahaha.
We went back to the hotel to meet up with the others right after that. We had our dinner at a Thai restaurant near the hotel. We had another long conversation there and went straight to bed after that.
The morning after, we had a late breakfast at the Saltwater Café downstairs and went to prep ourselves for the meeting – scheduled at 02:00 pm. We checked out, asked the concierge to keep our luggages, and took the bus to the Tampines bus interchange. We grabbed a quick lunch at the local McDonald’s about 20 minutes prior to the meeting. That’s the fastest lunch I ever had in my life!
The Citibank office was our next destination. We had a conversation with the one of the IT operational vice president of Citibank. For the records, it went along great. Our visit was very fruitful and informative.
After Citibank, we had a meeting with the guys from EMC for a discussion at a local café about The Company’s problems with one of their products. They promised a thorough review of the implementation and will come up with a solution within a month. We took the cab back to the hotel. It wasn’t too expensive, apparently, and much-much faster than the bus.
At around 07.00 pm we hopped aboard the hotel’s shuttle bus to the airport. We had dinner at a noodle stall at the terminal’s food court. For SGD 9.50 it didn’t taste that good. Quite a disappointment to be honest with you.
Anyway, we boarded our plane at 10.05 pm and arrived at Soekarno-Hatta airport at around 11.15 pm due to the one hour time difference between Singapore and Jakarta. My mom, pop, and sister picked me up at the airport and dropped me off at Ciputra Hotel for a good night sleep with my beautiful wife who was already waiting there. Woohoo!
Take a look at our photos here, if you like.