When I considered how to celebrate my thirtieth birthday, the one thing that came to mind was a weekend away. And when I discovered that my sister had to make a visa run the weekend after my birthday, and that Singapore was one of the possible destinations, it all fell into place. So this weekend we bundled up Baby Engineer for her first plane ride, and jetted off.
Anyone who has travelled to Singapore before will probably know that the accommodation there is ridiculously expensive. And if a room is not ridiculously expensive, it’s probably ridiculously small! And when your baby goes to bed at 6:30 pm, and ties you to the room for the rest of the night, ridiculously small is suddenly not really an option any more. So we ended up booking a whole apartment through AirBNB, which was pretty much our best decision ever.
The apartment was walking distance from an MRT (subway/metro/whatever you like to call it) station, which meant we could catch the MRT to and from the airport and not worry about taxis or car seats. We had two rooms, so we could leave Baby Engineer in the bedroom sleeping while we enjoyed our evening. And this was the view from our bedroom. Yes, that is a private roof top pool, and yes, it was amazing.
The apartment owner was nice enough to leave some restaurant recommendations, so while we waited for my sister, we wandered down for some Chicken Rice and explored the mall a little. We even found Cotton On Kids (aka best children’s clothes shop ever). The food was amazing. The mall had good shops. The public transport was quick and easy. Until that point, I hadn’t really realised how much I missed while living in Kuala Belait. When you’re in the thick of a place or situation, it’s easy to forget that other places are not like that. There is so much we love about our lives here, but there are also times I miss living somewhere a bit more modern.
When my sister arrived from Yangon, Myanmar, we rambled about how modern and fancy and green and functional Singapore was for a while. The baby met her aunty for the first time, and we hung around the apartment. We went out for food. We realised that going out for food was not such a good idea when the baby was supposed to be sleeping. We stopped in at the supermarket. We chatted and chilled. It was lovely.
The next day we started with prata (delicious) and coffee/tea, and filled the day with shopping, in true Singapore style (actually, not really in full Singapore style – we favoured IKEA and Uniqlo over Louis Vuitton and Armani). We were delighted about the feeding and baby care rooms in all the malls. We were surprised at how quickly the day disappeared. We were exhausted by the time we arrived back at the apartment.
The next day we aimed to be a bit more historic and a bit less capitalistic, but we kinda failed. We walked to Sentosa Island, and had a look around Chinatown and Little India. But really, we hardly did anything. Time flew, The Engineer started to feel pretty ill (I passed the bug that I got on the afternoon of my birthday onto him, apparently), my sister had a flight to catch.
We definitely didn’t leave Singapore feeling like we had done everything we wanted. Far from it. But I did leave with some pants that fit me (after the baby, I am unfortunately no longer catered for in most Asian stores), some rad Christmas presents, and some new and amazingly cute pyjamas for Baby Engineer. We also left knowing that Baby Engineer can handle the plane, even if it requires a LOT of aisle pacing, and can handle a lot of walking around and non baby-centred activity. And the best thing about Singapore being so nearby? When we need a dose of modern life, we can always go back!