It’s official: I am now in Singapore!
Here’s a recap so far:
I left Vancouver on Thursday afternoon. For the first time in years, I flew Cathay Pacific. Because of my choice in airline (this is based on the cheapest options provided by Sears), I had a six-hour stopover in Hong Kong Airport. I arrived in Hong Kong on Friday afternoon (HK time), and pretty much spent the whole time walking around the airport fighting the urge to sleep in order to avoid missing my flight! My flight to Singapore left Hong Kong at 1.30am, Saturday morning, and landed in Changi at around 5.30/6am. During my two flights, I think I slept a combined total of 1.5 hours – and I didn’t sleep at all in Hong Kong for fear of oversleeping!
Before I boarded my plane in Vancouver, I was told by the Cathay check-in person that I needed proof that my Student Pass application was approved by Singapore immigration. So, naturally, I freaked out. However, my parents then took me to the Philippine Airlines ticketing office, where they let me print out the confirmation. It was a 15-minute crisis that was resolved quickly, and kudos to my parents and PAL for getting it sorted (even though I wasn’t flying with them this time!). While I didn’t even have to show it when I landed in Changi (immigration officer told me that I should just follow NUS’s instructions, after I explained what I was doing in Singapore), she just stamped my passport and off I went!
I managed to get my luggage at around 5.50am, and then left Changi ten minutes later for my hotel, and arrived at around 6am. I was very much looking forward to passing out and sleeping the whole day in my hotel room, but it turned out that check-in time was at 3pm. Faced with a nine-hour wait, I left my luggage at the concierge and then went off to Orchard Road (pretty much the only place I could think of at the time!).
As most of Orchard Road is closed in the wee hours of the morning, the only place that I could go to was Starbucks. I spent the first few hours on wifi, fighting the urge to sleep so that I won’t be as jetlagged! At around 9am I just started walking around Orchard Road. I decided to be productive and started looking for a place where I could get a sim card for my phone!
After visiting both SingTel and M1, I found out that I couldn’t get a sim card unless my iPhone was unlocked (which I assumed could be done in Singapore). It turns out that you need to get your iPhone unlocked before coming to Singapore, as all iPhones sold in Singapore are already unlocked, so there are no unlocking services available. Right now, I’m trying to figure out how my iPhone can be remotely unlocked (apparently this is possible!), so I will be talking to TELUS a little later tonight (early morning Vancouver time).
After eating brunch, I took a taxi back to the hotel at 1pm, and managed to check-in early after the room was cleaned and made available. I fought off the urge to sleep so early, so I left the hotel after checking in, explored the Joo Chiat area, and ate a late lunch/early dinner at around 4pm. Afterwards, I returned the the room, and promptly passed out.
I woke up at around 6am today – not bad for someone with jetlag!
At around 10am, I bought an ez-Link card for public transport, and went to Parkview Mall to eat brunch and buy a travel adaptor for my laptop and phone chargers. After lunch, I went back to the hotel and took a bit of a nap, and then decided to figure out how I would get to work tomorrow by actually visiting the NUS Bukit Timah Campus. It took a while, but hopefully tomorrow will go well.
- Getting my phone unlocked – hopefully I get a Singapore number by tomorrow or Tuesday!
- I got major AIESEC-related stuff happening starting this week – will blog about it later.
- Hopefully my on-campus accommodation will be ready tomorrow – otherwise, I will have to book a room at the hotel I’m at now (provided it would still be available).
- Registration this week – as I’m here as a co-op student, my internship is treated as a course by UBC and NUS, and at the end of it, I will get a grade. So I will have to officially register for my NUS “course” and enroll. At the same time, I’ll have to complete final formalities for my Student Pass.
Long post and long wall of text – but that’s it!