Farewell to 2012

Trip Start Dec 27, 2012
Trip End Jan 07, 2013

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Flag of Singapore  , Singapore,
Monday, December 31, 2012

As the last day of 2012 dawned, Rufio spent the morning working from the hotel lounge where we could watch his beloved Dallas Cowboys contend for a division championship spot. Unfortunately the Cowboys plundered, so after we lunched at Lucky Plaza on Filipino food to raise his spirits, I scrolled through a Singapore guide app to find a neighborhood in which to waste a few hours. I settled upon "Eastern Singapore" for two main attractions: the Geylang Serai wet market and the Peranakan terrace houses in the Joo Chiat district of the neighborhood. 

Before I left Rufio sent me a message saying he would be back earlier than normal, as most of the office had taken off for the holiday. That gave me only a few short hours to explore the neighborhood, so I took off on the MRT for the Paya Lebar station. Rainstorms had moved quickly into city over the course of the morning, and as I exited the station another downpour washed the city streets. We had borrowed a large umbrella from the hotel, so I set off in the direction I guessed might be correct. After about 20 minutes of sloshing through puddles and happening upon nothing really exciting other than a Buddhist monastery, I decided to check the map. I had been walking down the right street in the wrong direction. I doubled back and made my way toward the wet market. 

When I arrived I was rather disappointed. The textiles market upstairs was alive with activity, with Muslim women searching the rows of silken saris and khimars. The wet market, selling all assortments of live sea creatures, was unfortunately closed for the day. I arrived to see stall owners spraying the floors with hoses. The fresh produce stalls were still open, and the stench of durian hung hotly in the moist air. With my lower extremities soaking wet and the afternoon growing late, I realized I didn't have enough time to search out the row houses. I reluctantly headed back to the MRT, disappointed I didn't get a grand experience out of the day. 

Rufio and I met to enjoy our daily lounge drinks before settling on a plan for the evening. We had high hopes of partying to the beats of Asian DJs until the wee hours on Siloso Beach to ring in the New Year, but literally everyone we spoke to begrudged the idea. Apparently getting back to the main island would be essentially impossible, and since there was a possibility of storms, we quickly devised a backup plan. The New Year's Eve fireworks show at Marina Bay is world renowned as one of the best pyrotechnics displays. Since we both love a good fireworks show and the Bay is situated within walking distance of the Boat and Clarke Quay bar districts, we got dressed and hailed a cab for Clarke Quay.

After walking through the crowded streets a few minutes, we snagged an open high top at the Crazy Elephant rock bar. Noticing that Johnnie Walker black label was a few dollars cheaper than draft beer, we ordered up two on the rocks. After some hilarious people watching and another round, we decided to make our way to the marina to find a good viewing spot. We were disappointed to find no beer vendors on the streets or in the Bay area, but nonetheless we finagled our way through the crowd and managed to secure a prime viewing spot. We grumbled about standing there for an hour, but it became evident the groups around us had camped in their spots for hours. We arrogantly smirked and awaited the show.

Before we knew it the countdown began and at the stroke of midnight an 8 minute spectacle of light filled the sky above us. We kissed hello to 2013 and marveled like children at the booming show.

When the fireworks ended and the smoke began to clear the air, we shuffled along with the crowd until the barricades freed us of the funnel of humans. Having not eaten dinner, we found Charlie's Tapas Bar on Boat Quay where we ordered an assortment of small dishes and a bottle of wine to toast the New Year. When we finished, we made our way to the taxi stand on Clarke Quay. A line as far as the eye could see stretched through the bar district, so Rufio and I looked at each other and started a three mile walk back to the hotel. Along the way we witnessed what appeared to be the drunk zombie apocalypse of Singapore. Neither of us had ever witnessed such a dense concentration of drunk 20-somethings, even at FSU or Auburn. The comedy playing out before us made our entire walk enjoyable, as we put 2012 to bed and welcomed 2013.  
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