November 12, 2006 - Downpour and More in Singapore!
I'm here! After an exhausting 16-hour flight, I arrived in Singapore to rain, rain, and rain! I was simply tired, so when I finally got to my room, I ordered room service, did some work on my computer, and relaxed indoors. I was supposed to do some sightseeing on the first two days of this trip, but it's been raining so hard that I haven't been able to do much. Bummer!
Finally, I was getting a bit stir-crazy in the hotel, so John and I went out to explore Singapore. We thought the rain had stopped but unfortunately, it hadn't! We stepped out into the streets around the hotel to find the place where I could get my photos taken – I have to get a visa to enter Vietnam from Singapore when I leave here on the 18th. We must've stopped at four different places to ask for directions, and we got different answers every time! All we could do was laugh at that – LOL!
After walking for about 15 minutes, we found the place and got the photos taken. Then, we were trying to find a good restaurant at this mall area but saw a supermarket next door. I was craving a certain fruit that is hard to find in the U.S. (and not as fresh as when you get it in Asia), and as we were walking through the market, we just looked at each other and laughed – we decided to just buy food and fruit there to take back to the hotel. And we bought enough to last us for the rest of our stay because we knew that we would both be too lazy to walk back to the store again! (We know each other so well and are so similar – it's no wonder we're best friends!)
And John, being such a great friend, carried all of the groceries, while I munched on the fruit all the way back to the hotel. Hee hee! Even in the ugly, rainy weather, we had so much fun laughing and spending time hanging out.
Krister flew in very late that night and called me when he arrived. He sounded exhausted and told me that he hadn't slept for two days (I can relate!) but still couldn't sleep, so we talked on the phone for awhile. We finally made arrangements to meet up the next day at noon for lunch.
When that time came the next day, I was 15 minutes late (surprised? ha ha) and saw everyone already there chatting – Krister, Harry, and John. Harry couldn't come to lunch with us but it was nice to see him! I was introduced to Murat Sahan with Poker Magazine, who was a very nice guy, I must say. We all went to lunch at Long John Silvers, then we decided to roam around and check out the city for awhile since the rain was letting up a bit. We headed to Chinatown because Krister wanted to take some pictures for the magazine.
It was hot outside – and very humid! The first place we stopped was right in front of a temple, and the statues on top of it were simply amazing – so detailed and beautiful! We continued walking around Chinatown, which looked a little like a flea market – lots of unique little shops with everything for sale that you could imagine. We stopped at this clothing store, and Krister saw this hat that people wore in China in the early 1900's. He made me put it on and snapped this GOOFY shot of me – go ahead and laugh! I know I did when I saw it!
Then we walked by this street vendor that sold baked water chestnuts, and my eyes just lit up, so John bought me a pound of them. It's another thing that I can't find in the States, and I think I saw them a mile before we actually got to the food stand! (Everyone probably thought I was nuts because I was SO happy – nuts, get it? LOL) I then asked the salesman if I could litter with the shells of the nuts, and he laughed but told me that I could if I wanted to pay a ticket. What? Evidently, Singapore is very strict with its laws! After walking around more and eating about a half pound of chestnuts, I was dying of thirst, so I bought a drink and gulped it down in one shot. Whew!
Still walking around, we came to a temple, and John and I decided to go in. We lit some incense and prayed, and I felt a huge sense of relief inside afterward. I guess that was something I really needed to do. After that, we were so exhausted from the heat and the walking that we went back to the hotel to rest for a few hours before the BetFair reception – we had to be there to sign up and get our cards for the main event.
By the time we got to the reception, there were lots of people there already who had come from all different parts of the world. It was nice to see the melting pot of people! They started the reception with a dragon dance – something done in the Asian culture on special occasions, like New Years, to bring good luck.
I was approached by quite a few people for photos, which I was happy to do. I always enjoy meeting new people! Then, I was approached by Valerie Tan, a reporter for Channel News Asia, who asked me to do a video interview. Krister told me later that he saw it on tv – yeah!
John, Harry, and I all played in the BetFair $400 satellite tournament, which was fun. From everything that I have seen so far, this BetFair event is going to be a huge success – great for Asia and great for poker. I've been waiting for so long for this to happen, and I'm just excited to be here and be a part of it!
The main event is coming up quickly, so I'll give you more updates as I go along. Take care, Everyone!