Someone made the following comment on the previous “Last Days in China” post: “Good luck on your trip home. I enjoyed following your travels.”
Home? Who says I’m going home? But for that matter, where is home? As I say in Living True To My Self, I’m a minimalist, vegan nomad. “I function with less, won’t eat any flesh, and my home’s where I rest.”
The story is simple: my China visa expired on March 7, so as is, um, advisable, one should leave when one’s stay has concluded. In the famous words of Felix Unger: “Never overstay your welcome, or you’ll never be welcome to stay over.” However, I do plan to return for more fun and excitement. In the famous words of Walt Goodridge, “There will always be a Jamaican in China!” (And the blog title will be the same wherever on the continent I roam…
Which brings me to, drum roll please….Jamaican in Singapore!
I’m in the area. It’s a quick flight, and Singapore, Bali, Indonesia, Malaysia have been on my list for quite some time. So, off we go!
My escape from China started with an early morning 5:30AM taxi ride to the Sanya train station. It takes about 30 minutes and costs 25RMB (on the meter) from the UFO Hotel.
I have to take the high speed train to Haikou since that’s the international airport on Hainan. Cost of train ticket: 88RMB. Length of ride: 1 hour 20 minutes.
Sunrise from Sanya.
Conveniently, the MeiLan station puts you in the basement of the Haikou airport. So a few escalators up and you’re there! In order to make the 20kg limit on checked-in luggage, I had to throw away a few items…final weight: 19.8kg.
Whew! That was tiring….After I took this photo of my plane departing, I had to run real fast to get back on it before takeoff. But the pilot was a real nice guy.
Hey! Is that the same little red car I spotted on Day 1 in China, Beijing??? Hey, are you following me?
I land in Singapore and change 300RMB to Singapore dollars (SGD) (Exchange rate: 1 RMB = 0.20SGD) so I ended up with about 60 Singapore Dollars for my taxi ride to my hostel.
My friend, Greta, had suggested Prince of Wales Hostel as a place to stay. This experience will be a bit different as I booked a bed in a dorm! The cost is 22SGD/night. That’s about 17US dollars per night. That’s about what I was paying for a single room on Hainan, so I didn’t want to go higher than that. That means I’ll be giving up my privacy and actually sharing living space with people!! Haven’t done that since….well, I’VE NEVER done that! Okay, that’s not true, when I was a homeless, entrepreneur upstart, I did “couch surf” with friends until I got on my feet!
In any event, Audrey shows me the accommodations, share the rules. (No outside food allowed on the premises; no food in the dorm. So I guess there’ll be no coffeepot cooking here.
First order of business after settling in: food! (I don’t eat airline food, and I typically don’t eat less than 24 hours before a plane flight) I checked Happycow.net and found a list of vegetarian restaurants. On the way to check out one on the list, I discovered this one, which was a bit more inviting. It was a bit before the evening shift, and the cooks were sleeping, but my new best friend (whom you’ll meet soon, was nice enough to get the cooks started a little earlier than usual. I simply had to wait about 20 minutes, and while I waited, I had some dessert.
Have you noticed how “flat” some of the photos appear? I’m wondering if that means the lens is sub-par and thus an indication that the camera in China might be a knock-off. What do you think the chances of that are?
Chloe, my new bestest friend, and first official Jamaican in Singapore photographer. She just started working at the restaurant a few days before.
I should tell you that Singapore seems to be the most vegetarian friendly place I’ve ever been! There are huge vegetarian signs everywhere!!! I mean everywhere! There will be no shortage of places to indulge my proclivities.
Later in the evening, I met up with some couch surfers and we hung out on Arab Street in Little India until about 11:30pm! Great first day in Singapore! Stay tuned!