What the f*** am I eating that tastes so good?
Hungry after flying for more than 18 hours, I easily find my hostel - A Beary Good Hostel - throw my stuff into the locker, and run out to get some food. No chains, definitely no McDonalds. Walking around Chinatown, I quickly realize that I am seriously a minority. One white guy for every hundred Asians, maybe. This is going to be a crazy place.
Every square inch of this part of Singapore is a tourist trap - selling wares from cheap clothes (but expensive prices) to some questionable restaurants with nary an Asian patron.
But then, just as as I was giving up hope on finding an authentic restaurant, I spot it -- a small spot selling asian food, crammed with Asians. Picking a few items to go with the rice, the 80-year old lady piles the unknown vegetable and sweet and sour chicken onto a plate, and then stuns me with the price - $4.00. This is why the place is packed. I settle down at a table with a single customer and ask if i may sit there, and he answers back in the broken english i expect.
The food is delicious, though i do not know what two of the items are. if i hadn't been so hungry, i would have thought to photograph it for one of my friends to identify the strange concoction of vegetables.
I wish I could say that the walk back to the hostel was uneventful, but I can not. "Sir?" I hear. "Sir? Sir? SIR?" I turn to realize she IS talking to me, to be asked if I was alone. I say yes. HUGE MISTAKE. "Are you looking for friend?" she asked. She was a beautiful woman, about 4'10" and the most beautiful dark hair flowing down to the middle of her back. Probably about 30 years old, she was selling herself, and was visibly upset when I politely turned her down. As I walk away, I hear her mumble "a******"
Leaving the hooker, I proceed the couple blocks up the street to 18 Cross Street, the home of my former employer, Chubb Insurance. As I rode the elevator to the 11th floor, a couple Chubb employees were talking insurance and I had flashbacks to my claims career. I speak with the office manager, Marta, and explaining I just wanted a picture of the Chubb logo inside their office, she allows me but the receptionist didn't want to be in the photo. No worries, as her hardened face would have ruined the photo.
DAY 1 HAS PASSED. SUCCESS. BACK TO BED TO CONQUER THE JETLAG.