So here I sit, waiting for a flight back to Singapore after 17 absolutely awesome days in the US of A – 9 days in San Francisco, 3 days in Las Vegas and 5 days in Austin.
It was just me and another girl friend. Everyone who knew about the trip feared for our safety. Parents, friends, relatives.
I was actually dreading this trip as it loomed closer. Thoughts of “why on earth did I agree to this?” and “ZOMG, can I survive this?!” ran through my head like wildfire.
It was my first trip to a place I haven’t been before. On my own. (Well, nearly – my friend was just as lost as I was.) Without any adults around. (Most of my previous trips were with family. Otherwise, I’ll be in a group of at least 3 friends.)
It cumulated into 2 days of frantic researching during the weekend before our trip, as I figured out transit maps, directions, hotel locations and places we wanted to go.
It’s day 17. Our trip is nearly over, and we’ve had a blast of a time. It makes me wonder what I was so scared of before, and I realized that I’m actually more independent than I think.
In between meeting Elea (hurray for blogger friends), belting out karaoke on a stage in front of a sea of unknown people, travelling to places far out from the city such as the Googleplex and Apple’s Cupertino Campus on purely public transport, sniffing out awesome scenic spots (we hoped) not everyone knew about and basically did everything we wanted to do, it was an AWESOME trip. More details in subsequent entries.
It was tiring though. My travel buddy is already all conked out in front of me in the cafe. Heh.
Until we get back to Singapore …
What I really miss – driving further South on the motorways (and occasional, off the beaten tracks), going through small towns, watching the rolling hills dotted with flocks of sheep from the car’s window, and seeing the occasional snow-capped mountain range.
Snow mountains spotted while driving down the motorway to Wellington.
I love long and scenic drives, and last week’s New Zealand trip involved intensive driving. Plus one for me, but unfortunate for the drivers. The drives were long, winding and extremely tiring. I have no idea how they did it, but I have much respect for them.
I’m now back in Singapore. The concrete jungle. Where the only “mountain” we have is actually a hill standing at a mere 105 metres tall (Mount Faber), and the tallest point is only a mere 163 metres (Bukit Timah Hill) – and please don’t ask why our ‘mount’ is actually shorter than a ‘hill’. Where we find ourselves having to squeeze past folks all the time and be stuck in traffic jams, all while considering it ‘normal’. It’s suffocating.
I’m longing for fresh air – particularly New Zealand’s air. I really miss the place. The trip just went by too quickly.
(This is a backdated entry written offline, and published when I – finally – had wireless access.)
The weather here in New Zealand is much, much colder than expected. I found myself horrendously unprepared, and considering how my fellow trip counterparts shivering along with me, so was everyone else.
The temperature dipped to 10 degrees Celsius today. And during the trip thus far, I have never experienced the outdoor temperature rising to anything above 18 degrees.
And it’s supposed to be summer.
Having such cold summers can be quite awesome, though. It is the complete antithesis of Singapore’s hot and humid climate. A welcome change. But only provided if we were prepared with the appropriate thermal wear. (For us equator-dwelling folk, anything below 23 degrees warrants a jacket and below 17 degrees, two. Hurhur.)
Presently, I’m in Christchurch. The weather has cleared up considerably and the blue skies seem to be returning. However, the city is rather messy at the moment due to a strong earthquake (aftershock) that struck the area a couple of days ago.
Danger, keep out.
Several streets were cordoned off, with buildings and businesses shut down due to unstable structures.
An entire row of shops being cordoned off for inspection.
In addition to the earthquake, some freak weather system had hit the whole of New Zealand over the weekend and caused flooding in several areas. Part of the highway we were traveling on was flooded in mid-calf deep water, causing a massive traffic jam that left us stranded for close to forty-five minutes. The weather had also left us stranded indoors for close to two days.
Ah well, let’s call it a case of bad luck. At least, we are all safe and sound.