Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rest of Yanni Singapore Trip

So, the next day after I saw Yanni I slept in a bit. I was tired and the bed was so comfy and the room so quiet. When I finally got ready to leave it started pouring rain, so I decided to wait an hour to see what happened. It let up. I walked down Orchard Road to Plaza Singapura. I went to Build a Bear. I know my Mom will be like what?! Yes, even though I am mature in someways when it comes to Teddy Bears and Build a Bear I will never grow up. At the mall I saw this really interesting guy. He was dressed in a tank top and had an ipod with head phones. He had his hair pulled back in a messy bun. He was wearing dance pants and dance shoes ( like jazz). He walked like a dancer does on stage when they are emphasizing their walk. It is very slow and drawn out. He kept looking and so I thought maybe he was on some show or something or wanting some friend to notice him. Later I was up a couple floors and saw him standing at the railing looking down. He was listening to his music just dancing away like he wanted everyone to notice him. It was pretty funny. I was trying to find out if any of the movies at the theater were worth seeing but couldn't get my Ipod to connect to the Wifi, so I gave up and left. It was raining again, so I decided to drop my items back off at my room, so as not to get everything wet. Then I went for a very long walk, sightseeing. I walked around from my hotel on Bencoolen and walked down Waterloo street all the way passed Middle street down Burgis street. Then I walked back to Victoria street and stopped into this new Chocolate shop called 10th Chocolate Street that carried Vezzo D'Or. I got myself some dark chocolate. I walked past Chijmes and down Hill street passed the Armenian church and then over passed St. Andrew's Cathedral and back passed the War Memorial and through the park to across the road from Esplanade Theaters on the Bay. After that I walked to the Asian Civilisations Museum and Indochine restaurant. I didn't realize I had passed Merlion park or I would have stopped there too. They weren't serving the rack of lamb until 6:30p.m. and it was 6:00 so I decided I didn't want to wait around there and didn't want to eat just a burger. So I walked over to Raffle's Landing site, passed the Arts House and Parliament house. I walked back close to Hill street and the Old Hill Street Police Building but turned back and made my way to Victoria street and eventually Chijmes. I ate dinner at Hog's Breath, which I discovered last time. I ate buffalo wings and the chicken Caesar wrap again. Then I walked back to my hotel on Bencoolen street. I dropped off my stuff and then got a cab and went to the housewarming party of a new twitter friend that I was meeting in person for the first time (another post). After that I went to bed when I got back.

At base of Singapore Flyer
On Sunday I went to check out the Singapore Writer's Festival that was very close by but didn't see much that was going on, probably because I didn't know exactly where to look. Then I walked over the the National Museum of Singapore. The first exhibit was one on the History of Singapore. I was given a headset to listen to. I went through this curtain onto this walk way with a 360 screen and then across the walkway through another curtain and down this winding ramp to the rest of the exhibit. I didn't stand in that one long. It was darkly lit and like a maze. It was kind of creepy. After that I went to the Living Galleries exhibits on Film and Wayang, Photography- framing the Family, food, and fashion. Part of the permenant exhibits is this swinging chandelier display and a huge chili on the back side of the building. My legs and feet were tired from all the walking I did the day before, so after that I went back to the hotel for awhile. Then I went to Trattoria Lafiandra for a late lunch, early dinner but they were not open yet. So I walked down to Suntec City.  I wanted to see a movie, but it was only playing once that day and it was done for the day. I decided to go see "What's Your Number". It was ok. It was predictable. After I got done I thought I could walk to Singapore Flyer but there was construction and it looked like it was on the other side of highway roads with no places to cross. It was so close though that I didn't want to get a cab. I walked back to Trattoria Lafiandra for a very late dinner. I had bruschette and a then had a tortelloni with roquefort cheese (I think).

I get stopped by people when I am out and about for various things like to take their picture, for directions, just to talk to me, trying to sell me stuff. When I first headed out that day this guy stopped me and was telling me that I had a lucky face, and a good heart, and all this other stuff. Some of it seemed right on. Then he took out a piece of paper and wrote down the name of a flower. I picked rose and that is what he had written. I almost said Plumeria though. Then he wanted me to give him money to pray for me. I told him no thanks. I was kind of creeped out by the situation. I hoped then to give a leave me alone vibe but I guess not. I had a lady stop me shortly after that to take her picture, a couple people to sell me things, and others to randomly talk to me.

Double Helix bridge
On Monday I thought about going out to Sentosa island but I decided it was probably crowded and really I only wanted to go to two shops there, one being a popcorn shop. I still wanted to go to the Singapore Flyer but I didn't want to take a cab all the way there and then back. I thought it was a waste of money. I walked down Orchard Road again. First, I went to the Cathay to see the "Change Up" but they didn't have it and didn't have many shops. I walked back to Plaza Singapura to see about seeing it there but it was done. I ate lunch at Secret Recipe. Then I walked back to my hotel room. I wasn't feeling well. I think it was all the walking I had been doing, but not drinking enough water and not eating very much. I went to Wendy's for dinner. I didn't feel like walking too far and felt like a chocolate frosty. I watched movies in my room.

On Tuesday which was my last full day housekeeping called at 12:30 to find out when they could clean. I had the do not disturb sign on and then had not called any of the others days.  I was about ready to leave anyway. I noticed that the screw on my right side of my glasses was coming loose and I didn't have my spare pair with me. I didn't know where my little screwdriver was. I walked to Raffle's City and went to a place there. I bought a new screwdriver but couldn't get it to tighten. I took my glasses back in and asked the guy if he could help me. He said it was something wrong with the screw. I told him I was traveling and didn't have a spare pair. He changed the screw for free, how nice. After that I got a cab for Marina Bay Sands. I went to the Art and Science museum. I want to see the Van Gogh and Dali exhibits. They only had the Salvador Dali. I didn't care for his paintings or drawings, but I thought his sculptures were ok. After that I walked to the Double Helix bridge and went across stopping to take pictures. When I got to the other side I could see that I could walk across to the Singapore Flyer. So, I went.
The back of Chijmes
 It was nice. It is a great way to look out over Singapore. At first I was afraid to get up off the seat. I am not afraid of heights, but I am of falling. Eventually I got up though so I could look out even better than from the middle. At one point this middle aged lady in a foursome ( I think they were Russian) asked if I wanted my picture taken. I nodded. So she took my picture. Then she told me that I should have one done with the sights in the background. She handed my camera off to the younger guy in the group. I don't think he really wanted to, but she said he was better at taking pictures. So I stood with the Marina Bay Sands sights in the background. He got really close, instead of zooming in. I was trying to smile in the picture so I looked happy but trying not to blush since he was really good looking and trying not to laugh since he was so serious. The whole trip took about 1/2 hour. After that I walked back over the Double Helix bridge. I walked around the Marina Bay Sands shops for awhile. I saw that Kenny G is coming in November but there is no way for me to go. Then,  I got a cab and headed back to my hotel. The guy missed the turn off with the construction and I had to walk a ways. I was upset at first, but then I passed my two really cool beads stores. One had pieces made up by the owner. It reminded me how much I miss making jewelry. I walked back to my hotel and waited a bit to make sure places where open for dinner. I walked back down to Chijmes and went to Fandango's Tapas and Wine bar. I had seen it advertized as coming soon back in August. They were open. I had a tapas that was bread with marinated feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes and parsley. My other tapas that was lamb cutlets with mint jelly and this weird tiny dried pasta. Both were very good though. Then I walked to Lippolis and had gelato for the first time. I had the black forest. It was great. Then I walked back to my hotel and worked on packing my suitcase.
Black Forest gelato

Wednesday morning I got up and went to the airport. Our plane took off about an hour late. We were in a long line of planes. I could see 10 planes lines up behind us waiting for their turn. When I got back it was pouring rain here.

Yanni in Singapore

About a month ago we learned at school that we were going to get a week off for Chinese New Year in January instead of just two days. I was looking at the Marina Bay Sands Theater website about Wicked because I want to see that. I noticed that Yanni was going to be there on the 21st of October for one night only. Even though I love lots of different types of music (except country) there are some artists that are my favorites. I have liked Yanni since I was in my early teens and have wanted to see him for a long time. The date was almost perfect. We had until Wednesday the 26th of October off for the Sultan's birthday and Deepavali. The only problem is they only have one flight every other day here and only one on those days. The flight left at 12:50p.m. I got out of school at 12:05p.m. but that would not work because of my ride situation and with the traffic. I was so bummed. I talked to my parents and said why don't you ask the owner. I never take any sick days and the only days I missed where for a conference and I do my job and help cover for others. I went the next day and asked. He was fine with it. The Director of Studies said he would cover for me. I bought the ticket that day after school, made the flight and hotel reservations. I was excited. I couldn't believe I was finally going to see him in person.
October 21st rolled around. I got done with class at 11:00 a.m. and then the Director of Studies was going to cover my last class. I rushed outside to wait for my ride and she didn't show up for another 20 minutes. I realized on the way out to the airport I forgot my book I had bought last time of 100 Historical places to see and my maps. Oh well, it was too late to turn around. We made it to the airport in good time and I had some time to wait before it the plane showed up, but that was ok. I would rather be a little early than miss my only flight. We got to Singapore just fine and I got checked into the hotel room. After that I went to Marina Bays Sand shops first. I bought a few items I needed that I can't get where I am. Then I went to Osteria Mozza for dinner. Right across the mall from the theaters. I thought there was only one theater but there is actually two. "The Lion King" is playing in the other one, which I already saw.

I had a bufalo mozzarella appetizer, a leg of lamb for main dish and a wonderful (bitter chocolate) cioccolato for dessert. Then I went over to Yanni. I was in the front row, so close. It was dark on stage until they all came out. The other musicians came out first and then it was so quiet that we could here some guy back stage call out "All right Yanni! Time to go". We laughed. I could see that he has aged well. I know he is too old for me but I think he is still good looking. I must say that I like the scruffy look without the big huge mustache that he had for awhile. He is still very fit and must work out. I could tell that he is older though because he has older person skin like my Dad. He had two keyboards that he did some of the songs in between. He would play and hop around. He does lots of hair flipping. He also had a grand piano which was right in front of me that he played his more calm songs on. He played some from his new album out and some classics of his. He talked to the audience in between every few songs. He is very nice. He has a beautiful accent and seems like a genuinely warm and caring person. He has great musicians that play with him. It has two cello players, a bass player, two drummer, another keyboard player, two singers, a man that played trumpet and flugel horn, two violinist, and a trombone player. Some of the people were closer to his age and probably been with him a long time. Others were younger. All very talented though.
Waiting for concert to start
He was supposed to play for 90 minutes but he played for over two hours. Some of the songs he played: "The End of August" (which was about a time in his life when he was getting ready to leave Greece and live in America for awhile to continue making his music career), "Felitsa" ( which is about his Mom, who was very strong and believed in him and gave him peace and strength), "Nightingale" (which he composed after he had been to China and played in the Forbidden City), "Desire", "Aria", "Marching Season" (which featured his drummer friend), "Night to Remember", "Niki Nana", "Truth of Touch", "Echo of a Dream", "Seasons", "Voyage", "Flash of Color", "Vertigo", "Nine", "Can't Wait", "Guilty Pleasure", "Playing by Heart". I know he played more than that. There was no program which I wish there had been. I have heard his songs so many times that in listening to my Ipod after to figure out which ones exactly he played they also sound so familiar. He did not introduce every song. He did a couple encores which was wonderful. We gave him and his musicians several standing ovations. There was one point were he came really close and I could have stuck out my hand to shake his but I didn't. I didn't want it to end. Neither did anyone else.  The very last song he played is one of the first songs I remember of his. It is called "One Man's Dream". I remember back when I was in high school I introduced my dance teacher to Yanni and so we had a few of his numbers that year that we danced to. That was one of the songs and it was a pointe number. I always wanted to dance on pointe and be a ballerina (along with being a teacher). I did finally make it to pointe a few years after that and took that class with another class but not good enough to dance for the recital. He spoke about how even though the world is going through a hard time right now. All we need is for one person to have a dream and the world will change. He said that dreams do come true. Earlier he had told us that when he was a teenager, he and his main drummer had been in a rock and roll band (I just can't picture it.) and dreamed of a time when they would do just want they are doing. I agree. There are things I dreamed of when I was in high school like traveling overseas more and living overseas for a period of time and teaching. My 20's were fine, but my 30's are truly awesome because my dreams are coming true. The last song made me a little teary eyed thinking that I was finally getting to see him live, and that many of my dreams are coming true. At the same time it was a little sad to be by myself and not have someone to share it with.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meeting a Tweeter in Real Life

So, back at the Learning 2.011 Teacher's Conference I went to in September I was persuaded to join twitter. Previously I had be anti-twitter and never going to join. I thought Facebook was enough and I saw no reason for twitter other than people to share TMI about their lives. I thought I can't believe people are so lonely that they need to tweet about their every thought, thing they did, etc. I was never going to join. But, at the conference I learned that as a teacher it could be useful. I decided to give it a try. Wow, it is awesome. I am gaining so much in the almost 2 months that I have been on. I am gaining new resources, lesson plans, ideas, etc. I am glad that I joined.  I started by following the people that I met at the conference but have expanded to others based on recommendations or commenting on a tweet when someone has re-tweeted it. I have been talking to other people and many of them now I have never met.

This last Friday I went to Singapore for a 5 day school holiday. A few people that I correspond with are currently in Singapore. One of them asked me how long I was in Singapore and asked if I wanted to get together for coffee/snack or something. I said sure. On Saturday afternoon I got an invitation for a housewarming party. She wasn't sure if it was awkward for our first meet up and neither was I, but I decided to go anyway. I was busy sightseeing and didn't have to be there until 8p.m. at the earliest. I kept sightseeing and planned to have a normal dinner time and then go back to my hotel room and maybe freshen up a bit as there were going to be a few other people there. Well, the place I want to eat didn't start serving the food I wanted until after 6:30p.m. and it was only 6:00, so I decided to walk back to another restaurant closer to my hotel room. By the time I had dinner and walked back to my hotel room it was after 8p.m. What to do? I was very tired from all the walking and probably had perspired some with the heat and humidity. I didn't have any spare clothes to change into. Didn't know that I wanted to shower and put my same clothes back on. I didn't think I wanted to wash my face and put on fresh make up only to sweat it off or have to wash my face again in an hour. With my pale skin I get red easily so washing my face in hot water to get all the makeup off would have made my face red while there. Plus, if I showered it would probably relax me enough I would just crawl into the hotel bed and sleep. I decided I smelled fine, my deodorant was working well. My clothes looked ok and my makeup looked fine. I was only going to drop in for a few minutes and it was only going to be a small handful of people. Plus, even though I am not very shy anymore with a group of people I would find my corner to sit in and observe everyone else after saying hello to my twitter friend. I was nervous meeting someone I had only met online. What if in person I wasn't liked or did not turn out like the impression I have given. I kind of felt like I was going on a blind date. Not that I was interested in a romantic relationship or anything, but other than blind dates I have never met anyone first online and then in person, so I didn't know what else to compare it to. I tried to think positive that this meet up might be beneficial in ways I couldn't even know right now. Twitter has turned out to be beneficial and I thought it was the dumbest thing ever. So, I headed out the door again to get a cab.

I got to her place about 9p.m. and went up the elevator. As soon as the doors opened I could hear all the people talking. Uh oh, this sounds like a huge party. I go around the corner and see all the shoes in the hall all the way to the door of the apartment next door and all the way across to the other wall. Surely, this can't be the little housewarming party I was invited to, so I go the other way and look at the numbers on the doors. Nope, none of them are the right one, so I go back. I think I could just leave and no one would ever know I came. I should have showered. I should have brought spare clothes or got a new outfit. There is going to be a ton of people. Maybe I can still find a corner. Finally, I slip off my tennis shoes and go up to the door and ring the bell. I stand there hoping that no one heard over the noise of people talking, but within a minute the door opens and I am warmly greeted. I walk into a crowded hall and think, look at all these people. They are dressed nice and all look beautiful. My twitter friend looks nothing like her little picture. If I had seen her on the street I would not have known it was her. What was I thinking coming here? I was given a choice of a drink and I chose water because I had done tons and tons of walking but hadn't had enough water to drink. I was introduced to a few people and then was in the hallway talking to these people. The door opened a few minutes later and more people poured in. I held the door open so it wouldn't hit me and greet them. A couple of the ladies thought I was the sister of the host. I was like no, actually tonight was the first time we have met in person but we have been talking on twitter. I stayed in the hallway talking to people as they came in. Some of them asked me about me, as people moved farther in I stayed where I was and joined on the fringes of other groups and listened to the conversations and joined in if I had something to contribute. Not really in the corner but close enough. Then my twitter friend came back and had me come farther in and introduced me to other people. I talked with one group for a while and then joined another group. It was hard to hear and understand when others were talking to me. I have good hearing but I have a hard time in a crowded room singling out what is being said to me. I am constantly picking up on other conversations and missing what is being said to me or asked of me. Also, with the accents I still really struggle until I get to really know a person well. These are just a few reason why I like one on one compared to a large group. I think I did ok though. Finally, my feet and legs could not stand standing any more. I know that I walked miles and standing in my bare feet on a hard floor made them hurt. The only time I had sat all day was for dinner. I went straight from breakfast to dinner walking/sightseeing. I wanted to sit on the floor but it was too crowded and I knew if I sat down then that would be the end for me and sleep would be a short ways off. Plus, I was tired. So, I decided to call it a night. My twitter friend offer to call a cab for me but couldn't find her phone. She had to have someone else call it so it would ring. We finally found it and a cab was secured for me. I left a few minutes after that to be able to get out through the people, put my shoes on and go down the elevator to get outside before the cab showed up.

If I could do it over I would have brought a spare outfit that was nice but not too fancy. I would have stopped sightseeing earlier and had dinner earlier so I could have showered and changed. I would have had more water to drink so I could have had a drink. I knew that if my family knew about this they would have been proud that I went out on a limb (for me) and gone to this party with no one I knew in person. My brother would have been all about the networking. My Mother would have been horrified that I didn't freshen up before I went and if I tell her about it I am sure she will tell me what I should have done better. But anyway that is my first meet up with a new twitter friend.