The Equator is Petty Hot in the Summertime.

Last days in Auckland ...
The ash cloud has cleared and the friendly skies are free to fly again. We are leaving for Singapore in a few hours and I wonder if the preconceived notions I have of Asia will be true.  Overcrowded loud streets planked by mega-skyscrapers supported by futuristic technology.  And cyborgs. 

For about four months, Tim and I have been talking about taking a trip to Waiheke Island off the coast of Auckland.  Considering we have been in New Zealand for exactly four months, our ratio of thought to action in this case is rather sad.  After the cranky ol' foot made it difficult to explore Rangitoto, an island comprised of walking trails only, our island explorations came to standstill.  In the truest sense.

Several weeks ago I purchased discount ferry tickets to Waiheke Island through one of the 15 different coupon deals I subscribe to.  And yesterday at 3pm, on a windy cold grey rainy day two days before we leave town forever, we decided to jump on the ferry.  The off season on Waiheke is slow, very slow, like ghost-town empty. We arrived with no plan and walked into "town" in search of food.  There was a convenience store, a bar, a cafe, and Stefano's Italian Restaurant that didn't open until 5:30pm.  It was 5:00.  We went into Malone's Irish Pub and were served by a cranky woman named Mary Malone.  Sure, on a busy party day, I don't expect a bartender to be my friend.  But we were the only people in the bar.  Well, there were a few blonde haired children in a semi-private section [behind an ill hung sheet] watching television.  It's a small family business, I guess, and I was all too happy to leave the family to business.  Dinner at Stefano's was great, expect for the veggie pizza with "56" mushrooms [that's Tim's estimate, he hates mushrooms].

It really started raining as we walked out to the bus stop.  Tim had a Red Hot Chili Peppers song in his head and wouldn't stop singing it, knowing very well how much I detest that band.  But in the strange fog of mixed messages, I was dancing around. It was soaking wet and very cold -- I only had on my hoodie -- I was so cold I couldn't stop moving!  I sent all my warm clothing back to the US earlier in the week. Why? ...

6.19.11 Singapore, here we come! ...
Ah, saying goodbye to New Zealand is a happy sad.
We are sitting in comfy chairs at the airport and there is a vivid rainbow over the runway. You can even see the violet!  Goodbye EnZed, goodbye.
I can't believe I am traveling around the world. This is the dream you joke about living someday.  Did  you know they don't sell gum at the airport here? Just mints. Gum is messy, I guess.

OMG.
OMG.
Oh no.
There are no tv's on the plane.  There are no tv's on the plane?  There are no tv's on the plane!
Oh no.
What was that? The trip will take extra long today? 10hrs 45min? I gave in and handed my credit card to a flight attendant and in return, I received a portable tv device thing to which my face was glued for 10hrs 45min.


6.19.11 Singapore, here be we! ...
At the airport, big signs announcing "ARRIVALS" direct us to customs. English is confusing in Singapore.

Me: Hello!
Customs lady: *grunt*

Tim: Hello!
Customs guy: *grunt*

And then they let us into their country. 
We stepped off the train at our hotel and paused -- you would have too -- it is so hot and humid outside it is difficult to breathe.  After dropping our bags off, we went in search of food. My body clock tells me it's 2am but Singapore says it's 10pm.  We walk to the esplanade, a solid recommendation we received from the 'Welcome to Singapore' video we watched on the airplane. 

Restaurants were either closed or dirty or not in English. After weaving in and out of a few mega malls, we found ourselves at Glutton Alley.  In this row of food carts and picnic tables, we ordered extra-greasy-most-likely-and-hopefully-is-because-we-asked-to-make-sure-but-there-is-a-language barrier vegan food.  Also, deep fried carrot cake? Not vegan but this really exists. Feeling disgustingly satisfied, we caught the last train back to our hotel. My body says: "Ouch!" It's 5 am [or 1 am, depends]. 

This computer only let's me upload 3 photos. I'll post more as soon as I can!
 Auckland Airport

 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Glutton Alley, Singapore