I had my first post all planned out – a long thing about what I stood for when it comes to fashion, but seriously, I had to talk about my first trip overseas since I was in Primary 4. Yup, when my colleagues heard this, they couldn’t believe it. How can anyone not have stepped out of Singapore for 10 whole years? "Not even Malaysia?", one said. "Yup, not even Malaysia?" I nodded. "But…how? And why?"
Well, the thing is, all the money I’ve ever gotten (whether it’s ang pow money or from working), I’ve always spent it on clothes and shoes, bags and accessories – things that could make me instantly happy. I’m pretty much useless at saving (therefore making the call I had today from an investment company even funnier, because, what money do I have to invest?) so trips overseas have never been much of a consideration for me.
That was until, by some stroke of incredible luck, fortune shone on me (where the Toto and 4D gods never did) and the kind people at Kao (who own Asience) decided to invite herworldplus.com to Tokyo to learn more about the improved Asience haircare range.
And like the true cynic that I was – because really, who am I to deserve this? I am but a small potato in the land of respected editors and writers! – I didn’t believe how lucky I was until I was on that SQ flight and saw the bright lights of Tokyo when I landed.
So, if you, like me, have never been overseas since you were like, 10, or have never been to Tokyo, or just want to laugh at how much of a ‘swakoo’ (or ‘country bumpkin’ or ‘tortoise in the well’ or just insert translated Chinese proverb meaning someone who’s never seen the world) I am, then read my next few posts.
7 am: Arrive at airport with my family, who are understandably anxious as the last time I went overseas was in Primary 4, a whole 14 years ago. Why so long you ask? Well, I was waiting for opportunities like this! Last time I was at Changi Airport was to send off a Taiwanese pop star (anyone heard of Show Luo? Okay, no laughing please. I was young and impressionable).
7.30 am Have breakfast with my family. Kaya toast tastes better at the airport!
7.45am. Passport gets stuck inside one of those newfangled entrance gates at Terminal 3. A kind security guard ‘uncle’ had to use his fingernails to dig them out. Can literally hear my family groaning behind the glass panel.
8 am. For the first time in my life, truly feel like a worldly traveller as I walk through the area behind the glass panel. As you can tell, the ‘swakoo’ in me doesn’t even know what this said area is called.
9 am. Suddenly remember that I’m about to board a plane and start getting nervous. Those shows I’ve been watching about plane crash disasters haven’t actually helped.
10 am. Take my seat. Lady beside me and the flight attendant have trouble communicating – ah the troubles of air flight. I’m so excited. I repeat, I’m so excited.
Bye bye Singapore…
Hello bright lights of Tokyo!
Somewhere between 12pm and 5pm: Airplane food is delicious – obviously I chose the Japanese option. They even serve you full-sized Magnum ice cream!
5.30pm. Start getting excited again as the plane gets closer to Tokyo. The shimmering lights are already welcoming me – absolutely beautiful!
6.30pm Go through the immigration checkout counter – finally know why Uniqlo sells puffer jackets in so many variations and colours – all the fashionable Japanese people are wearing them.
7.44pm. Take the limousine bus into the central area of Tokyo. I pass by a tower that looks exactly like the Eiffel Tower (okay, the pictures I’ve seen of the Eiffel Tower) This sounds pretty silly but I’ll say it anyway – it looks exactly like what I saw when I used to play the PSP game Midnight Club Tokyo Drift – too cool for words.
8.30pm: Arrive at the ANA Hotel Intercontinental. The cold finally hits me and I scurry inside. My hotel room is gorgeous – I love hotel rooms, would live in one for the rest of my life if I could!
11.34 am: Can’t resist watching all the Japanese variety shows that I’ve heard about. Hey, The Hills in Japanese. Everyone sounds much friendlier on the show when it’s translated into Japanese. Still cannot believe that I’m in Japan.
Do you think I’ll survive Tokyo on my own? Read Part 2 of my Tokyo blog to find out!