Caught a bus this morning to Singapore, and am writing this comfortably ensconced in my hotel room at the Peninsula Excelsior hotel.

Where did the time go?

Feels like yesterday I just got to KL, and this morning I had to say goodbye to it.

Goodbye to the pungent aromas of the street vendors steaming who knows what in bamboo baskets atop steampans, or selling fruit, or barbecuing unknown cuts of meat on open flames while others had racks of merchandise that spilled out onto the sidewalk so you had to step into the street to get by.

The people were SO nice!!!

Kuala Lumpur reminded me of Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Dubai all rolled into one. There’s a mixture of the brand new and the lovely old that is just so charming!

Don’t get me wrong. I love Singapore too, but it’s too modern! Everyone speaks English. It’s too clean. It has so much less character!

But driving out of the city this morning, trying to memorize the sights and sounds of the place, feeling sad that I’m saying goodbye to it so soon, made me feel quite melancholy.

Not even seeing three billboards on the side of the highway, with the same cheerful guy with his flat hand gesturing at the jar of California prunes that were being advertised was enough to completely destroy the bittersweetness of the moment.

I mean those billboards were really funny! Made all the more so because they were trying to be so serious!

It was a five hour drive. I thought of it like going from Toronto to Ottawa, only we had to pass through two government checkpoints. (One for leaving Malaysia and one for entering Singapore).

We were warned by the driver not to bring any chewing gum or stuff like it into Singapore–it’s STRICTLY FORBIDDEN!


Mind you, with my husband’s dislike of the stuff, I’m sure he’d appreciate the ban.

I find the best way to enjoy travel is NOT to have any expectations. Just keep an open mind, and see what happens!

And driving down the highway in Malaysia, seeing the beautiful verdant mountains in the distance, including a volcano that was surrounded by a caldera (covered in foliage–but nevertheless it had clearly exploded in th distant past) and all the palm oil plantations, I thought to myself, “Wow! I’m so lucky! I get to come to places like this–expenses paid!”

It just feels so good!

Tomorrow I get to visit some Singapore schools. I’m really looking forward to sharing my stories with them!

And then on Saturday the Asian Festival of Children’s Content will begin! Can’t wait! Leonard Marcus is giving a keynote. Should be very interesting!

Over and out.