On the blink

First published

I thought I had gotten myself adjusted to sleeping on a Singaporean schedule by my second night here, but the two days since then have proven me completely wrong. Not only am I not sleeping to match my new time zone — I went to bed at three in the afternoon yesterday — but these new patterns don’t even make sense in my old time zone, where it’d just be three in the morning instead. All I can conclude is that I must have accidentally dropped my body clock while I was flying over Alaska.

At the very least, I have managed to get myself back on the Internet at this absurd hour, thanks to the ever-present gift of open access points. B. (who continues to be my sole roommate, since neither of the other two purported residents have shown up) and I had been able to get online through a wired connection to our wireless-in-name-only router, but in the middle of our impatience with the hostel staff, who have been less responsive than a dead deer in the middle of a highway, we decided to try getting the wireless to work on our own. The good news is that we can now connect wirelessly to our router. The bad news is that we did it through a factory reset, which wiped out the PPPoE passwords that we need to connect to the rest of the Internet. Whoops.

B., for his part, can’t seem to get any luck connecting to these unsecured routers, so he’s resigned himself to playing Minesweeper on his laptop, and only because he’s gotten very tired of playing Solitaire. And reading. And listening to music on his Zune. And standing around idly in the shower.

Let’s keep stepping backwards in time and talk about what I did yesterday. Before unceremoniously dumping ourselves on our respective beds in the middle of the afternoon, B. and I, along with a couple of new acquaintances from the past few days, headed over to a local IKEA to pick up a handful of necessities, like trash cans and stuffed disembodied hearts with arms. (Out of the five people that came in our group, I was somehow the only one to find this creepy.)

Before I go any further, actually, I’m going to make a confession. You may want to sit down for this.

This was the first time I’d ever been to IKEA in my life.

So one unintended consequence of all this is that the pinnacle of Swedish cultural exports, with its flat-packed wooden furniture and meatballs served in the indoor cafe, will now permanently be associated in my mind with being in Singapore. Speaking of meatballs, I could really use some right now, because I haven’t eaten a proper meal in the past sixteen hours. I’d walk to the nearby food market to get something, but nothing’s open at ten to five, and there’s no 7-Eleven in the vicinity to save me like there was at my hotel. Next time, I am definitely grabbing myself some of that Blueberry Morning from the supermarket down the street.

Anyway, IKEA was pretty uneventful. Grabbed stuff, paid money, ate food, marveled at the 22-square-metre model apartments and wished our hostel rooms could have that much style. You know, what everyone does at IKEA.

Gah, so hungry.