Singapore is a hot country — I defined it figuratively and literally. 1) Singapore is geographically located at the southern tip of Malayan peninsula — an equatorial country with high humidity that makes it literally hot; 2) Singapore is visually hot — with its highly urbanized landscape and visually appealing women; 3) Singapore, with its diverse culture, you’ll be in for a big surprise.
It was October 13, around 10am when we arrived at Changi Airport’s Budget Terminal in Singapore with my girlfriend and her two siblings. At the immigration counter, after checking my girlfriend’s passport and other travel documents, a male immigration officer summoned a female immigration officer and handed down to her my girlfriend’s passport and other travel documents and she asked my girlfriend to go to the immigration desk 45meters away from the counter with her.
As she walked by, the three of us looked at each other and asking the same question why she was being led to the immigration desk. We were totally clueless with the situation at that time — staring at her on the other side of the fence.
As she approached the immigration desk with sweaty palms, droplets of sweat rapidly emerging around her lips and stomach beginning to growl, she was a bit terrified and wondering why she was being led without any apparent reason. And upon reaching the desk, another male immigration officer with no facial reaction at all approached and — enter drum roll, her heart beating faster and having deep breathing — greeted her a happy birthday.
And that was the very first time she saw the officers had put on a smile on their faces as they handed a gift voucher worth of SGD5 to my girlfriend. The male immigration officer said that she can choose among the listed merchants within Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, 2, 3 or Budget Terminal where she can spend the gift voucher from October 13, the day of our arrival, until the next day only. Since we’re going to Terminal 2 after all for the train to take us to the city, my girlfriend had decided to spend it at McDonalds. She ordered the Big Breakfast meal of freshly scrambled eggs with sizzling sausage, perfectly crisp hashbrowns and mouth-watering toasted muffins on the side.
With this kind of surprises, Singapore is even hotter. Aside from having a tax-free shopping, if you travel or visit Singapore on the day of your birth day, you’ll “treat yourself to a bag of surprise and will make your birthday truly memorable”…as what the gift voucher have exactly said to my girlfriend.
Singapore, I’m loving it!