A couple weeks ago, I was on a quick trip to Singapore to meet Marz and Ted so they could get their visa to come home for Easter. I was on the ground for two days and Marz and Ted for one full day.
The minute they stepped off the plane, we were on the hunt for passport photos!
We knew where to go because of doing this process many times before, however time was against us, and by the time we dropped their things off at the hotel, grabbed a taxi to where we needed to go, and drove there, the photo shop was closed!! (This is 8:30 at night.) Oh crud! What are we going to do now?!?! We have to get these photos done tonight!! The agent is picking passports up at 8:00 am the next morning!!! Whatdowedo? Whatdowedo? Whatdowedo?!?!?
We go eat! Because that's what any rational mom would do in an emergency situation like this! Remember we only have one day to get these visas for Marz and Ted so they come home to Papua! But more importantly, when you have a 16 year old boy staaaaarving, you feed him, regroup, and come up with a new plan. So that's what we did. We went to Dan Ryan's for a big juicy steak and the best apple pie and cheese cake, according to the kids, money could buy.
Thank goodness for my Global Communication Device! As we sat down for dinner, I will admit, I was rude, and was googling where to find passport photo places in Singapore late at night. It is now about 9:00 pm. Dinner took longer than I wanted it to take, but at this point, it didn't matter because most photo places were closed and not opened until 9:30 am, way way after the time we had to have the kids passports to the agent! So I'm trying to stay cool... It's now about 10:00 pm... Tummies are full. Now it's time to panic!!
I have not come up with one good solution to find a photo place!!
The kids and I decide to start wandering down to a dodgy money changer place, where we had taken out very first passport photos, five years ago! Maybe we would get lucky and they would be open... Well, NO SUCH LUCK!!
Now I'm getting really nervous!!
Next plan.... There's an even "dodgier" (if that's even a real word) area down on Orchard Road. There are many money exchangers, camera stores, 7-11's, toy stores, and I'm telling you not "kid" toy stores, all sorts of questionable businesses... But I am getting desperate!! So we go into one money exchanger and ask if he does passport photos and he says no and gives me the look like "are you stupid or something?Look around you..." Yah yah, I get it, we do not fit in here at all!!! But I am desperate...
So we go back out on the street and I am saying to myself, think, Think, THINK Robin!! This is Singapore for crying out loud!! There has to be something!!!
So I look up and across the street is a "not-so-dodgy" shopping mall. The Far East Plaza. There are lights on, and I know they have camera stores and money exchangers, maybe they will have what we need...
Well no such luck with having what we needed, but they actually have a human, behind an information desk, that I can ask questions!!! Maybe the night isn't going to be so bad after all... :) Ha!
Me, "Sir, excuse me, do you know of any place open at this time of night, that can take passport photos?" Sir, "Why yes there is! If you just go across the street to Orchard Towers, level 1, they have a photo taking booth and they have passport size photos there."
Stop right there! Just a word of advice, GET MORE INFORMATION the next time! I know what's in Orchard Towers this time of the night. It's now about 10:30pm. Yup, you guessed it... If you paid attention to the title... And can finish the title... But I'm just hoping it's really early and not many "ladies of the night" are out... And my 16 and 17 year olds don't know what's going on... LOL, right!! No one can be that stupid.... And we can get in and get out FAST! LOL again, right?!?!
So the kids and I quickly cross back over to the other side of the road... I am dreading every second of this but now I am totally filled with DESPIRATION and a little sense of relief...
We get to the Four Floors of.... and it's almost like I duck my head down and just push through... We need to get this done! I am now very determined!!
1st floor: (Soooo many stares from everyone... Three fish out of water...) We quick have a look around for the photo booth. We can't spot it, so like any good woman would do, I start asking for directions. First money changer, "I have no idea." Second, Third, and Fourth, same, same, same. No one seems to know where this BLOODY thing is!!
"Keep going Robin, Keep Going Robin" I tell myself. Someone has to know where this booth is!!
So the kids and I find an escalator... Remember, EVERYONE is looking at us!! Some are even SNICKERING behind hand at us!! But the best was, as we were going up the escalator, a group of 5-6 men were following us up and openly laughing and pointing at us!! "What are they doing here?" "They must be lost." Hahahahaha heeheeheehee!
The kids and I are trying to not laugh, because now it's just getting rediculous!
2nd floor: "Teddy and Mersades, just stand right here! I will go in to these two money changers and ask them." Go in nothing! They haven't a clue! I come back out to Marz and Ted, and this is where the fun begins....
Ted, in a small child like voice, "Mommy, she touched me!!" Me, "What?" Ted, "Yah, she touched me on my arm! Now I have an STD!" (I am truly laughing out loud as I write this!) An STD Ted... Huh, it will take more than that to get an STD... Are you learning anything in that health class you are in...?!?
But seriously!!! We still haven't found this photo booth!! Come on kids we have got to keep going!! And then all of a sudden, like manna from Heaven, I turn around and there is a photo.... Shop! Not the booth we have been looking for, but at least it starts with PHOTO!!
I run in and ask them! Of course, not in that shop! BUT, if you go across the bridge and down the stairs, there is a photo booth at the bottom of the stairs! Oh ThankYou, ThankYou, ThankYou!!!
So I go out, gather up Marz and Ted, who now has more STD's because he was "touched" on the arm again, (like really Ted, if someone is walking toward you, move so they can't "touch" you!) and we head to the bridge!
Now I really wish I had a picture of Ted doing this... But Ted, being the gentleman that his dad raised him to be, went to open the door for his sister and me. But because he has STD on the brain, kind of like Rainman, saying over and over, STD, STD, STD, Ted pulled up his shirt, covered his hands, and opened the door for us. That kid really needs to learn how STD's are transmitted! :P
We go across the bridge, opened the door, "Ted's way", and EUEREKA!!!! There is the most wonderful photo booth I have ever seen!!!
So finally we get the photos done and major relief has washed over me!! We pretty much came out of Orchard Towers "unscathed ", maybe not "untouched", but laughing and making fun of Teddy and having a great story for the books! :D
Truly Teddy, be serious! I think he was still having STD's on the brain! ;)
"Yah knowTeddy what goes on in those booths when the curtains closed?" "Ewweeeeeee Mom!! That's gross!!" LOL!! :D
Marz was way more calm!
Ted's proud photos!
So when I was saying get more information.... Orchard Towers Two, first floor!
The story doesn't quite end there... As we are walking back to where we know a taxi pick-up will be Teddy is J-walking acrosse the street! I am getting irritated with him and telling him if he gets hit by a car, I am not going to the hospital with him! I am going back to the hotel!! He says he doesn't care because maybe if he gets hit and taken to the hospital, he can get DISINFECTED!!!
What a nut! :D