If you're working in Indonesia, it's very likely you'll be going to Singapore within your first two weeks to collect your annual visa.
A trip to Singapore? ‘How amazing!' you may say, or ‘yes! Another stamp for the passport!' Probably even an ‘I wonder what I'll see.' I know I had these glittering thoughts when I was in England having briefly heard that I would be sent there. Subsequently, I had immediately started pondering, excited at what the hotel might be like, if it would be easy to get vegan food for breakfast, if Singapore's fruit was as fresh as other countries in Asia, and most importantly, what I could buy from the fashion boutiques I'd heard so much about.
In the end however, you'll only be going there for a few hours, so don't over-plan as I did and then be slightly disheartened when EF tells you you'll only be there for a day. After all, you're still going to Singapore!
Prepare for an early start, a very, very early start. The type of start you have when you need to wake up early to get to the airport to begin your week-long holiday somewhere sunny. Except it's one day.
I woke up at 2am to begin, giving myself what I thought was adequate time to get ready whilst quickly chugging down a cup of tea, except I was still a few minutes late when EF's resident driver came to collect me an hour later. Pro tip: I'd recommend you sleep on the journey, and not spend the time texting your friends at home because it's finally a good time for them to speak. You may regret not having that shuteye later on.
Upon arrival at the airport, you'll need to do all of the things expected of you when you are departing for a flight. Just remember to catch your flight and not doze off in the plentiful slouch chairs overlooking the runway!
Once you've arrived in Singapore (fill out the landing cards before immigration to save time), and once you've exited the airport, EF gives you two options. The first is to take a taxi to the office and the second is to take public transport. While it's cheaper to take public transport (around 20 Singapore dollars for a day pass), it takes an hour, although the directions EF provide you with are substantial. However, whereas although a taxi costs more, EF provides you with enough money for a return journey provided you don't splash out too much elsewhere. The taxi ride (between 20 – 30 Singapore dollars) is a quick 20 minutes – something I certainly needed after the delayed flight, because although I was rushing out of the airport to get to the office in time for the morning deadline, I ended up being quite early!
Once you get to the building you will be directed to the office by security, whereby you will then hand over your documents and passport.
Now here's the fun part: you have six or so hours to burn until you are required to be back at the office to pick up your passport. Personally, I only explored the local area by taking long walks, people watching, getting a necessary manicure and gorging myself on the treats Singapore has to offer. However, others often sight-see; taking trips to Chinatown, Orchard Road, Marina Bay and more. It's up to you what you do and how much of your own money you want to spend, but it might be handy buying a day train ticket and exploring that way. Just make sure you get to the office for the required time, otherwise you'll find yourself in a massive rush to get back to the airport for check-in, and you'd have missed the opportunity to have free samples at the airport bar!
It's done. You've got your passport and in it stamped a brand new year-long visa. Now it's time to head back to the airport and spend some time walking around the plentiful shops before collapsing onto your plane seat, getting through Indonesian immigration awake, and being picked up by EF's driver and taken back to your accommodation.
At this point you would have been awake for at least twenty hours and will want nothing more than a bed, but it's not that long of a day, I swear! And hey, it's Singapore!