Wednesday, May 23, Susan, Jamie, Yek Yee and I piled into my Altis, fully loaded with KMP promotional stuff, and set off for Singapore! The drive was uneventful and we had dinner at KFC on the Malaysian side (our last cheap meal!) but when we arrived at the Singapore border, I was told my autopass card had expired! They needed to check my road tax. After they made sure it was kosher, I then tried to get a new card. After half an hour of fluffing around, they said that since I'd already clocked in with the expired card, I should use this card until the next time I come to Singapore, when I can get a new one. Oh well. Obstacles. Rinpoche always says that whenever we do anything meritorious, there will be obstacles.
We then proceeded to customs where they checked our handbags thoroughly and opened our boot. When they saw the printed postcards and bookmarks, they asked to see the invoice. I was like what invoice. There was no invoice, so I had to call Joe to ask him what to do. He said we didn't have any invoices. I was like.. what shall we do? Talk about obstacles. In the end, the customs officer let us off, but advised us that if we were to bring anything that was printed outside Singapore into the country, we needed to bring an invoice.
Finally, we could enter Singapore.
Anyway, after a few detours, we finally arrived at 44 Monk's Hill Road, which was where our very kind hostess, Ros, was staying. She was Kelvin, another writer's sister, and had offered to put us four girls (Susan, Yek Yee, Shin and I - Jamie was staying with her aunt) up. We'd never met so to let four complete strangers into her home was extremely generous.
We had a room with a sofa bed, and shared a bathroom with Ros. Since there were 4 of us, we scratched our heads on how to sleep. Fortunately, Susan and I brought our pillows with us! We decided to sleep horizontally across the bed, which was a small double bed, with our feet dangling off the side. That allowed all four of us to sleep on the bed!
When we woke up though, Yek Yee was sleeping on the bare floor with her jacket over her. We went off to Suntec Convention Centre by cab. I got it wrong though and had just asked the driver to take us to Suntec City. I didn't know that it was a huge complex and the Convention Centre was a different building. Poor Susan had to carry a humungously heavy bag full of KMP catalogues up and down some stairs.
When we finally got to the Exhibition Hall to set up the booth, there was no aircon. It was very still and hot in the Hall and JJ, Ben and Irene were already setting up there. We sweated away, putting labels on our DVDs - can you believe it - they were rated PG (Parental Guidance). As Rinpoche would say, 'Oh dear'.
Finally, about 8 hours later, the booth was well decorated and everything set up.
We were all hot and tired (and did I say sweaty?) but we loved how our booth looked. Here's a picture of all of us (ok, so you can't see much of the booth but nevermind - you get to see US!)
To end the day, Joseph generously said that KMP would treat the remaining coolies to a delicious dinner at Tony Roma's! Now, we were ready for the Book Fair tomorrow!
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