Day two is about to get underway, but I feel compelled to update you all on last night. I left the show at 6.15pm with the team from Singapore. We were taken on a short coach tour of the city before parking up at Casa Mila. I haven’t done any checking on this but apparently, as a building, it’s quite a big deal.
Anyway, we were ferried upstairs where well over 50 of us mingled and gorged on canapes. I caught a quick chat with Maria Pangoli, manager of the northern and western European branch of the Singapore Tourism Board, where we discussed some feature ideas and it was all jolly exciting.
By this time it was 8.30pm and I was still yet to check in to the hotel, so I elected to leave. In a bold move I decided to walk back to the hotel which, according to Google Maps, was 28 minutes away on foot. As it could have been my only chance to actually see some of the city, I went for it.
Straight down, over, over, across, right, left, right – how hard could it be? Very, it would transpire.
Horror of horror my battery soon gave up the ghost. But, undeterred, I pressed onwards. Soon after I found myself in a pedestrianised part of the city, which had not appeared on my original map route. Everything looked the same and there was not a signpost in sight, not that I knew the relevance of any place names anyway.
I must have been in that maze of allies – some of which, had they been in London, I would have avoided – for about 45 minutes. Then, mercifully, I found a road with petrol-powered traffic. There was little indication about where I was and, as equally depressingly, I discovered that I couldn’t speak Spanish.
I made a call to turn right, but after five minutes it didn’t feel right. I caved in and hailed a taxi, telling the driver the name of the hotel in English with an embarrassment-tinged Spanish accent. It was classy…
The drive to the hotel from where we were took about 15 minutes. Had I walked – even the right way – it would have taken me hours, maybe years.
I eventually arrived just in time to join the rest of the Mash Media team for some wholesome beer, where I regaled them with tales from my adventure.
Thankfully there is a moral to the story. Last night’s escapade could have been avoided if I had a) foregone the urge to take in the city and just got a taxi b) had a better phone with a better battery c) been able to speak Spanish and d) actually bothered to learn something about where I am.
Plan a route, write it down with ink, and make sure you can communicate. Here we go for day two, and I feel this will be the only way to stay on top of things.
(I’ll bring my phone charger though).