Monday 20th July. I caught an Indigo flight from the Kamaraj International terminal at 9.40 pm. The day was finally here. I was going for my first Urban Sketchers Symposium.
For the un-initiated I've been a member of this online group of location sketchers since 2011 and every year they meet in the month of July for 4 days of workshops, demos sharing and fun. This was the very first time the symposium was in Asia and of course I was going to be there!
I travelled through the night reaching Singapore early on 21st July. It was my one free day before the official start of the event and first on the agenda was trying to get a local sim card. Singapore has three telecom companies and I ended up in a Singtel store at Bugis Junction in search of my tourist sim.
The place was crowded with people. There were five or six Singtel attendants in crimson shirts talking to customers but a whole lot of other people sitting around on stools. Just as I was wondering how exactly to walk up to an attendant I looked up and realised it was a token system and all those others were waiting (famous Singapore queues!) so I got myself a token number Z1018 and found myself a stool to do this sketch.
The rest of the 21st was busy with personal visits but armed with my local sim I was able to make plans to meet some other international sketchers at Raffles hotel early the next morning for an informal session.
I ended up sketching not the hotel, but a local eating joint opposite which was buzzing with people at that early hour.
By the time I finished my sketch I had no clue where everyone else was so I wandered into Swee Kee to see what everyone was tucking in to. I ended up demolishing a steaming mug of Kopi and some delicious Kaya toast.
The rest of my fantastic experience over the next four days will have to come in installments as I slowly organise and scan all my sketches. So stay tuned for frequent updates!