Singapore F1 Weekend

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September 26, 2011

This trip actually wasn’t supposed to happen until the last minute.  My married-couple friends Lena and Rudy have been asking me for weeks to join them for this annual Formula 1 Race weekend.  At first, I was hesitant because I went last year, and even though I had a great time, the whole party-all-night atmosphere didn’t appeal that much to me.  After promising me that we’ll do a lot of fun things besides partying, I reluctantly agreed to tag along.

It’s funny how it seemed as though half of Bangkok was there on the same weekend. I was running into people I knew everywhere! At the mall, on the street, at the restaurants.  But it was so nice to have a good group of friends to do things with.

We were staying at Park Regis hotel near Clarke Quay, so for lunch we went across the street to have the famous Singaporean dish Black Pepper crab. This is a must-try dish for those that love seafood!

Since I went to the F1 race last year, I decided not to go again this year and focus on other great things Singapore has to offer.  The newly opened H&M store was on my to-do list as soon as I landed.  I’ve loved H&M clothes brand since I lived in Toronto, and I miss it quite a lot in Bangkok.  There was a 10-minute line to get inside the store!  Then a 30-minute line to try on the clothes, and another 10-minute line to pay!  After about an hour, I emerged from the store, severely dehydrated but generally pleased with my finds.

In the evening, I joined 15 other friends for dinner at the fancy restaurant/bar Ku De Ta located in the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) hotel.  The dinner was amazing, as one would expect.  The view from MBS rooftop bar is spectacular! You can see the race track from there.

Natalie and Miss Ukraine 2011

with Miss Ukraine 2011 Olesya Stefanko

As I was enjoying the evening, I noticed a few very beautiful and familiar-looking girls walking around. To my great surprise they turned out to be Miss Universe 2010 and 2011 contestants! I met Miss Ukraine 2011 (1st runner up and my absolute favorite to win) – she was drop-dead gorgeous just like on TV. She recognized me right away and was surprised that I could speak Russian. I chatted with her and Miss New Zealand 2010 for a few minutes, and then they took me to meet the other girls.

Natalie and Misses Ireland and Japan 2010 and Ines Ligron

with Misses Ireland and Japan 2010 and Ines Ligron

I was hoping to meet Leila Lopes the current Miss Universe, but she was in her room, too tired to attend the party.  But I did get to meet Miss Ireland 2010 – Rozanna Purcell, who was also my favorite last year to win the crown. Even more beautiful than her photos or videos, Rozanna is super tall and stunning.  Even I felt short next to her!  We have a very good friend in common – Miguel Martinez, who coached both of us, so we had a lot to talk about.

I also met Ines Ligron (former Miss Japan director) and Miss Japan 2010, who is also really beautiful.  Chatted with Ines for a few minutes, she is a very nice and attractive lady.  She invited me to come to another party the next day, but I unfortunately had other plans and couldn’t join.

The reason for the girls’ being in Singapore, was an event organized by former Miss Singapore – Rachel Kum, who started her own cosmetics line under her name.  She invited the current Miss Universe and former contestants for the F1 weekend to promote her brand.

I met Rachel last year at the race, and she had former Miss Universe contestants there as well. What a great thing she did, starting her own cosmetic line – a real inspiration to me!

Natalie at Universal Studios Singapore
at Universal Studios

On my last day in Singapore, 5 of my friends and I went to Universal Studios theme park.  It was so much fun, as I love scary rides and themed attractions.  The best ride of the day was the indoor rollercoaster The Curse of the Mummy, in the Egyptian theme from the blockbuster movie. I also really liked the inverted rollercoaster called Battlestar Galactica. We also got to meet and take photos with some famous cartoon characters.  Kung-fu Panda was my favorite!

Natalie with friends and Panda Kung-Fu
Clockwise: Panda, Janis, Lena, me, Rudy

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