A Night in Singapore: Seeing Taylor Swift in Real Life

March 2nd, 2024 will forever hold a very special place in my heart. I realize that the day itself wasn't entirely flawlesswhen shit happened it happened without acknowledging the concept of geographical boundariesbut there was something of a tonic about going on a new adventure, no matter the stain underneath.

So, for the first time in my life that day, I went to my very first concert experience. It was the first night of The Eras Tour in Singapore. And now the jaunt is my Roman empire. I can now say that I have watched a real-life Barbie take the stage for three amazing hours.


Around 02.30 am on a Saturday, my sister and I were already on our way to the airport (never beating the "always go on an early morning trip" allegation, I see). We had to catch our 06.30 flight, so instead of baring ourselves to the likelihood of panicking and rushing if we went too late, we decided to go as early as we could and take our time.

I loved the peaceful morning journey to the airport (well, who could have guessed?). Contemplating about where I was going straight into felt surreal. I had been waiting for this moment for so long that everything felt so haze-like unreal. It still stunned me that I was finally at the point in my life where I could buy a Taylor Swift concert ticket with my hard-earned money. No words could fathom how beyond grateful I was.

We arrived at the airport about an hour afterward, in there meeting my sister’s friend who used to be our old flat’s neighbor a few years back. After checking in and dropping off our luggage bags, my belly decided that it was time to eat. We went to Burger King and ordered ourselves some delicious-looking airport burgers.

Shortly after finishing our breakfast, boarding time came...

It took us less than one and a half hours to land in Singapore, but it felt even quicker as I was spending half of the trip in la-la land while the other half was when the sleepiness eventually vanished and was replaced by a major anticipation for the upcoming events. Upon seeing the familiar surroundings from hundreds of feet above, I smiled and secretly thought, “Hi, Singapore, we meet again.”

With a skyrocketing speed, my sister, her friend, and I rushed to go through immigration before scanning the baggage carousel for the sight of three familiar luggage bags. After getting our hands on our belongings, we boarded the MRT train to go to the hotel. Check-in was available around 3, so we entrusted our luggage bags in the small area near the lobby.

If you're curious as to why we tried to do everything at a gallop, it was because we had bought ourselves three tickets to the S.E.A. Aquarium in Sentosa Island for almost IDR 500.000 each. I couldn't really explain why, but we really wanted to squeeze in a little time to see some fish before meeting (or rather: watching) our beloved Tay-Tay. My sister and I had promised ourselves that we would let this aquarium visit go if by any chance there had been a delay in our flight causing us to go straight to the concert. Since it didn't happen, we wouldn't want our money to go to waste.

Still in our battle-ready mode, we decided to lunch first until no later than 12 o'clock. What the three of us had that day were three packs of mie goreng jawa that we hadn't had any idea we would get from our earlier flight. It didn't taste as sweet as I had expected, but it was still quite good for an airline dish.

Since our hotel was located right across the VivoCity mall, our crossing to reach the Sentosa Express was as swift as the Express afterward. Following the afternoon hot-footing, it seemed like we wouldn't accept any interception. How lucky we were that the universe didn't hand us any. Before the clock struck the hour, we had arrived at our destination, earlier than the maximum time of our scheduled lunch.

As it turned out, S.E.A. Aquarium was so amazingly big. Every time I thought that I had reached the end of the tour, I kept getting more aquariums with different creatures instead. We also stumbled upon this fish that we were quite familiar with from our childhood computer game called Feeding Frenzy:

But the ultimate highlight of the aquarium experience, for me, was seeing different kinds of jellyfish. Compared to the actual fish, they swam far slower, but they were certainly more under-the-sea attractive.

I think I might have captured some of the best pictures that I have ever taken... of jellyfish:

What a creature. What a place. How I hope I could jazz up this post by uploading more pictures of the aquarium, but I genuinely think that the other photographs I took wouldn't do the place justice, so the Sentosa trip accordingly ends here then.

After we got back to the VivoCity mall, it's safe to say that the three of us were completely parched. I went to buy a glass of coconut fresh juice with coconut balls from Mr. Coconut while my sister and her friend went to a random juice stall. One problem was solved while the other arose. We almost thought that we were doomed since it was raining quite heavily outside and we brought no umbrella with us, but the raindrop went away as quickly as it had come.

Hoping that we could do an early check-in to our room, we went back to our hotel to meet our fourth companion for the day. But Genie was currently off-dutythe staff informed us that they were quite overloaded so our rooms were not yet ready. With no time for feeling embarrassed, encouraged by the other concert-goers who seemed to clog the bathroom mirror, we opened our luggage bags in the relatively small lobby and got ready there. I quickly changed into my pink tank top, white jeans skirt, and a pair of cream-color boots. I was so ready for THE ERAS TOUR!!!

Well, this was where the trip got even more exciting. I had been seeing a lot of Swifties since the morning in the airport wearing the Eras Tour T-shirt, but the ones in the National Stadium were on a whole new level. Everyone sparkled, bejeweled, and shimmered. I loved seeing the eras that inspired them reflected in their outfit choices. As for me, I hoped that mine screamed "Lover" and "emails i can't send fwd" loud enough.

Just to be safe, and because I felt rather hungry, the four of us decided to fill our stomachs first in the food court of the Kallang Wave Mall. Believe me when I say that the mall was completely packed with Swifties. It was a miracle that we stumbled upon a recently empty table in the food court. Most people were sitting on the floor outside every store, eating and getting ready.

At about 4 o'clock, we decided to hit the road and join the queue to the stadium. At this point, the thought of seeing Taylor Swift felt so near and far at the same time. Near, because I knew we were in the same country for once. Far, because I had been informed that she took the stage at 8, and I was a little nervous about the thought of waiting that long.

Well, it was a good thing that we came a little early. Once we were safely inside the stadium, I saw how crowded the mass was downstairs. Even the queue to the tap water in front of me already snaked. Partly hoping that it would be a good decision to fill our empty plastic bottles before the concert started and partly joining the line without first knowing what it was for, we managed to be in the front row after more than a half hour. Good thing that we came early for unexpected things like this.

The view from our seats: CAT 6 Section 609 Seat Number 48 to 51

Another good thing that came out of the situation: we didn't need to join an even longer queue for the next few hours. Once we were inside, we were very careful with our water intake. And finally, precisely at 6 p.m., gorgeous Sabrina Carpenter took the stage with Read Your Mind as her first opening act.

For me, Sabrina was the perfect opening act for this tour. She sang some of my favorites of hers: Feather, Vicious, Tornado Warnings, Fast Times, and Nonsense. She did a cover of Dancing Queen too... ooh, what a life. And the Nonsense custom outro for that day was, "Gardens by the Bay, I wanna go there // Then, I’ll take you somewhere that has no hair // Singapore you’re so perfect, it’s no fair!"

Sabrina's set ended at about 06.40 p.m. I was getting even more anxious. "What should I do for about one hour with limited internet and phone battery?" said I. And to make it a lot worse, I was on my period and didn't bring any pads with me. Imagine how uncomfortable I felt.

In an attempt to kill some time, I went to the restroom first. I was then contemplating the idea of buying some food since my last meal was too spicy for me. Thank God I restrained myself. A few minutes after I went back to my seat, this famous clock appeared on the screen.

Everybody screamed, and I did too...

...and Taylor Swift finally took the stage at 7 freaking p.m.!!!

It was the swiftest three hours of my life, the best night ever (so far). Taylor told us about how her mom used to grow up in Singapore due to her grandparents' work mobility, and we all cheered. She came up wearing her yellow surprise-song dress for the acoustic session, and we all cheered. She sang a mash-up of Mine x Starlight and I Don't Wanna Live Forever x Dress, and we couldn't cheer any louder even if we all wanted to (Dress’ pre-chorus was my jam, so sorry people near me if I screamed vigorously too loud).

I recorded quite the footage on my phone, but none was posted because my shrill high-pitched voice ruined all the videos. I regretted nothing though. I screamed at the top of my lungs on every single song, knowing that it ain't the worst thing anyone ever heard. I constantly looked up and grinned, hopefully not like a devil.

The only thing I despised from this experience was my sore feet because of the boots. We spent most of the time in the concert standing, so they were definitely hurt. The long and crowded trip to the MRT station nearby didn't help either. My sister said that my facial expression couldn't hide the pain, but I somehow refused to take off the boots and just carry them. I don't know what I was thinking. I remember feeling hungry as hell and sleepy too, so triple the torture in your imagination.

If the concert ended at around 10.15 p.m., we had only managed to board the MRT train at about 11.30 p.m. and thus arrived at our hotel half an hour past midnight. Upon taking a much-needed shower after such humidity, we self-checked out three cups of Cup Noodles from the small food corner in the lobby. I chose the mushroom chicken flavor, and it tasted really good.

Supper ended rather quickly since exhaustion had taken its toll on us. I didn't know how some Swifties still had the energy to hang in the lobby and collectively sing. All I wanted was a bed and a good dream.


So my three companions and I parted ways the next morning. While my sister and her friends were still in their hotel rooms, waiting for their trip to Thailand later in the evening, I walked alone to the MRT station near our hotel. The street was still quite deserted from the earliness of 5 a.m., and I would be lying if I said that the empty road and the fact that two strangers were walking behind me didn't creep me out.

It was all just in my head though, thank God. I safely arrived at the station and found out that the first train would only leave at 06.10. Well, that was an unnecessary early rising for someone who was still so exhausted.

But still, my solo trip to and in the airport turned out really fun. I aimlessly wandered around the airport lounge by myself, bought Garret for some friends, and had almond Pepero that I had grabbed from the lobby earlier for breakfast (which tasted amazing). I then declared "flying alone" as the most exciting me-time activity one could dothere was something of a tonic about being a grown-up who had no problem with traveling alone, even if the said grown-up must go straight to the office to finish an urgent work afterward.