A Travellerspoint blog

Plastics bags galore

There is not a care in the world for what the plastic bags are doing to the environment - every where I go they are more than happy to give out bags. I just dont see anyone carrying cloth bags. I had myself quite the adventure walking through the grocery store. Lots of common brands like Lays, Coke, Triscuit, Nestle (like my favorite noodles, Maggi!). What's fun is that each of the regular brands has a twist. Check out the seaweed Pringles and shrimp Pringles!
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Granny Smith apples are called US apples. Lots of fresh fruit, including the Dragon fruit!
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Insides of the dragon fruit. It's bland in taste, unfortunately, for something so pretty.
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And the teeny quail eggs are right beside the regular eggs.
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The stores are not big (no Costco, no Safeway, King Soopers even). They are all small, efficient stores, slightly bigger than 7Elevens. Makes sense I guess, since most people dont even have cars and use the trains.

I bought me a couple of huge guavas, ramen noodles, bandaids (blisters from walking a lot), and conditioner to tame the pouffy, humidity-saturated hair.

Posted by Goofy9 23:13 Comments (3)

Give me my day back

Lost a day coming over. Left on Friday, reached on Sunday.

The airline lost one of my bags. Actually, that's not true. Someone picked up my bag by mistake. Teaches me to buy a ubiquitous black bag. The airline was so nice, so friendly, so apologetic, I was very impressed.

First impression just out of the airport - it's warm and the humidity has made my hair huge. Taxi driver from the airport was chatty, and I had to make an effort to understand him. He had a stereotypical "Asian" accent. Told me where the locals eat - and that's important information. Minor accident on the road and motorcycle cops show up. Couldnt quite make out what kind of motor bikes those were.

Hotel is nice. Modern. I have a partial view of the ship yard and container area and ocean. Fitting, me thinks, considering that Singapore is the busiest port in the world. The TV has CNN and the usual stuff but also has Hindi (and Tamil) songs. And Australia TV. And Chinese (I think) soaps. Walked around some of the Central Business District, which really feels just like a collection of malls. All air conditioned, some super fancy Vegas-style, most have the train station at the lowest level.

Ate my first meal here - awesome! Laksa, which is a coconut fish sauce with mussels, prawns, a single hard boiled egg and rice noodles. Brilliant. And washed it all down with sugarcane juice. Happiness!
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I didnt get the name of the banana leaf wrapped thing. It tasted liked a baked fish and cornmeal cake. But not fishy at all.

Rich and I tested Skype and it works great. I was informed that Ajax gets my side of the bed now that I am not home for a bit.

Posted by Goofy9 02:12 Comments (5)

And it's all begun - and I am just at the airport.

5pm, Friday, March 26, LAX: What do I have in my hand - the Straits Times! Not a measly online one, but the real hardcopy, multipage newspaper of Singapore.

Here's a sampling of what's on the cover: Changi Airport is #1, beating out Hong Kong and South Korea. There's an ad for Double McSpicy with Hot n Spicy Shaker fries. As a connoisseur of fries, I will have to try those out and report back!

Page 2 and 3 have articles written by writers of Indian origin. That surprised me but when I gave that some more thought, I recollected that British Indian soldiers were deployed to the Malacca Straits during World War 2 to protect the British Fleet, which sort of explains the Indian presence in Singapore 60+ years after.

If one is so inclined, one can take a Royal Caribbean cruise for $2500 to China and Korea. So the ad tells me - with a picture of a caucasian man and woman in the ad. I wonder why the ad does not have Asian peoples!

eCitizen.gov.sg - Your GateWay to All Govt Services. Now, didnt New York do something like that too? This site is a one-stop shop for Govt housing details, transport, community development, etc. Here's an irony - India is the "silicon valley" of the East, and yet, we have not mastered the art of creating government websites to help the common person. Lots of high tech, but no low tech. Hmmm...

Wyclef Jean and Fat Boy Slim, and Kelly Clarkson are in town for the Malaysian Grand Prix! Enough said.

The Ministry of Education offers classes in conversational Chinese (as China is the great land of economic opportunity in the East) and in Malay (Malaysia and Indonesia are Singapore's neighbours). Pretty cool, if you ask me.

One whole page devoted to the US Healthcare bill.

Interesting - directions to places are given from the closest Train station! One of my friends who just got back from Japan said this is true of Japan too.

Youth Olympic Games (held in Singapore) tickets go on sale next week.

This is HUGE - The mainstream film theaters play Hindi movies. Woohoo!

And I got all this from reading the newspaper at the airport in LA.

Posted by Goofy9 17:09 Comments (6)

It was NOT the week

Thursday evening: We go to dinner, have some lettuce wraps, finish dinner, sneak a peek at emails on my cell phone and there it is, "Please do not leave as yet, more paperwork to be done. Hold off till next week." First reaction, "Woohoo! Another week at home."

I got home and felt like I had the flu - Rich made me admit that I do actually feel stress and that I am not above being fatigued. I slept, lounged around on Saturday, and am again ready. I think I may leave this coming Friday (26th)...let's see.

Went book shopping for an appropriate airline read. Ended up getting a book on Indian history - around the time of partition of India into Pakistan and Bangladesh. The interesting thing about the book is that it explains how the Fall of Singapore (to Japan) at the end of World War 2 affected the British Asian and Pacific fleet, which in a way accelerated Britain's departure from India. I had never heard of this before and it was like I gained a new understanding of the Partition of 1947.

Posted by Goofy9 15:07 Comments (0)

This is the week!

Rich starts his new job (well, not new, but new because he will be an "internal" and not a consultant) on April 1. And I am off to Singapore this week. We are both off on our adventures!

Rich is a miracle packer. I don't know how he does it, but he can pack a whole lot into a small spaces.
BEFORE
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DURING
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AFTER
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Some observations about packing:
1. How come I have more stuff now than I did when I first came to the U.S?
2. The running shoes are packed, but will I run is the question.
3. Symmetry is wonderful - matching luggage with matching maroon ribbons and matching tags.

Logistics: Den to LA (under 3 hours), and then 18 hours nonstop to Singapore. Invested in a super-juiced powerpack for my iPhone and a gamut of plugs for every possible outlet. Cross stitch is packed - doing teeny stitches should keep me busy for at least 8 hours.

Posted by Goofy9 16:01 Archived in Singapore Tagged packing Comments (3)

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