More Culture from the Lion City

POSTED IN | 11:04 PM
Some more shots of food and various things around town. I'm learning a few Chinese sayings and learning how insanely difficult the language is to learn for a honky like me. I'll repeat something back to Dan exactly like he says it and he just shakes his head. Oye vey. And I find my initial reaction when spoken to in Chinese is to answer in Spanish. Like that's going to do a lot of good here...

It's also RATHER hot here and the humidity readily apparent, but Singapore is really a beautiful city. For being such a densely populated place it is quite peaceful, stragely quiet and oddly clean. And I've not felt at all unsafe in any of the places we've ventured. Pretty remarkable for a big city.

And I'm still trying to process the idea of people having live-in "domestic helpers" here. They basically do a lot of work and charge very little for their services. I feel very odd asking for something or just expecting Dan's maid, Yanti, to do things for me like she does for everyone else. I have no category for this paradigm in my mind. And I'll say this is the first time for a woman besides my mother to launder my dirty underpants. Kind of strange, no?

Alas, the photos:

Famous cityscape shot. I want to get this one at night at some point too.

Ice cream on bread from a street vendor. A genuine ice cream sandwich. Probably the best iced cream I've tasted in a long time.

I assure you, the Powerpuff Girls are alive and well in this side of the world. I couldn't stop chuckling to myself about their popularity in mainstream culture, and all the people photographing them. Dan said "What is soo funny, John?"

Kolo Mee, Abolone (in the bowl) and Aloe Vera juice. Scary good. And I'm getting better with the 'sticks.

Shot from the roof of Dan's house.

The infamous Durian fruit. So far I've not tried it, but my time is coming. They say you either love it or hate it. Perhaps it's not unlike Marmite in this regard...

Open air market. Everything's fresh and local. Dan's dad has been coming to this market near their house for 20 years and knows all the independent merchants. Quite a novel idea, no? I can't name a single employee at the Wal-Mart back home. That's Yanti on the right.

We ate this fish head for dinner. Quite tasty. I definitely ate one of the eyeballs. A little slimy but surprisingly flavorful. Dan said he's never eaten one, so I've successfully one-upped a local. Booyah!

Here I am just blending in like one of the locals...

These guys were diassembling this stage when we passed by. Dan's dad said that every year the local Buddhists and Taoists have a big get together to worship an indescriminate god of their choice at this place. They have some tongue cutting rituals and then have a big party, Dan's dad said. Makes me think of a certain story about Elijah and some self-mutilation and the all-consuming fire...

On weekends a bunch of locals will gather near the market at this place. The things on the poles are bird cages, and people bring their pet song birds here to merely let them all sing together and enjoy the ensuing music. I've never seen anything like this. And apparently they have competitions for whose bird sings the best. Dan's mom used to be a judge. It seems like a pretty relaxing way to spend a Saturday morning I'd say. It is BYOB (Bring Your Own Bird) though, as Dan pointed out.

Breakfast at an Indian curry joint with Dan and his dad (Stanley - pictured). We had amazing bread-ish, eggy, cheesy things with curried sauce with lamb. And for a sweet finish this semi-circle behemoth crunchy thing covered in chocolate sauce. Of course these all have official names but I've forgetten them by now. But certainly one of the best breakfasts I've had in some time. I even ate more than Dan, and that's saying something.

Glorified chocolate milk, with indian undertones.

Dan and his dad grooving out. Stanley loves country western he said.

Spacing Out: my jet lag was overwhelming me yesterday evening and I found it difficult to string together coherent sentences. My body has no idea what's going on right now. It's on a crazy new time schedule and is being fed copious amounts of exotic food.

The funkiest fruit I'v ever seen. Looks like something Han Solo would've ordered in the Mos Eisley Cantina. You peel the furry stuff off and eat the sweet, white fruit.

4 Responses to 'More Culture from the Lion City'

  • Sally said...'> 11:35 AM

    wow, great pictures! I was going to ask if they had open air markets...I love them! as well as having a house maid, haha. it's probably one of the only ways I was spoiled by my overseas life.

    that food looks SO good.

    also, when I went to NW China, I found myself trying to answer back in Russian. They're speaking the non-English language, right? must be Ruusian!

  • Daughter of Eve said...'> 5:44 PM

    Comments: 1. Dan has exceedingly straight, white teeth? Are they all his own? If not, where'd he get them?
    2. You're doing a great job of blending in, I had to look twice to find you.
    3. Bring your own bird? So, I guess birds are a popular pet in Singapore? Does Uncle Stanley have one?

  • David said...'> 2:23 AM

    Hairy cherries are the glory of Costa Rica--learn to love them.

  • Anonymous said...'> 9:52 AM

    The last picture is of Rumbutans - they are as funky and cool as the Asians :) And while you're there, travel to East Coast Park, Sentosa, and well, etc. Pls: I absolutely miss the food there.