Catch A Chili Crab Hon

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Catchachilicrab is catchingthelastbus, hon

Filed under: singapore — Shirley @ 9:45 pm

It’s hard to imagine how quickly these two years have passed. Some days a little quicker than others but that’s just life. I hope you enjoyed our journey as much as we have, we had. It’s harder even to say good-bye to friends we’ve made and now leave behind; to all the things we’ve loved about living in Singapore.

Our bus stop, the bus stop that took us to work, to eat, to shop, to all of our wanderings . . .

our bus stop

Right behind the bus on the right is Stevens Drive, just follow it down and around the bend to Parc Stevens . . .

the 190

Hang on! We’re riding off to new adventures . . .

hang on!

Til we meet again, Majulah Singapura!

National Day flags

This is the last Singapore post. There were too many experiences and not enough time to post them all. I hope you were able to get a good glimpse of Southeast Asia and other countries on this side of the world.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A World of Color

Filed under: singapore — Shirley @ 7:26 pm

Sorry to be so behind in my posting. Between my “boo” and our pack-out it’s been hectic over here. My boo is that I thought making albums of pictures I want to use for the blog was putting them out as copies. So when I moved all the pictures from iPhoto to my external hard drive (incase of a computer crash), I thought the “copies” would be there in the albums; but unfortunately it’s not the case and my albums are empty! Now I have to go back to the hard drive and find the pictures. I didn’t take the time to put them into folders – UGH! Live and learn.

As far as the pack out – everything is gone. The packers were efficient and hard working. I was so surprised when two of them were fasting for Ramadan so they couldn’t even have water. But I keep this apt like a meat locker so they were working cool conditions. We are now rambling around in the near-empty apt, it actually echoes. The Embassy provided us with a welcome kit so we do have the essentials and our luggage.

But lets get on with the post. One of Mick’s birthday presents was his very own point-and-shoot Canon digital camera. He had a fun time with Erin’s on one of her trips here he really needed to have his own. He has a good eye for color and composition and this is a great outlet for his talent when we’re out doing our last spin around Singapore. So let me show you his “world of color”! Enjoy . . .

One of his first pictures was this stand of umbrellas; on one of our forays into Chinatown this display very pink display of Hello Kitty hair clips caught his eye!

umbrellas Hello Kitty

When we’re in Chinatown we always stop for a fresh lime juice from this one stand. In fact we go so often that the proprietress recognizes us as we come to her stand. While we were sitting, getting out of the sun, Mick captured these coconuts. They are fresh coconuts that they open and stick a straw in for drinking. It’s not the coconut milk you actually drink, it’s the coconut water. Not a favorite of ours. Across from us was a stand selling Chinese calligraphy brushes, brightly lit from the sun we were trying to avoid!

Fresh coconut drinks brushes

Imported bowls and cups from a shop featuring kitchen items from Denmark. And a fabric/clothing shop in Arab Street. I was shopping for a sarong. I didn’t find anything here. The shop I was in didn’t have a sarong in the color I’m looking for that was long enough to wrap around my fat body 🙂 Who knew a long piece of fabric for a sarong would be “sized”!

bowls and cups Arab Street fabrics

I love Mentos, and now they have all sorts of flavors. I spotted cola and tropical fruits as I was passing this stand; I had to stop and pick some up. Lion puppets. We just had the annual Lion Dance Competition. You may remember my postings last year (click here to see).

sweets Lion puppets

I hope you enjoyed this cross section of some of the colors of Singapore. Not only is it the greenest place with trees, shrubs, and flowers all year round, it seems there’s just color everywhere you turn around.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It’s a bargain at S$199.00

Filed under: food, singapore — Shirley @ 8:03 pm

That’s $137.25 USD at today’s exchange rate of $1USD = $1.45Sing

I’m sure you’ve all received emails containing pictures of strange foods, funny vehicles and houses, cute baby animals, etc. And the square watermelon that was ingeniously developed in Japan to save space in the fridge.

I was meeting a friend for dinner at Plaza Singapura mall the other night. The atrium area is always featuring some sort of promotion; this week Carrefour (supermarket) is sponsoring the Japanese Food Festival. I stopped to see what fun things were being offered. The Japanese do the best packaging and fun, albeit, strange foods. Poking around I came up on this refrigerated case and Ta-da! spotted these, they’re for real! I was a little taken aback at the asking price . . . really?

Japanese Square Watermelons

They’re all wrapped up and tied with, appropriately, a gold bow. I’ve had people tell me I can’t take a picture of this or that food, I don’t know why. I do anyway because usually I’ve already snapped the shot; I took the top picture quickly and walked away incase this was one of those times. I took this bottom picture from the second floor.

Japanese Square Watermelons

I did just boldly walk up and take this shot! Let me know if you see one of these in your grocery store. I can’t imagine they’re popular outside of Japan. I wonder how much they charge for them IN Japan.

Japanese Square Watermelons

I wonder if they’re seedless – that wouldn’t be much fun, after paying all that money I would want seeds – I would want to challenge you to a watermelon seed spitting contest!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A proper pot of tea

Filed under: food, friends, singapore — Shirley @ 1:22 pm

Coming down to the wire on Rachel’s last week in Singapore. We’ve had a great time getting to know her in our two years here. We’ve shared a lot of cultural experiences, shopping trips, travels, and food – lots and lots of food. When Erin comes to visit Rachel is part of our family, they’re only a couple of years apart and get along so well. We too will be leaving Singapore soon so we’ve been sharing in all those “one more time before I leave”; one last time to see this or that, one last time to have that favorite food, etc.

Rachel mentioned she had never been to the Fullerton Hotel. She had been by it, used their taxi queue to get a cab, but never really been inside. It’s sits along the Singapore River opposite the Asian Civilizations Museum between Boat Quay and the Esplanade/Merlion Park. It was originally the General Post Office building but now transformed into a 5-star boutique hotel.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the afternoon tea offered at the Fullerton is a British-styled three-tier service. Not an “East meets West” buffet tea that also offers sushi, dim sum and other non-“tea” fare. Cucumber sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, was de rigueur. Each of our pots were enrobed in these beautiful silk cozies, color coded to our tea selection.

tea pot in silk cozy

Oops, we had already scarfed the cucumber sandwiches before I remembered to snap a picture. The right photo is the top tier that contained the puddings (dessert). The trays are set for two, and we were three, but the waitstaff comes around with replenishment so no one was left out, or left hungry. It’s amazing, you can really fill up on all these little bites of food.

savory/scone tier pudding

Music was supplied by a violin trio accompanied by an electrified piano (not in the picture because it was just a piano).

violin trio

It was very “civilized” as the British would say. A relaxing way to wile away the afternoon, sharing a cup of tea, a laugh, and some great memories. We’re going to miss you Rachel!

Rachel

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just one thing more before we move . . .

Filed under: singapore — Shirley @ 10:20 pm

Stop me! I must be stopped. During my stint as the Assistant CLO (Community Liaison Officer), we sponsored a trip to Lee’s Antiques. It’s one of my favorite places from my first CLO sponsored trip there two years ago shortly after we arrived in Singapore. Mick finds it very disturbing that the owner, Laura, calls me by my first name. (Mick’s comment: And they have each others cell phone numbers on speed dial!)

The last time we were at the warehouse, Laura had a drum cum occasional table in her warehouse/showroom but it was already sold. Of course, she could get me one! We discussed color and painted decoration. I mentioned black and gold dragons but very muted and subtle – antiqued so to speak. So in goes the order . . . weeks pass and it wasn’t ready so I figured maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Well, Laura called the other day to say my drum is here, actually she had a hard time reaching me because we were out of town. Along with Rachel, we headed over to the warehouse. I wasn’t sure they would interpret my idea to my liking, and I was prepared not to like it; an excuse so I could possibly purchase another rug! Well . . . it turned out very nice, though Laura didn’t have the glass top for it, not to worry . . . on the right is the painted design on the top of the drum – the Chinese character that means “double happiness”.

Chinese drum on stand top of drum

I mention our friend Rachel because although she has packed out and will be leaving in a week, she still could not resist “just one more thing”. She got a small drum (different shape), stand, and glass top for a steal – at the “a special customer is leaving” price. Laura also received a new shipment and we could not not poke around. I found my short-legged tea table. It’s 25″ square and sits 12 1/2″ high and solid wood.

short legged square table

But the best find was a lidded rectangular woven basket/chest. Laura had no idea how old it is, or much of the history about it but it was unique, old, and sported all of the original hardware. I had never come across something like this and it was in good condition – I had to have it. Mick was able to read the Chinese characters; vertically from right to left reads: “Huang Tian” and “Bao Ji” but all together it doesn’t make alot of sense. Mick thinks that from the meaning of Huang Tian, the name of a rebellious leader from the latter part of the Eastern Han Dynasty; and Bao: ensure/defend, Ji: records, the chest may have been used to hold his important documents. Makes for a good story, doesn’t it? I’m sticking to that.

antique basket/trunk

Aren’t these the neatest locking pins. My next search is for an antique lock to put through the locking flap – I know just where to go in Chinatown too!

locking bars for the lid locking plate

I’ll have a piece of glass made for the top and use this as a little side table. It’s so much fun when you’re not really looking and come upon something unique!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Out and About

Filed under: singapore — Shirley @ 2:49 am

We, along with Mick’s nine visitors were hosted for a day of fun and food. The visitors started out their morning on a hike at Tree Tops where they saw wild monkeys and crossed the long suspension bridge at tree top level. Mick and I opted out of that but met up with everyone for lunch and the remainder of the days activities. We had a fabulous chicken rice and Peranakan cuisine lunch. Then we walked around to a stall for fritters! While we were snacking after lunch – I don’t know how we had room for more food, I saw this food court across the way.

is this the best name?

Is that the greatest name for a food center. We didn’t have our lunch there because it’s only opened in the evenings. Gotta go back just to say we ate there!

someone's visited the food center for lunch

It looks like such a fun place!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Something borrowed, something blue

Filed under: friends, singapore — Shirley @ 2:45 pm

February 14, 2009 – Valentine’s Day. You are cordially invited . . .

Is there a more romantic date on the calendar to have a wedding? Cynthia and Daniel – are there two more adorable people to exchange marriage vows on this day? And if things weren’t perfect enough, a garden wedding held at The Lawn at the Raffles Hotel.

The Lawn

The vows and the rings –

The Vows The Rings

The kiss, and presenting . . . Mr and Mrs –

The Kiss The Couple

The girls (Michelle, Cynthia, me, Rachel); the food (there were lots of hors d’oeuvres, but I was too busy eating to take pictures and just caught these “leftovers” before they brought out the desserts) –

The Girls The Food

The photographer was finally able to pin the couple down for an “album” photo of the newly married couple.

The pose

Cynthia and Daniel, we wish you all the best and happiness on your new journey together. Thanks for letting us share in your day. We hope everything goes as beautifully when you have Part II of the wedding in Peru! xo

Sunday, February 8, 2009

combos – sand and surf… milk and cookies

Filed under: singapore — Shirley @ 4:08 pm

There are 365 days of summer here; that is about 360 days, plus 1 for leap year, too many for me. I miss the cold of winter so I can appreciate the hot of summer. (Ok, I don’t exactly appreciate summer’s heat, mostly I’m whining.) Except for the two weeks in New Zealand, I’ve only worn summer clothing and sandals for almost 17 months now. Maybe an occasional long sleeve shirt and I have to roll up the sleeves. I’m pretty much acclimated to the weather.

I miss my UGGs, all smoochy and snuggly on my toes. And socks. My friend Bonnie and I use to come to work and check out each other socks. Yay for fun socks.  Sock designs that may peek out from under our trousers.

Like the title of this post, “combos  –  _____  ” you fill in the blank. This is probably not one you’ve thought of off the top of your head.  You want to be fashionable and set your own style, yet remain cool in this Singaporean heat — but really? Sandaled (is this a word?) ankle boots (are these really footware?).

fashionable, and yet hideous

She gets points for the pedicure. But loses points for spending her hard earned money on something so . . . I’m at a loss for words.

Just in case this peaks your sense of fashion, if you see it in a store near you soon, please remember you saw it here first! I would love seeing your toesies in a pair of these.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lights, camera, ACTION!

Filed under: cultural events, singapore — Shirley @ 4:39 pm

You saw the stills from my lion dance competition posting back in September 2008.

IMG_1347.JPG

Now watch the action. If you couldn’t make it to a Chinatown during the lunar new year to catch a live performance, you can watch one here.

A treat for the lunar new year celebration in Singapore was a lion dance, at Clarke Quay, featuring the performance of the first LED lit lion. These two guys were athletic, agile, and just plain amazing with their feats of leaping from pole to pole all the while dancing and giving the “lion” personality.

Click on the links to watch the short videos.

Chinese Lion Dance Video 1

Chinese Lion Dance Video 2

They are from one of the top lion dance teams in Singapore, and certainly had the crowd cheering. (The lion performers in the video are NOT the ones in the stilll photo.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Street Scenes

Filed under: singapore — Shirley @ 8:54 pm

You’re probably thinking I’ve spilled out onto the sidewalk some bead necklaces from my shopping bag.

IMG_0988.JPG IMG_0986.JPG

They are strands of beads, wooden beads, giant wooden beads that this old gentleman swings around his waist and neck like a hula-hoop. You can find him on Orchard Road on the weekends entertaining passers-by.

IMG_0989.JPG

IMG_0992.JPG

If you want to stay slim and keep your girlish figure hula-hooping is a good exercise. He also swings these doubled up around his waist – I have enough trouble keeping up a single stiff hoop. Though I’m a pretty good Wii Fit “Hooper”.

IMG_0987.JPG

There was an article in the local paper about him, he’s a charming old gent; and I had hoped to glean some facts about him for the blog, but the recycle bag ate it!

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