Singapore Adventure

Friday, October 07, 2005

Love, Hate, Name Something You Ate V
by jima

  • One thing I love about living in Singapore is...
    ...the ease with which we can get downtown. We were lucky enough to attend two events last weekend at the Esplanade, Singapore's phenomenal theater complex along the river front. From our apartment, it takes about 30 minutes door to theater if we take the MRT; and, as we discovered after staying out Friday night past the time when the MRT turns into a durian pumpkin, it takes only about 45 minutes to walk. This is less time than it would take us to drive home from Denver after seeing a show there, and no one here extorts parking fees from us!
  • One thing I hate about living in Singapore is...
    ...the inexplicable way they "roll up the sidewalks" early. As we discovered on Friday night, the MRT shuts down around midnight. Yep, a major metropolitan area with lots of great bars, clubs, and restaurants shuts down its mass transit at midnight on weekends.

    Saturday night, we left for home early enough to catch the MRT, and for a treat, we alit at Orchard Road, arguably the glitziest, hottest, most happenin' part of the city. We headed straight to Tangs for a gelato. Denied! It was already closed. The shopping centers near our home were also dark, including our local McDonald's where we might have resorted to an ice cream cone. At long last, we settled on our only remaining option: Starbucks.

  • A new thing I ate recently is...
    ...murtabak. OK, so I have actually had this before, but this was the first time I stayed and watched how they make the paper-thin dough that gets fried with the meaty filling. It was completely mesmerizing to watch the vendor spin the dough and slap it out so quickly and beautifully.
  • A new thing I bought recently is...
    ...nothing! I've been quite un-Singaporean in my spending habits of late. I hope there's no fine for this.

  • Something I recently discovered is...
    ...that there are actually some touristy things to do in Hsinchu, Taiwan. My hotel was an easy walk from the eastern gate to the ancient city. While it was not the Roman Colosseum, it was far better than the nothing that the locals I work with have told me there is to see in Hsinchu.

  • Singlish o' the day:
    Kopi-O. Your two main breakfast food groups: coffee and sugar. The verbal shortcuts for various Kopi (coffee) and Teh (tea) drinks are mind-boggling at first, bearing quite a similarity to the half-caff sweet skim double whopper latte venti with a lid lingo that Starbucks regulars know and love. A word to the wise: Kopi by itself does not mean black coffee; it means coffee with lots of cream and lots of sugar. Yummy! Black coffee is Kopi-O-Kosong, kosong meaning empty in Malay.