Singapore Adventure

Monday, April 10, 2006

Love, Hate, Name Something You Ate VIII
by venitha

  • One thing I love about living in Singapore is...
    ...the marvelous way it creates a small world after all. We've made friends in Singapore from all over the world, and no matter where we're traveling next, there's always someone here with a connection there.

    Bali: We hired a driver - found him over the internet.

    India: My brother's a travel agent in Delhi. When are you thinking of going?

    Shanghai: Let me give you my friend's e-mail address. You should get in touch with her.

    My newest e-mail friend, Virginia in Shanghai, has kindly offered to be my guide this week while Jim, poor guy, is hard at work. I'm picturing her as Lucy Liu in kick-ass Charlie's Angels mode because in one fell swoop she eliminated China's two biggest intimidations, my not speaking or reading the language and my not understanding the local transportation. And best of all: she likes spicy food, too.

  • One thing I hate about living in Singapore is...
    …sweat. The pretty handkerchiefs I bought to use as napkins are much more commonly employed to mop my sweaty brow and neck. On the treadmill, under two blasting aircon units, I wear a sweatband, sop my face and neck continually with a towel, and end up with clothes and hair completely drenched. I sit at the covered bus stop, and a bead of sweat forms behind my knee, trickles down my leg. I go to a public restroom, a disgusting enough activity on its own, and I struggle to pull down shorts plastered to my sticky legs with sweat. Need I go on? Ugh.

    Please excuse me while I turn up the aircon and take quick shower.

  • A new thing I ate recently is...
    …ma la steamboat. Of course, Jim and I like anything with Steamboat in the name, and ma la apparently has something to do with spicy, so this was bound to be a hit. Spicy (they're not kidding) broth on one side, chicken broth on the other, and both as steamy as Singapore. You order small plates of anything and everything and cook it in the broths: chicken, beef, pork, squid, dumplings, potatoes, spinach, kang kong, cabbage, mushrooms, cauliflower, more kinds of bean curd than you'd have thought possible, and on and on... Lip-smacking tasty and most excellent chopsticks practice, too.

  • Something I recently bought is...
    …tickets to the Singapore Standard Chartered Sevens, an international rugby tournament, to celebrate our ten-month anniversary in Singapore yesterday. Neither Jim nor I have a clue about rugby, but we had a stellar time anyway, delighting in the lightning-fast pace, marveling at the incredibly tough athletes, and reveling in the raucous carnival atmosphere: I wonder where that guy found a cheongsam that fits him.

    I rooted for Argentina, the team with both the best colors and the hottest player, whom the Kiwis behind us made me love all the more by ridiculing as Frizz Head. Jim rooted for offense, which gives you lots to cheer about in rugby. By the end of the very enjoyable day, we both had come to terms with two inescapable facts: Singapore's rugby team is awful, and American football players are wimps.

  • Singlish o' the day:
    Hmmm... do Blimey, Bollocks, or Bloody ponce count? We got quite a vocabulary lesson yesterday, but as the crowd was mainly expat, I doubt there was much Singlish.