Hanging out in Singapore

Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
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45
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Trip End Oct 04, 2012


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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The past few days we've loved just hanging out in Singapore, pottering around, swimming, reading and generally relaxing!

On Thursday we went down to Holland Village where Michael had a long overdue haircut, we got passport photos for visas for our upcoming trip and then we went to a fantastic Japanese restaurant called Sushi Tei.  

We had a great time sampling lots of different things on the menu including tempura vegetables, sushi and miso soup.  Michael's favourite was the tempura icecream which was delicious.

In the afternoon we played with the camera in the pool again and then Richard and I went to the Mustafa Centre, a HUGE department store in Little India which is open 24 hours, has 1200 staff, over 150,000 products in its four storeyed 70,000 sq. ft store and a turnover of $302M p.a.

We love shopping there, the prices are cheap and you can find all sorts of treasures if you take your time.  Afterwards we came out to the hustle and bustle of Little India at night which is so much busier than during the daytime.  We tried out one of the many vegetarian restaurants nearby and had a delicious meal although must remember next time to specify MILD curry!
 
On Friday we went down to Chinatown which is highly decorated for the Mid-Autumn Festival, there are thousands of paper lanterns strung across the roads and there was a big display of hand painted ones which were part of a kids competition. Chinatown is great to wander around.  There are all sorts of interesting shops and market stalls ranging from cheap and tacky souvenirs to traditional Chinese medicine halls and Gentlemen's Tailors offering to make you a shirt in an hour.  

Paradoxically there is also a big Indian temple at the end of one of the main streets in Chinatown which years ago sat as a peaceful haven in amongst the opium dealers and coolie traders all around it.  It is a fantastic temple that tourists can wander in to and around (having left their shoes on the racks outside on the main street) while various ceremonies and chanting are going on.  It is a fully working temple that makes use of the tourist dollar without letting tourists impede their activities.

We caught the MRT back to Holland Village, sitting at the very front of the train which has a big window just like a bus so you can watch the tunnel ahead of you, quite an odd feeling racing along underground. The Holland Village station has been developed in to quite a busy 'mall' underground - there are hairdressers, restaurants, cafes and even currency exchange shops.  Not sure I'd be keen on working underground all day, can't be good for the vitamin D levels!

After a lovely cooling swim when we got home, Michael and I went down to Friday Football to sweat out a few more litres!  I'm clearly getting too old for such things because I took a great shot at goal and as the ball blasted in the back of the net I limped away with a horribly pulled quad.  Suffice it to say I was relegated to goalie for the rest of the game although that was only good so long as I didn't have to go to the right on my sore leg.  Sheesh!  Michael had a blinder scoring several goals, running around like a crazy thing and surprising himself most of all at what he can do once he gets his confidence up. 

Last week we had seen a new shop that had just opened called Vegan Burger that had beautiful looking pictures of mouth watering burgers across the walls and all sorts of other yummy healthy treats.  Michael and I ordered dinner excitedly thinking we were in for a real treat (to the derisive laughter of the carnivorous cousins!) but were hugely disappointed when we munched in to sawdust tasting burger buns with rubbery patties!  Oh well, so much for the healthy option. Worst part was the "I told you so's" from the kids who thought it was hilarious!

To provide a bit of dietary balance, we all settled down for movie night with a bowl each of chocolate and chippies and watched Johnny English on DVD which is both excruciating and funny at the same time! 

On Saturday we headed back out to Jurong East swimming pool, getting there early before the crazy crowds arrived like last time.  We had a great time cruising around the lazy river and with the big tire tubes racing down the water slides.  Our taxi driver who took us out there had just retired from forty years in the SAS and FBI and was so excited to pick us up as his fourth customers on his very first day.  It was so lovely to see his genuine delight however it was just as well we'd been there before and I have an app on my phone called street directory which is invaluable for the moment when the taxi driver says "you tell me where to go, I don't know how to get there"!

On Saturday afternoon we watched the AB's vs South Africa (we love you Richie!) and then got sorted for our trip away tomorrow.  Another round of Marco Polo with the boys in the pool and we had a lovely dinner of roasted vegetables which were delivered personally by a woman directly from the Himalayas - they were so fresh and delicious - the carrots tasted like carrots, there were amazingly sweet and tasty.
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