Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Singapore, Day 3

Liza and I started the day off with a trip to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and National Orchid Gardens. YEA! It was so pretty! The orchid is the national flower for Singapore. And, if you want to be more specific, the Vanda Joaqium is the particular color/variety of orchid that is the national flower. The Botanic Gardens featured a Ginger Garden and several lotus gardens. We spent most of our time looking at the orchids, so missed the Evolution Garden. In the orchid garden they have one whole VIP section with hybrid orchids named in honor or memory of famous people. For example, we saw the Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Laura Bush and In Memoria of Princess Diana. Those orchids named for living VIPs, have a fancy ceremony where the new hybrid is unveiled and the VIP signs the official register. It was cool!
Actually, who am I kidding, it was hot... Really, REALLY hot. Liza and I just melted our whole visit to the gardens. Not only was it hot, but it was 100% humid! This is not the country for you if you don't like the feel of trickling sweat. We are SO lucky that it has been a bit overcast and rainy most days. If not, the heat would do us in before our feet got tired. Yesterday morning, we had some sun, and the recent rains made it stifling! But it clouded over and rained off and on for the rest of the afternoon, cooling it off again.

We had lunch at the National University Hospital, because Liza had a Dr. check-up for a knee procedure she had last fall. They have food stalls at the hospital. Food courts here are called Hawker Centers. Most people here eat at Hawker Centers because the food is cheap and generally really good. I had Bee Hoon, a seafood and noodle stir fry dish. However, it was so spicy, that I could barely eat it. Liza tried it too, and admitted that it was too spicy. That made me feel better, because I didn't want to be a "white rice" American. After Liza's appointment we stopped at a bakery stand. I ordered a waffle with chocolate. Imagine a fresh-made waffle, like the ones they use for ice cream cones and bowls in the US. That's what this is like. It's thin, and once they take it off the iron, they smear margarine, peanut butter, fruit paste or chocolate on it, fold it in half and serve it to you in a flat paper bag. It's hot and gooey and SO good!

After a brief stop at home to freshen up and unload our bags. Liza and I went to the Holland Center Shopping mall. Liza likes to shop there because several vendors specialize in clothes for women above size 14. This is the first time since arriving here that Liza has really gotten the chance to do clothes shopping. Usually she has Georga and/or Dimiter in tow, and they aren't as patient to wait while trying stuff on. I "made her" try on anything that even remotely caught her eye. She ended up buying several lovely linen blouses and light-weight tunics. One really popular style here is a tunic or dress, capri leggings and really cute flats. Well, we got some tunics and will be looking for leggings tomorrow.

We stopped by the grocery for some salad ingredients before heading home. Liza said that they don't eat salads here like they do in the US. I was really hungry for a big veggie salad, so that's what we made for dinner. Dimiter cooked up some prata to go with it. It was a good dinner! Geroga is feeling better, but not a 100%. After dinner (she had crackers), we spent the rest of the evening setting up her Webkinz pony. I brought it from the US as a gift for Georga. They don't have Webkinz here, so Georga didn't really know what to make of it until we got it going on the computer. I fear that I have made a junky out of both her and her mother! I helped her get everything set up and showed her a couple games. Bedtime rolled around way to early. I promised her that we would play more tomorrow.

Today wasn't one with too many pictures besides the Botanic Gardens, so I'll leave you with some more pictures from there.
Love to everyone. More tomorrow.

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