Sunday, March 9, 2008

Singapore, Day 5, 6 and 7

Day 5
We've been so busy! On Friday, Liza and I went to Bugis Center. It's shopping on steroids! (Imagine that... me shopping again...) Bugis is half open-air market and half shopping stalls. And it's PACKED, all the time. We had lots of fun buying a little of this and that. Mostly we browsed. We took the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) to and from Bugis. It was my first time on the train. It was clean and organized and had AIRCON! (Aircon is the nickname for air conditioning.)

Friday night we all went to the Night Safari. This is a zoo at night. It features nocturnal animals and other animals that are more lively in the cooler temperatures of the night. It has a tram that you ride, but you can also walk on paths to the exhibits. We had a really fun time, even though it was still really friggin hot! We got there around 8:30 and left at almost midnight, and were all drenched with sweat! Here is a picture of some fire-eaters. It was really cool!
Day 6
On Saturday, we headed back to Chinatown to have the fitting for the new outfit. It's beautiful and the shoes I bought look perfect with it. The tailor is going to do a couple alterations and I will pick it up on Monday. (Our trip to Bintan got cancelled, so we are not going to go to Indonesia after all.) We shopped a bit more in Chinatown and had lunch at my now favorite dim sum place. After a quick stop at home, we headed to the Overseas Family Center. Georga and Liza are in Girl Scouts and Saturday was World Thinking Day. This is a day when all the Girl Scouts around the world think about their sisters in other countries. It was fun to see all the girls in their costumes representing several different countries. Georga's troop did Japan.
Next we went back into the heart of the city to look around The Esplanade. The Esplanade is the heart of the performing arts for Singapore. Starting this week is a music festival called Mosaic. They have lots of live music performances, some are even free. It just so happened that as we were walking in, a musical group was performing in an atrium-type area. This duo featured 2 guitarists, a father and his ten-ish year old son, Kevin. Kevin was the featured player, and the father accompanied him. Georga was mesmerized by the music, so we stayed and listened to them play for about 1/2 hour. After some pictures at the Esplanade, we went for a ride on the Singapore Flyer. The Singapore Flyer is a huge ferris wheel, bigger than the London Eye. Each pod holds up to 30 people. It moves continuously, really slowly. The whole ride takes about an hour. Here's a picture. Now... you know I'm up to trying just about anything... well, this might take the cake. After dinner, Liza and I had a 30 minute foot treatment with fish. Yep, I said fish. You sit on the side of a pool of water and hang your feet in the pool. These fancy little Turkish fish, about the size of minnows, come up and nibble the dead skin off your feet. How's that for creepy!?! At first, it tickled so bad, I was scaring away the fish. But after a minute or two you get used to it. It actually ended up feeling a bit like little electric shock zaps. And my feet felt great afterwards! Now there's something you don't see every day! I bet I could make a fortune with one of these spas in Las Vegas. The novelty alone is worth the price of admission!

Day 7
BEACH DAY! We loaded up our bags with bathing suits, sunscreen and towels and headed to Siloto Beach on Sentosa Island. We decided to bite the bullet and rent a cabana for the day. The cabana was part of a restaurant called Cafe del Mar and featured food, a private pool, music, security and openings to the beach. You could open or close the sides to the cabana which turned out to be very helpful as it rained a couple of times throughout the day. And remember what I said about the rain here... it doesn't fool around! We had a lovely relaxing day of swimming and playing in the sand. At the pool bar, I had my first official Singapore Sling! Yea! It was sweet and fruity. I might have to try making these at home. View from our cabana:

Toward the end of the day, we visited the southern most point of the Asian continent. Here is a picture of me there.

This evening I witnessed a funeral taking place in Liza's neighborhood. The family hangs banners on the walls of the open area downstairs. The banners have pictures and memories on them. The members of the deceased person's immediate family all wear white shirts. Members of various family lines wear different colored armbands so as to identify which line they are from. The deceased person is laid in the coffin in this area. A feast is held for all the family members. Now as I'm typing, we can hear the various songs, chants and drums. After this part of the ceremony is over, the deceased with be cremated. The family will burn paper versions of earthly things to send them to heaven. In Chinatown we saw a whole shop that sold only paper versions of earthly things to burn for this ceremony. Family members will also do this periodically throughout the year. They burn paper shirts, paper jewelry, paper BMW cars, paper cash, paper... you name it. Cool, huh?

Tomorrow is my last full day in Singapore. We have a couple more places to visit, but I really feel like I have had a pretty immersing trip here. That being said, I miss home. See you all soon.


JAdams said...

You have been busy! I'm watching Purdue vs Michigan basketball game. 2nd half Michigan leading. Purdue has slipped to No. 2 in the Big Ten. Indiana lost to Penn State today. We had snow on the ground here Saurday - about 3 inches. Louisville and Cinncinnati got 12 inches. Even had snow in Memphis. Does that make you enjoy the warm weather more? Today it is melting fast but still 30 degrees or less. Should be up to 50 by Thursday. See you soon. LYM

JAdams said...

Purdue won the game with Michigan. Purdue ladies won the Big Ten Tournament! So you'll come home to basketball fever.

GA and Maj say "Hi"