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10 Reasons I Love Singapore

September 9, 2010

Prior to arriving in Singapore I’d spent about 3 months in Central Asia and the Middle East.  This list of things I love about Singapore may be a little odd, but it makes more sense when considered in the context of where I’d just been. 

 1)      The Facilities 

 You know what I mean.  OK, I’ll spell it out.  Clean free toilets of the sit down variety; toilet paper; soap.  

open air sinks at the Singapore Botanical Gardens

This is my favorite bathroom.  The open air sinks at the botanical gardens were a sight for sore eyes.

2)      The Food 

 Thanks to Jade and her relatives and the friendly food crazy people of Singapore I had the 3 best eating days of the trip thus far.  Favorites: 

  • Rojak is a salad of pineapple, cucumber, a fruit of similar texture to cucumber but with a sweet & sour flavor called gorondong, squid, and fried tofu all covered in a sweetish sauce containing peanuts and shrimp paste.  Delicious and refreshing
  • Young coconut – the milk and the meat are not yet sweet, perfect for a hot day and reminds me of Peru

leeches?

  • Iced katcha (called ABC in some food stalls) is a desert of shaved ice, coconut milk, kidney beans, clear jelly bits and fluorescent green leeches.  OK, they just look like leeches
  • The best spring rolls
  • Roti canai is super yummy pillowy flatbread, plain or stuffed, with curry dipping sauce
  •  

    3) Meeting a Distant Relative in a Foreign Land

    Gotta love Facebook.  Days before arriving in Singapore I was chatting on FB with a cousin of a cousin who had recently been in Singapore visiting another cousin of a cousin from Estonia who I’d never met before.  It was great to meet up with Piret, who’s been living in Singapore for 3 years.

    4) The Packaged Food

    awesomeness in the packaged food aisle

    The range of packaged food is astounding.  I’ll let this picture speak for itself. 

    5)      The Metro 

    The ride from the airport to downtown is about ½ hour and costs about $2.  It’s super easy, super cheap, and super clean.  The fines for eating and smoking are $500 and $1000. 

    6)      English!  

    It was such a nice change to be able to communicate properly with the locals. 

    7)      Hollywood Movies 

    I love going to the movies and hadn’t seen one in the theatre for 3 months.  I saw 2 crappy but oh-so-enjoyable movies in 3 days. 

    8)      The Shopping 

    I got a non-standard lens cap to replace my broken one with a minimum of searching at the wonderful electronics super mall Sim Lim Square.  It has an amazing 7 floors of electronics.  You can get a real Ipod, or a fake Ipod that looks and functions identical, minus the Apple symbol – super cheap but no warranty.  I’m not endorsing buying fakes (I don’t buy them), but the selection is truly great. 

    9)      The Singapore Botanical Gardens 

    leaf detail from the ginger trail

    I’ve already mentioned the toilets in the place of honor, #1 on the list!  The Gardens are really nice too, and they’re free.  The winding paths through secluded vegetation were lovely, and I loved seeing all the varieties of ginger.  The lush green of the place was the perfect antidote from the harsh dryness of much of the Middle East and Central Asia. 

    10)   The Parkview Square Building 

    Piret used to work in this very unusual high rise building.  It’s pumped-up, muscular, curvy and wonderfully kitschy art-deco done right.  Piret described it as Gotham City.  I didn’t have my camera there, but this blog post has some good pictures.

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    4 Comments leave one →
    1. September 9, 2010 7:14 pm

      Ourstanding Sariah!!! The family are with the Estonia relatives everywhere,you in Singapore
      and your parents in Tallin. I remember the toilets in Morocco , two planks on the floor with a hole.
      Yukkie!!!!!! There was a fruit drink stand outside and all the foreigners that drank them were running for the bathroom. Funny way to make a living serving Samonella infected smoothies!!!
      I also encountered the same thing in Italy. While touring San Gimninano I saw a sign that said WC.(water closet). Well it did have water but that was about it. The closure was a curtain so I asked loyal Billy to stand guard. Once again there were ceramic planks on the floor. We laughed so hard !!!!! The trip was worth it for the
      fabulous Farmer’s Market and the leather handbags but the WC.was nasty.
      The first time I flew into Europe many moons ago teehee, I landed in the Copenhagen Airport.
      Anxious to use a clean facility after hours on the plane with dirty washroom facilities I waited patiently for my turn. As I carefully openned the cubicle door a woman in a full black Birka was standing on the toilet
      seat. Seeing her with her covering hoisted up was quite a shock. I almost pee’d myself!!!
      So then I move to the next cubicle and observed foot prints on the toilet seat. Yikes .
      Funny I still remember those stories.

      Love Lauren xo

      • Gabrielle Steed permalink
        September 10, 2010 12:42 am

        ha ha. Isn’t it funny that we’re sharing toilet stories. Top toilet ever……Sariah, you should remember this one. Lhasa airport. You had to reach your hand down deep into the tank at the back to pull up the plug and there was no door so everyone could watch you peeeeeee. Oh, to have flush toilets, that are clean. We are spoiled rotten! Enjoy the toilets in Singapore while you can! Gab

        • September 10, 2010 1:18 am

          Lauren and Gab – I have too many horror toilet stories, don’t get me started. The plus side is that I can now go almost anywhere, no reservations or performance anxiety. A hanky to cover your nose helps too.

          I have to say though, opening the door on a woman standing on the seat must be pretty damn funny!

    2. Ian permalink
      September 19, 2010 10:41 pm

      I see that no matter how messy is “my” apartment, it will still be a step up of what you have been through.
      Conclusion: I don’t need to clean the bathrooms in apartment prior to your arrival!!!! good deal! I’m liking your traveling bug!

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