Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day Two at the SG

First of all, if you're self conscience about sweating in public, Singapore is not the place for you. The weather is like an Asian style Central-American-Tropic, just throw in some Asians (from every corner of the earth though). However, if you do like Indian style crepes, cleanliness, speaking English, or getting caught in the rain, Singapore is the place for you.

At 9:00AM we headed to a local Indian joint which sold "prata". It's an Indian style crepe which you can load with anything from eggs and cheese to chocolate (I had to see if it was's Syrup, not bad). Led by the local "brothers" (Christians), they drove us around to see the superb, impressive Universities. NUS has a modern feel but placed in the middle of a Hawaii type green-land. I'm not kidding, this place is a freakin tropic.

With our fanny packs strapped, we headed for the super touristy sights, including a boat tour, pictures with the Ma-lion (half lion head, half mermaid tail), little India, and the Botanic Gardens.

Boat Tour: got to see Singapore from the water, which was downright awesome to see big buildings, yes, but just the weird architechure here. Singapore has great designers and it's very evident. There's a resort being built which resembles 3 hotels (slanting) with a cyndrical casino on top, which is across the bay from a floating soccer field and a museum that looks like a plant called Durium (explained more later). Further along the river you can see high buildings with box holes in the center (some have bridges connecting to other buildings on the 25th-ish floor, it appears as a skyscraper web). On the shore of the bay lies the main restaurant quarters. Bright yellow, pink, green, blue town houses line the shore with countless restaurant/pubs at each. We may eat there tomorrow, maybe not, but either way, from the museums to the restaurants, to the farmer's tan received, it was legit.

Little India: LUNCH. MENU: Crury Fish Head. SIDES: Eggplant, cabbage, and yellow rice. PLATES/UTENSILS: no plates, use hands. We were given a "banana plate" which is really just a rectangular shaped mat the is quite thin (green and feels like thing bamboo). After they gave us our lime juice, they slapped the sides straight onto the mat (which it was mostly in sauce, so theres a bunch of splatter markings everywhere). Then they brought out the head. It's literally a fish head (eyes and all...the eye tasted like the chicken testicle...mooshy inside.) in a bowl of curry soup with assorted veggies. They kept asking us if we could take spicy food and I could see why. The first half of the meal was exceptional, rice and curry is hard to beat especially when it's legit Indian. Eggplant was endless and free, and the lime juice saved me (especially when the sweat started dripping down my cheeks). My parents would have loved this place. I'll try to find on suitable for you Mom and Dad.
In the district, there was also a "once a year" festival including a procession of pierced men. Through the lips and tongue, yes, but also through the back (several times) and through the chest, which supported this fancy shiny carriage like thing. I'm not gonna lie, it didn't look comfortable. We grabbed a coconut and sucked out the juice, which was unwise because we saw these women later who were handing out free juices and free curry food for the festival...I was distraut 5 min later when I was empty handed.

Botanic Gardens: It's boss. It's pretty much a completely huge park dedicated to lakes and trees (which always remind me of the Avatar Trees) and flowers (including an Orchid section) and lawns. People were just plopped out on the grass, chillin. It was a great place to relax and walk...and walk...and walk...Very tiring, so we decided to attend the 2nd service with the same church (ortourguides), and we were very excited to the smell of broiled, spiced chicken when we exited the elevator.

Our night was local. About as local as you can get, we were with a local church, in a condo (19th floor), eating what they would typically eat: ratatouille (sp), chicken, mashed potatoes, and the best pineapple I've had for awhile. This family lived in France for 3 years so they knew how to cook, which was fine by me (and yes, they mixed French food with rice every day). We had a great meal and a repeat of last night, songs, prayer, discussion over a text (baptism was the topic) and then we had a special surprise. Before the meeting we had gone out and picked some "Durian" from a local vendor. It's a fruit, known to preversely smell and also known to be hated by foreigners (So obviously we had to try they got 12 of em, they're about as big as my head) They're covered in hard spikes (could be used as the head of a mace or just a weapon is you threw it at someone). When you chop into it, much like a coconut, you peel back the shell for the soft center. It's pale yellow and contains a big seed inside like an avacado. Biting into it makes you feel like you're eating a creamy avacado that tastes nothing like avacado, only the texture. It's something I still can't explain, but I can still smell it on my hands and in my burps but all in all, not bad. It's not the "King of the Fruits" like they said, but it's managable (personally, I would have done the pineapple in the other room).

Other than that, it's been an exhausting day. My new made friends really take hospitality to another level, even to the point of giving of themselves to meet the needs of the saints, much like first generation Christians. I've leanred many lessons from merely observation, and I'm excited to see what happens tomorrow.

Thank you guys so much. I love you and I'm realizing the meaning of what makes "home" really home, and you are the biggest aspect of that lesson, thank you.


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