Thursday, January 12, 2012

My motto is to try anything once

Christmas is huge in Singapore even though only half the country is Christian. Equally big is Chinese new year, which is coming up next week. Various celebratory foods and clothes, mainly for kids, are for sale everywhere.

I pass a construction site on my way to the train every day. When I came home at 9pm last night, I heard clanging and banging in there. I wonder if it's being worked on all night long.

Yong Tau Foo
This morning I took the small road next to the building as usual. A forklift zoomed by and a cherry picker was slowly maneuvering into place. Several men were walking across the road carrying heavy loads. I asked one man if it was still okay to go that way. He nodded in the affirmative and pointed the way. I walked quickly beneath the cherry picker and made my way to the station. I guess the onus is on the pedestrian to determine if it's safe to walk there?

I am in love with Australian nectarines. Oh man are they ever juicy and sweet. So far every day I have eaten two for breakfast along with some sort of soft bread thing from a bakery. The bakeries are everywhere. They sell these soft breads with a variety of toppings such as ham & cheese or coconut cream and chocolate sprinkles. My favorite so far have been the cheesy ones because they're a bit salty.

Would you guess that dried figs are good? I would not but I took a chance. And they are very good! I guess they are what's in Fig Newtons, but I'm not particularly fond of those, I think because they are too cakey.

I really miss knives. It doesn't help that often the chicken is hacked into pieces that include bones. And yet one is expected to dissect it with a fork and spoon.

The other day I got a soup at a place called Yong Tau Foo that was very delicious. You pick out the ingredients with a pair of tongs and then the proprietor puts them into a noodle soup for you (after you choose which type of noodle you want). There's no meat, just seafood, tofu and vegetables. I thought it was pretty great but come to find out this is a style of soup and there are way better stands that sell it. I can't wait to try the best one.

Beef stew
When I told my trainee (a Chinese Singaporean) that I liked the soup he replied, "Okay only lah." That means "meh" as best as I can tell. Or, in other words, he doesn't think much of the soup place I went to. Singaporeans say "lah" a lot. It means pretty much anything and is perhaps akin to the Canadian "eh?"

The other day I went to the Hungry Hippo for lunch with some coworkers. We sat down and a waitress brought menus and took drink orders. Today I went back because I was told the the beef stew special on Wednesdays is not to be missed. I sat down in the corner and proceeded to be ignored. I finally flagged down the waitress. She said "you sit here?!", laughed, and walked away. Frustrated, I got up and walked to the cashier. "I'd like to order the beef stew to stay." "Do you have a table?" "Yes!" "Well go sit down." I have no idea what I did wrong there but so what because that beef stew was indeed to die for.


In 2010 I did a 365 photo project where I managed to take photos 350 days out of the 365. In 2011 I made a more ambitious attempt to record a short video every day. That wound up being simply too hard to accomplish, so I gave up. I missed this challenge, so this year I'm trying something new. I'm doing a photo collage every day. So far, I'm really liking this challenge, but I'm only a week in (I started a couple days late). The idea is to have the photos be more a day in the life sort of snapshot. Stay tuned to see how it evolves.


Entries on my previous month-long stint in Singapore start here.

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