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NOTE: WordPress, Google, Gmail, Facebook and several other sites are blocked in China, so our last post didn’t work.  I tried to get around it by emailing the post to my blog, but apparently it didn’t like the content or photos.  So this time my parents are posting for us, and hopefully this will work.  Mike cannot access his email at gmail, but my yahoo email still works.

Hot, muggy and smells like steaming bowls of curry and spices – we must be in Singapore! We had a great visit with Ken and Mei-Mei enjoying their last few days as expats – after 18 years of comfy cozy expat life in Asia they are returning to the mother ship to settle down in California. The girls got to meet their long lost cousin, Bailey and could have easily spent their entire time in Singapore in the pool!

Most of Singapore sits under an endless maze of air-conditioned malls, and since none of us enjoy shopping, we opted for nature adventures, wandering the streets and eating our way through the town.  Sights and sounds we experienced in our 5 days included:

  • ·    HAWKER FOOD – we made a beeline straight for the stalls.  Carrot cake (which is actually turnip cake fried in a special soy sauce with spices), Hokkien Mee, Laksa, Roti Pratha, Murtabak… and more deliciousness I can’t remember the names of. Singapore is an eater’s paradise and it did not disappoint.
  • ·      Little India – we schlepped the kids through some crazy Hindi temples, which I love because they are not at all uptight – everyone is willing to let you go anywhere and do anything and they will explain anything you want about the Hindu religion and the wacky colorful statues staring down at you.
  • ·      Gardens by the Bay – Singapore spent $8Billion spiffing up the Marina area, and they have two huge cloud forest domes with all kinds of spectacular vertical walls full of diverse plant life.  At night, there are these crazy “super trees” that are all lit up and make you feel like you’re visiting the future.  Truly extraordinary.
  • ·      Din Tai Fung – if it’s good enough for Anthony Bourdain, it’s good enough for us – and the Xiao Long Bao did not disappoint – I think Kailani stuffed in at least 10!
  • ·      Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – Ken and Bailey took us for a stroll through the jungle – it is a nature reserve in the middle of Singapore and you’d never know you were in a major city.  We saw a Colugo (flying lemur), a monitor lizard, a snake (ick) and a pack of monkeys.  We also sweat out about 2 liters of water each – if you’re looking for a serious pore cleanse, look no further.
  • ·      East Coast Park Bike Ride – we rented bikes and rode for 10 miles along the East Coast of Singapore, which is a giant park that runs along the beach – it was glorious – the kids loved riding, but I think Bailey enjoyed it the most.  Little does she know she will soon be in the bike mecca of California! We ate some more Hawker food at the East Coast Food Village – Laksa and Satay, YUM!
  • ·      Bananaleaf Apolo – our last meal in Singapore was a return back to the same restaurant we had visited with Bob and KK 15 years ago – indian food served on a banana leaf!
Every evening ended with “the show”, as I like to call it.  Sitting on the deck of KAM’s 21st floor apartment with all the doors wide open, glass of wine in hand, vicariously observing Singaporeans do the laundry and put the kids to bed, watching the lights of the city twinkle and the Marina Bay Sands laser show.  The air was heavy and the warm breeze soothed our souls – aaaahhhhh, Singapore!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage