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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Curry Q

Monday, November, 1, 2010 - As most of you know, I'm not adventurous, especially with food, so when the tour lady said, "are you willing to try one", I said, "of course"!  haha  So I tried it and it's awesome.  It looks gross inside, but don't be fooled, it's yummy.  It has a puff pastry type crust on the outside, which helped get it in my mouth to begin with, and contains potatoes, chicken and hard boiled eggs on the inside.  Not curry but maybe a touch of the seasoning used in making curry.  It's very good, a bit spicy and eaten hot!  I ventured out today and bought my own from the little stand outside the mall.  The boys liked it too.  Of course Blake only took little bites, but HEY, that's more than usual for him.  There are other types of Curry puffs as well called Curry Chicken etc, but this one is the best, so she says. 
Amazing how a bit of knowledge goes a long way, the tour guide walked through the food court with me explaining what and where everything was from.  Will I remember it all, no, but I tried something else new, a Malaysian type dish, with green beans, rice and pepper chicken.  Perfect portions, hot & fresh and only $3S!!!  The rice is different, the pepper chicken had it's own unique flavor and the beans were beans.  Healthy and good.  And I know the food stand I'll never order from which contains very healthy food BUT everything has fish in it.  YUCK, I hate fish.  So that's all, another tid-bit from S'pore.  Curry puff or as the sign calls it, Curry Q.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cars.... I really need one of these...can they accomodate carseats???


2 Maserati's




1 Rolls Royce



2 Lamborghini's

We also have a few Ferrari's....I told Alexander I was miserable here and the only way to make me happy was to buy me one of these... it's not working, I'm still using my own 10 toes.

A walk through our local neighborhood....in search of education!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010
We headed out to visit a preschool, after walking all over town, I finally asked a lady and she walked me right there.  Four flights of stairs later we were at the school.  I was so turned off.  It was like what I imagine an old Chinese school to look like.  All in uniforms, all sitting at the most drab looking tables, no play yard and climbing all those stairs... And it’s the most expensive one of all.  We caught a cab and drove to another school.  I was there forever, at least an hour and I immediately felt like home.  Waitlist for Jacques, figures.  I was crushed.  What and where am I going to put these boys?  After naps I took the big stroller out and we just walked down Marine Parade Rd.  We came upon the library, it’s a bit of a way, but definitely walk-able.  Have to pay ~$50 a year to join and you have to have your passport, S'pore ID and cash.  Weird. Then we walked up Still Road and I took photos of all the kindergartens to call upon later, there must be a thousand in this town. 

Then we came across yet another eatery... I quickly took a photo of ducks and animals hanging in the window.  I know this is normal for here, but I can't get over the grossness of it.  How does that meat stay fresh after it's been hanging there for hours in the heat??  Gross.  The heads are still attached to this duck too.  I guess they eat it allllll.  Makes me want to become a vegetarian. 




Another little eatery - hard to photograph...they want you to come in and eat, not photo their place, at least that's what I sense.  Either way, they don't really vocalize anything, they might also think I'm part of the underground police to investigate them.  Or "rate" them.

Another fruit stand along the street...prices are pretty much the same from stand to stand, grocery stores are where the prices really fluctuate.



Look at this cool row of homes.
Overall, a lovely walk around this huge area.  Both boys were in the
double wide stroller, which was great except for one area where the sidewalk could only accomodate a single and then I was faced with walking in the street, and we just cruised along.  We ended our little loop by walking through Roxy Square where I happened upon a bunch of tailors, salons, dry cleaners, all very LOCAL, so I 'm super excited about finding those jewels.  Then we crossed over the overpass (NOT stroller friendly) and ended at the comfort zone, McDonalds.  We got nuggets and fries, brought them back home where my Ranch dressing and Heinz ketchup awaited our arrival... ahhhh good list of schools to contact, new found jewels, and familiar comforts overall a good day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Singapore Zoo... a different experience this go 'round


Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Left for the zoo a bit after 730am.  Took the usual 3 buses with ease today, but it's still WAY too long and my stroller is still WAY too big.  We took the buses up because I wanted to be there when the doors open and is during "peak hours" for a taxi ride.  It's an add'l 35% during peak hours and since I didn't know how much it would cost so I decided buses up, taxi home during non peak times and when I'm most exhausted.  More on that later, read on.


We got there about 9 and the boys were ready to rumble.  I got out my huge stroller, got the frozen ice water bottles settuated (situated for some of y'all) and we were off.  Off to see the croc & then we were headed to the right this time... right into the monkeys!!!  Seriously, there were 3 wild monkeys on a sign ready for feeding or watching, whatever it was, we watched on.  Weird lookin' monkeys too.  This zoo has everything, except show-case spiders (no prob) and you can virtually touch most animals, don't worry, we didn't.  We also had a GIANT lizard, like 3 feet long, run right in front of us.  Lizards and birds and monkeys oh my, are all around you all the time, it's really REAL.  Made me remember the travel clinic lady saying to STAY AWAY FROM THE MONKEYS... uh oh... haha  There are so many types of monkeys too.  I think I enjoyed myself as much or more than the boys did... except the sweating.  It is so wet and hot.  As soon as I applied sunscreen I sweat it off.  Jacques even said, "Mama, this hat is making me all sweaty" but his skin is so fair like mine, it was a no brainer to keep it on.  Sorry Jacques.  Blake was only interested in the hat when he realized it had a cool looking crab on it.  Then he wanted to wear it... oh wait, no he couldn't see the crab so he took it off again. 




Here are a few of my favorite shots.  These animals are so close and so beautiful... I loved the lemurs but they were napping so only these fellas gave us a shot. :)
















We made our way to the very top of the zoo, ok it's the top of the paper, to the water park.  Boys were thrilled to shed their sweaty clothes and jump in....then this big bucket of water came crashing down and scared Blake so he didn't want any more of it.  I wish I would have brought my suit... I was so sweaty and hot, a nice cool swim would have been awesome.... but who would photo everything or protect my camera and who would carry around my purse?  Domestic helper, where are YOU?  Most expat people I see in the stores have one with them, grocery, zoo, shopping mall, dinners.  It was still a nice time and I got my feet and legs wet. 
Behind the water park are more parks for kids.  Jacques burned his bare feet on one of the play structures so we moved on... to another area, it was like a training ground for the military, "river crossing", "wobbly board", "wobbly bridge" and the ZIP line over sand that nearly killed me.  haha  I rode it so Blake would give it a try, I think he enjoyed my misery more.

We had a fabulous time, this zoo is amazing, but Blake wanted home so at 1255p we headed back to the front.  A quick walk through a garden where there were at least 100 kids on a fieldtrip but I got a few shots of some orchids... wow, they were so pretty.  Wait a minute, fieldtrip?  To the zoo?  Wow, to be a kid today.  Taxi, $14.60, DOOR TO DOOR.  We were home and in bed by 130p!  Ahhh.... this is the way to do it!  I'll figure it out eventually, right?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chinatown


Wednesday, September 15, 2010
CHINATOWN SINGAPORE

We planned to head out 1st thing this morning but the rain, I mean the torrential downpour, prevented us from leaving until after naps.  A quick 5 minute TAXI ride and we were in the heart of Chinatown.  Lately, like I've been here years, ok so in the past few days, I've started to talk more with the taxi drivers, some don't talk back or talk very little because their English isn't great, but the ones that wanna talk, have LOTS to say and I'm listening!  Yesterday we talked about kids.  "What do the Chinese kids like to eat, since mine were on the verge of hunger melt-down, he laughed and said, "chicken nuggets".  Not helpful as I'm trying to find something unfamiliar that will also be edible for the boys.  He then gave me a referal to 2 restaurants where the portions are small, I think he called it dim sum.  He then started a little story... said in HongKong, in the olden days, apartments were so small, even had a common toilet and many people hung out around the "dim sum" place to eat little bits and pass the time out in the open.  Interesting note to remember when visiting Hong Kong. ;)
Now in Chinatown, I stood there on a very busy corner and tried to get my bearings when the boys spotted the dreaded McDonalds.  While they quickly scarfed down the nuggets (which is the closest thing to white breast meat we've seen, and funny, I wouldn't let them eat them in the states, but here, it's looking good) I got my bearings and we started walking. 
We walked down Pagoda St which is laden with little shops, a nightmare for a mother who doesn't want a bunch of junk toys.  And food stands and restaurants and did I say food?  Yes, food is EVERYWHERE. 
We continued down this street until we came upon Sri Mariamman Temple.  Boys were more thrilled with looking and running after the pigeons than the massive, colorful statues.  Cows were eyeing our every move, one even looked to say, "what chew lookin' at?".  It was interesting but probably more interesting if someone would explain a few things.  Jacques was thoroughly confused why there were paintings of cow/women and elephant/man.  I really have no knowledge of these things so I couldn't talk of it. 
After we left we stumbled upon a Buddhist Temple.  *YES I NOW know that they are not supposed to be standing on those pillows with their shoes.  I didn't even realize it until afterwards.
We walked past the town center where there were a TON of older gentlemen playing chess, at least it appeared to be chess, and they were very serious too.  Reminded me of New York.  The onlookers were just as serious as the players.  The older men on the outskirts were very interested in the boys, more so than the women today.  Or maybe they were interested in my GINORMOUS stroller.  I got plenty of pointed fingers, giggles and wows.  Then I entered a "center" and walked and walked and actually ended up doing a 360.  I wasn't pleased.  Now I was tired and getting hungry and wanted home.  I just followed a crowd and voila, TAXI stand.  Jacques LOVED Chinatown because of all the STUFF.  We'll be back for sure.  Me to eat.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Diet? HA Or maybe???

Friday, September 17, 2010
Very frustrating that NOTHING is open here until late morning.  You have to buy your muffins and breads the night before unless you eat breakfast at 9.  I did find a toast box open at 8 but there were only breads with meats and onions on it or this "soup" like thing with eggs and ??... kids aren't eattin' that for breakfast.  And croissants aren't baked until the afternoon - WHAT GIVES?  Ok, no problem, we'll run by the grocery store to get some fresh baked bread or muffins or bagels...NOT, it's not open until 930!  Thfat was a daily ritual for us... driving to Safeway and getting hot fresh bagels... or driving to BLAZING BAGELS... OH HOW I MISS YOU...so there it is, we have to find another way of life here.... a much later life.   Here's a shot of the breads at the end of the day... yum.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

All the little things... I'll continue to add to this...

August/September 2010
1.  Bathrooms are so hot.  No A/C gets in there, so it's pretty muggy.  UGH.  No lingering in there.
2.  Kitchens are also hot, esp after cooking dinner and running the dryer.  Sauna anyone?
3.  Sales at Cold Storage are interesting.  One day a 12 pack of water is $12.80 and the next day it's $6.80 and then the following day it's $8.10.  What gives?  Not a weekly thing?
4.  Boys love the trash shoot, a bit too much perhaps, Blake tossed his glass bowl down it the other day. 
5.  All these little lips in the floors.  How do people in wheelchairs do it?  SO annoying to stub your toe, but it's equally annoying when you step down too hard and jar your back.
6.  We've all had diarrhea...some more than others.
7.  There are no plain chicken breasts.  I'm talking allllll white meat with no stringy things attached.  I soo miss the big bag of them from Costco.  I think I found them... at a specialty store in the basement of our mall.  I'M SO JAZZZEDDDD...  $2/ 100g.  Guess not too bad - not Costco, but better than nuthin'!
8.  Pepsi just doesn't taste the same.  :(
9.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE when you see the price of something it's the price, tax is included in the price and it's all nicely rounded up.  NO pennies and you can have your money ready at the counter.  NOW, before some of you freak out, you can see how much you are paying in tax if you look at the receipt.
10.  Everyone is so nice and helpful.  Everyone.  Some maybe too nice.
11.  Pool.  Everyday, 2x/day.  Do kids ever get sick of it?  We're going on 2 weeks of it and it hasn't worn off yet.
12.  I miss Rory and JoeBlack.  A lot.  When the boys are asleep I really miss them..... a LOT.  :*(
13.  TV shows don't appear to start on the 1/2 hour.  Like right now, 210p a new episode of COPS is on.
14.  There is a hot water button outside of the kitchen and bathrooms, if you forget to use it, you have only warm and less warm water to bath or wash dishes.
15.  A LOT of old men like to watch my boys.
16.  A LOT of those same old men of #15 play checkers and an "othello" type games in the middle of these hawker stalls and "centers". 
17.  A lot of "earth friendly" advertisements here, in the service apartment and a lot on the cartoon channels.
18.  Besides trying to understand the english with an asian accent, it's also thrown in with BRITISH english which causes me Amurican some trouble understanding.
19.  Nothing is open until late morning.  EVEN the grocery store, 930am.  Coffee shops (not that I drink them but they have muffins) 9am.
20.  NO one, except the very rich, have GARBAGE DISPOSALS.......  Are they really that expensive to buy and install?  It's soooo gross scraping food into the trash.  GROSS. 
21.  Ok, so I finally tried Indian food and loved my dish.  Then Alexander told me they had a Chinese and Indian menu and I chose a Chinese dish.  Chicken in Chili sauce... I like Nan bread thou....and whatever that green sauce was with the big chips.
22.  I wish I would have brought more pasta sauce.  1 jar wasn't enough.. maybe another box of pasta too.
23.  (see 14) If you forget to flip the switch for hot water, sometimes the HOT water is cooler than the COLD water. 
24.  I'm so glad I left 75% of our goods at home, I just wish we would have left 90%!  Our apartment is SMALL.....but I'm stilllll glad I brought along my mattress... I can't wait to sleep on it.
25.  The sweat is what it is, you just have to know going to the zoo you will be wet all day.  Baby powder is a must.
26.  Gummie bears?  No I don't think they have them here, but it's ok, any hard candy left out will turn into a gummy.  My jolly ranchers are almost all chewy now.
27.  Glad I dyed my hair brown, people can't tell how WET it is with sweat.
28.  No one has MUSTARD, you know the yellow kind!!!  And don't get excited, the Ketchup is even less desirable.  Most of them are a cross between ketchup and chili sauce (which is dispensed like ketchup at McDonalds).  GLAD my mustard and ketchup are on the boat!