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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.

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