Last Days in Singapore

I’d enjoyed my kaya toast so much the day before, I went back again on Wednesday for breakfast.  This time I got the “set” with tea and soft boiled eggs.  The tea is “pulled,” poured from a height to aerate it, and mixed with steamed milk, condensed milk and hot water.  Strong and sweet, just the way I like it.

img_3083

Across from Toast Box is Bread Talk, another bakery/cafe.  It’s where I got the strange hot dog pastry last week, and I didn’t eat anything there today, but thought it was worth documenting some other odd pastries.

img_3087

img_3089

I’d bought a combination ticket for the zoo parks so made the hour long three bus trek back to the area.  In the women’s bathroom, I saw this:

img_3090

I’d had to use a squat toilet earlier in the week and figured maybe a urinal was another slightly torturous Asian bathroom arrangement.  But it was so low to the ground.  I know Asian women aren’t as tall as western women, but they’re not that short!  Then I finally figured it out.  It’s a little urinal for little boys so they can come into the bathroom with their moms!  Brilliant!  They really do think of everything in Singapore!

I decided to start with River Safari and funnily enough, the first exhibit was about the Mississippi River.  Complete with a little camp and all.

img_2063

img_2070

There was also with Mississippi Paddlefish.  Stella!, the restaurant where I’d worked for seven years served paddlefish caviar, but I’d never seen a live fish.  Turns out they swim with their mouths open, using electrical currents!  Totally fascinating to watch, I probably stood there for 3o minutes.  I shared a video on Facebook, and if I can figure out a way to post it here I will.  You can see right down their mouths and out through their gills.  So incredibly awesome.

img_2075img_2080

Again, it took me more tries than I should admit to get this picture, this time asking strangers to take it for me.  You’d think since everyone has a camera that they’d have some idea how to frame a photograph, some basic sense of composition.  You’d be wrong.

img_2092

The River Safari also had two pandas (don’t ask me why the pandas weren’t at the regular zoo) but they were kinda limp and lifeless looking.  Apparently they’re a big draw though, because they had their own panda-themed gift shop and restaurant.  I ordered a red bean panda bao, mostly for the novelty of it.  The other option was chocolate custard filled, so I expected it to be savory.  Wrong again.

img_3099

From there I went on an “Amazon” river cruise.  Very different from the actual cruise I did on the Amazon in Peru two years ago.We didn’t see any animals except what we could make out of the giraffe exhibit on shore at the zoo.  I liked the squirrel monkey exhibit though.

img_3109

img_3115

img_2101

 

I’d been curious to try these tau sar piah I kept passing, so figured this was my last chance

img_3125

Singapore is 13 hours ahead of New York and 14 ahead of New Orleans so I kept joking that I was texting and calling friends and family from the future.  After seeing this thing though, I really think Singapore might be the future.

img_3126

I managed to squeeze in one more yoga class before I left, and then took a walk through Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay, two areas I hadn’t seen yet.  Both are right on the river, and are obviously high end neighborhoods.  Again, Singapore pulls through with the dramatic lighting.

img_2110

img_2114

img_2116

 

While both were lined with bars and restaurants aimed at the tourist and ex-pat set, Robertson Quay was lower-key while Clarke felt more like an entertainment district, with pounding music and a slingshot ride on the riverbank.

img_2121

I’d originally planned to get the famous Singaporean chili crab for dinner, but it was both really expensive (~$70) and the only places I saw serving it seemed super touristy and fancier than anywhere I felt comfortable eating in my sweaty yoga clothes.  So I headed back to the tea and coffee stall where I’d gotten my mutton curry the night before.

img_3129

They were sold out of mutton, but for another S$4 I got a ginger tea and brown paper mystery meal #2.

img_3128

It was also really good, although maybe not quite as perfect as the mutton and rice.  I decided to walk back to the apartment, to see as much as I could on my last night.  I passed a happening stall that was selling laksa.  I’d been wanting to try it and figured it was worth  $5 just to taste it.  I also ordered some “special cheese beancurd.”

img_2128

I actually didn’t care for the laksa.  It was spicy and cooked in coconut milk, which normally I love but it had little fishy bits in it (cockles?) and kind of rubbery fried tofu.  I picked at it a bit but didn’t make much of a dent.  The special cheese beancurd however, I am embarrassed to say I finished.  Especially because they had the exact same texture of McDonalds chicken nuggets – rubbery and consistent throughout.  They were even served with sweet and sour sauce.

img_2107

I’d meant to get up early and go for a run, come home, shower, and go get lunch before heading to the airport.  Instead, I’d fallen into a blogging rabbit hole the night before and stayed up till 4 AM finishing the Gardens by the Bay post.  So I scrapped everything except the lunch part of the plan.  And even that I had to stick close to home for, in order to make my flight on time.

img_3134

“Teochew Fishball Minced Pork Noodle with extra ingredient”

img_3135

Agar agar – another thing I’d been seeing and was curious about.  It didn’t really taste like anything though and was much firmer than I like my jello to be.

When I got to the airport, I considered checking my carry on but didn’t because  I was almost at the weight limit.  When I got to security, they looked at my ticket and pulled me aside. Turns out at Tigerair they weigh your carry ons as well.  It ended up costing me another s$50.  So much for going with a low cost airline to save a few bucks.  But just when I was lamenting the fact that my last memory of Singapore would such a frustrating one, I went to the bathroom.  I walked into the first empty stall, and found this:

img_3138

A baby seat so mom can use the bathroom without juggling a child at the same time

img_3139

AND a child-sized toilet seat option so the kid can use the toilet without falling in

And if that wasn’t enough, each of the gates had a set of foot massage machines.  And they were FREE!  Thanks for the glimpse into the crystal ball, Singapore, I’m excited for the future!

img_3140

Aaah!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s