On Thursday, after a fun day at Waterbom (where we rode the best water slide/ride, The Hairpin), Kate, Dawson, Gabey, and I went off to Singapore! Visa/fun run in the “garden city.” We’re in Little India, at this adorable little hotel, The Perak Hotel. Little India is absolutely lovely, tons of bright colors and delicious smells. Because of a recent holiday, the streets are lined with lights and magenta decorations as well as women in beautifully dyed and embroidered saris selling flowers and shiny Hindu icons. After taxi-ing through Singapore we were too tired to go too far for dinner, so we wandered down the street to Indrani Cuisines, an Indian/Chinese/Thai spot (that seemed mostly Indian).

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Starving, we ordered mango lassies (so insanely delicious, good yogurty-yogurt and fresh mango) as well as butter naan, paneer with spinach, something mutton-y and yummy, something chicken masala-y and yummy, and something rice and chicken-y and yummmmy. Naan dipped in the spicy chicken masala was my favorite. Just as intensely flavorful as it was colorful. Then the next day, we ventured out to Canning Park, where we went down into the Battle Box, an underground bunker used by the British in WWII. Really interesting history surrounding the surrender of Singapore, but the wax figures were just a little bit on the creepy side of things. After we emerged form the Battle Box, we walked across the street to the National Museum of Singapore. We were really only looking for a nibble and a medicinal Coke, but the museum turned out to be really cool looking (swinging red chandeliers!) so we decided to stay on for a look-see after our snack.

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The cafe had… wait for it… wait… BAGELS. Thank you Jesus and Allah and Ganesh and the whole gang. For the girl who oft drove across town for fresh bakery bagels only to eat them plain in the car on the way home, this past month of bagel-drought had been rough. But that bagel was so good, it was worth the wait. It was on the menu as a toasted bagel with cream cheese, brie, tomatoes, and lettuce, but I ordered just a plain old bagel an’ cream cheese. But I got the whole shebang. Which I turned into a bagel with butter and brie, which was so so so good. Brie and Bagel, the two B’s. They were really truly working out for me. So much in fact, that I had no time to take a picture before it was devoured. And Kate ordered key lime pie, which turned out to be the greatest key lime pie on earth. Key lime pie can sometimes be a bit… gummy? That’s not quite the rightdescription, but it just sometimes has an off putting top layer and underneath that, it just tastes like Yoplait. But this key lime pie was serious business. Super crumbly graham-y  crust and the creamiest filling imaginable. Just sour enough, with a sour cream-sourness as well as the lime sourness. Yum. We all descended upon it like jackals, to use Kate’s word.

After our various sweets and reviving drinks we explored the museum. It seemed that a modern museum had been built around a restored historic one, with the original outside of the first building remaining as a wall in the new building. If that makes sense. A cool contrast of old and new, nonetheless. After dragging the boys through the fashion part of the history museum we moved on

DSC02644to the film section, which had a gorgeous little collection of Chinese opera costumes and props. Then on to the quite heartbreaking-ish photo collection. There were big prints of families and various people, all with rather tragic stories attached. Then on to the food history! Really cool little exhibit. The first room had a bunch of artifact-y things, and displays on some of the traditional South-East Asia street foods; satay, nasi lemak, various noodle concoctions. There was this charming little short film about a tok tok mee love story. (In short, tok tok mee (noodle) seller meets girl, she lowers basket with money for bowl of noodles, he returns basket with noodles and a little love note. Awww.) Then in the second part of the exhibit there is an awesomely creative

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display about some of the various spices and staples of the nearby islands. Three walls were lined with four rows of big glass jars; the first row a color, the second a picture, the third a description, the fourth the actual food, and last the color again. Some of the spices had little smelling contraptions, which remided me of the speak-write from 1984. A little funnel deal on a bendy wire with a ring to pull that released a puff of good smelling stuff. My favorite was the cinnamon one, yummy. And I learned that: Cardamom (-mon?) is the second most expensive spice, Nutmeg is a hallucinogenic plant, you can clean your teeth with Sugar Cane, and Licorice is real good for ya. Really interesting exhibit with a rad display.

DSC02656After the food bit, we moved on to the Singaporean history part. It began in this big tall column that had a bridge through the middle of it and a short film projected all-round on the walls. The film was really creative and it was cool to stand on the bridge and be completely surrounded by the film. Then we moved on through the exhibit with our delightfully touristy audio guides around our necks. We made it from about 1300 to 1950 then we had to drag our poor tourist selves out of there. After our museum experience we wandered around the SMU campus for a bit, got another medicinal Coke, listened to a nice little guitar dude sing Radiohead for global warming, picked up visas, got some yummy sushi, and found our way back to the hotel for a little lie-down before venturing out again to the night safari.The night safari turned out to be a standing-in-line party, but was entirely worth the wait. We rode around on a tram and saw a ton of awesome animals. Sometimes zoo visits can be so disappointing, like when all the cool animals are sleeping and you get to see some nice North American deer eating grass and some canaries. But somehow they get all the animals to be in sight for the safari, and we saw; out of this world pre-historic Asian rhinos, water buffalo, zebras, lovely elephants, tigers, tapirs (so weirdly adorable), lions (which are the one animal I don’t really like to see in zoos. They always look a little gaunt,

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lying around on rocks, and I imagine lions as the most perfect powerful creatures on earth, quite possibly because I watched Lion King at a young age and loved Mufasa, just like everyone.), giraffes, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember. After the tram ride we went on a walk where we saw mouse-deer (Fat mouse + Spindly little legs = Gawd, cute!) and the perkiest little otters on earth! Once I took a cheesy little “What’s Your Spirit Creature” quiz on Facebook and got an otter because I’m the (and I quote) “most playfulest!” But dumb quiz or no, I lurve otters. We also saw two fuzzy ikkle Slow Lorises (Lori?) which we named Verl and Earl. Then… the oddest/cutest… pangolins! Little scaly guys, that look kinda cuddly anyways. Kinda rat-shaped? Totally freaky and totally endearing in their freakiness. And also, capybaras! Worlds larget rodents, which look like giant hamsters and I think would be perfectly adorable with a little collar and leash, walking down the street. (“Come Cappy! Dinner! Time to run in your gigantor liberty ball!”) I have a hard time at zoos sometimes because I want to take the animals home so badly. Same at museums, sometimes I want the stuff in there so much. Not like old master paintings or Picassos or anything (though it would be rad to have a Rembrandt in my room), but usually just cool old newspapers or little jewelry things. Things that aren’t fancy enough to have copies in the gift shop, but are just old/obscure enough to be totally unfind-able outside museum walls. But I digress. Back to the zoo. After our walk we went to the “Creatures of the Night” show, which was led by a funny chick, but was… odd overall. It began with a girl in a Native American-looking costume, doing Indonesian-looking dance, who was first

DSC02694acosted by Borneo-looking fire dancer dudes, then the a Grim Reaper carrying a cardboard scythe. Huh? But then they brought out the cute wily little civet and the giant snake. Then the adorable otter, Felix, who could sort recyclables. Yip yip. Then we waited in another line to taxi back to Little India. Where we woke up this morning and went out to one of the coolest markets ever. Started out with your routine knock-off bags, morphed into cool Chinesey stuff, then flowers, then led up to a pretty Chinese temple, then we found the market we wereaiming for, a hipster little clothes and jewelry and cool junk place. Found some excellent T-shirts and cool little wooden necklaces. After our market needs were satisfied we returned once more to Little India where we went to the Indian version of McDonalds, a cool little fast food place where rice and a wide variety of spicy delicious things arrive come on a big ol’ banana leaf. Accompanied by the best limeade ever. Yummy. Later I did some more wandering (you may begin to notice this is something I enjoy), ice cream cone in hand. Ice cream cone as in a Cornetto thing from a little bodega. The kind of ice cream cone that tastes a little like paper and is only good about once a year. Anyway, I had an excellent mini-adventure through this glorious little neighborhood. I figured out I could gauge how far I was from the touristy epicenter by how expensive the sparkly bracelet sets were.As the bracelets got down to a dollar, I found myself walking up and down little alleys full of people eating their delightfully fragrant lunches and women in their saris (which I seriously covet) hanging laundry.

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Then I faced the task of finding my way home, but after zig-zagging through streets full of fabric and sequins and asking directions an embarrassing amount of times, I found my way back to Perak Street. Where I am now. Watching Cartoon Network, eating dark chocolate, looking at today’s pictures, and taking a wee break before journeying out into what’s growing to be one of my favorite cities again tonight.

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