My visa expired yesterday, so on Sunday I had to get myself out of the country for the day. So I went to Singapore! Funny how easy it is to just get on a plane and go to a different country, it almost takes more preparation to get our acts together and drive the hour and a half from Moscow to Spokane. Anyway, I had about five hours to fill, and my first stop was the National University of Singapore. Very big, modern campus. Lots of cool looking people hanging around. Could definitely see myself there. Got an ice cream come at McDonald’s and wandered around until I was about to melt. Then I taxied back to Chinatown to look for food.

I was hoping for soup dumplings, but everyone I asked looked at me like I was a crazy, so I settled for a tiny little restaurant on a side street that looked a little less tourist crazed. I sat down under the many decorations hanging in the little place and ordered hot and sour soup and fried dumplings (soup and dumplings instead of soup dumplings) from the very round, very old waitress. My soup soon arrived, in a giant bucket. Okay, a bowl. But it was huge. I finished maybe a fourth of it, and I was so full of soup I thought I was going to die. But the soup surplus wasn’t so bad, because the soup was delicious! Really really spicy. Seriously spicy. I’m not kidding, spicy. Like, lips go numb spicy. But so so so good. Full of fresh tomatoes and eggplant (I think) and tofu and egg and bits of chilies. Very satisfying, surprisingly fresh feeling, and quite possibly ruined Chinese-restaurant soup for me for the rest of my life. Then came the dumplings, which were really tasty too, full of lots of green onions. But the little guys caused me a moment of embarrassment, I must say. Now, while I’m not a chopstick master per se, I don’t think I’m that pathetic. A nearby waiter thought otherwise. After I dropped a dumpling into my soy sauce (fried dumplings, c’mon not the easiest) he brought a fork tomy table and set it down with much ceremony, and a look that was clearly a painful cover for laughter. But, dear readers (all two of you), you will be proud. I did not touch that fork. No I did not. I struggled through the rest of the dumplings totally chopstick-style. So proud, so proud.

Anyway. A good meal. Couldn’t begin to tell you where it was or what the name was. After my soup and dumpling stop I wandered around Chinatown and eventually wound up at a Japanese dessert place. Dessert sounded good, so I went in. I ordered what the waitress said was the best thing; matcha green tea ice cream with red bean paste and dumplings. Oh sweet lord, it was so bad. I tried to be open to new tastes but oh my, red bean paste is possibly the worst tasting thing I’ve ever tried. And with the grainy ice cream that left a weird film on your teeth and the odd, tapioca-y dumplings? Ew. Ew ew ew.

 

I say, if you can hold a dumpling with chopsticks and take a picture at the same time, you’re a pretty-ok chopsticker.

Barely made a dent in the delicious soup!

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