Sunday, March 16, 2008

Singapore Vacation - Day 1 - Getting An Overview

It's actually Day 2 over here in Singapore - I was so wiped out yesterday that I didn't have a chance to get anything posted. If you're an American, you should be proud to know that I'm blogging not from some cute little authentic cafe, but from good o' McDonalds. According to a Singaporean couple I met on the flight over, McDonalds over here provides free WiFi, and is apparently the standard place to camp out with your computer

We got a real treat for our first day here, and met up with a friend from the states who was here on business. He, along with a friend of his who knows the area exceeding well, took us around. Yes, it was really cool getting the low down on the city from someone who really knows it.

Our first impression of Singapore is that it's a wonderful little city. As promised, it's clean and easily accessible (thanks to English being an official language). It has an impressive skyline and neat neighborhoods (we've only been to China Town, and haven't been to India town or the Muslim area). So far, we are impressed.

Here's a bit of what we did yesterday...

A glimpse of that impressive skyline I mentioned:

Us - just one our classic self portraits from the trip.

Me in front of a gigantic bird sculpture thing. Shira wants to know, does this count as us seeing cultural stuff? Do we really need to go to a museum now?

Us on the river boat cruise:

Ahhh, yes - America has contributed more to Singapore than McDonalds and Starbucks. We've also given them Hooters. I'm sure they're thankful. Actually, in a country where pornography is illegal (but officer, I was just reading the articles!) - this is probably pretty risque. Notice how you can't see my hands in the photo below - I wasn't sure if I should touch the waitresses or not. Yeah, I'm that afraid of girls.

Us outside a Buddhist temple in China town. The inside was magnificent. We also stepped into a Hindu temple as well. Impressive stuff.

I don't usually use the phrase "Bad Ass" to describe Buddhists, but there's just no other way to describe the sculpture at the front of the temple. Forget ADT, put one of these in your lawn and you'll have all the protection you need.

Shira and I noshing on mochi balls (yummy rice balls). They were filled with some expected foods (like peanuts and green tea) and some less expected foods (yam, black sesame). It was all quite tasty. But let's face it, putting powdered sugar on anything makes it taste good.

We had the quintessential Singapore experience - a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel. The best part? You can throw the shells from your peanuts on the ground. In a city where littering is a serious offense, this is exciting stuff.

I know what you're thinking - oh cool, you made it to an aquarium. Not exactly. This was taken at the restaurant we ate at. And this guy isn't for decoration, he's for eat'in. The Chinese food was delicious and authentic. For example, I learned that in a formal Chinese dinner the rice is served at the end. That way, your guests don't fill up on rice and not get to enjoy the meat and fish. So the good stuff is served first, then the rice.

Not yet sure what's on tap for day #2. But I'm sure it's going to be a good time.

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