Sorry, couldn't think of a more creative title for this :)
Singapore is really awesome, so far. It's basically a city-state of melded Indian, Chinese, Malay and colonial influences. We're staying at a hostel in Little India, which I love. The food is great and cheap, and the neighborhood is very vibrant. It smells good, it's colorful and it's full of music and people talking.
Today we explored Little India and Chinatown, which are really nice, especially since they are full of really well-preserved old buildings, storefronts from the times people came here as immigrants and migrant labor. They're very colorful and have intricate designs on the doors and windows. Singapore has done a good job of preserving its historic buildings and places.
In Chinatown, we ate at a hawker center (a cross between a foodcourt and a row of street food stalls) that we had seen on Anthony Bourdain's show No Reservations. If you haven't seen it, its a great travel food show. Anyway, he ate at this hawker center...chicken rice, specifically, from a stand we found but that happened to be closed for the day. But, we still ate chicken rice. It's a deceptively simple-seeming dish-- boiled chicken and steamed white rice, but they're both cooked with wonderful spices and seasonings, and come with sauces to put on. It was yummy!
Singapore can be a little expensive, though. After Chinatown, we headed towards the Botanical Gardens, which happen to be located on the other side of the fancy, designer part of town. I'm talking about beautiful new buildings, every designer you've ever heard of and many you haven't, huge tree-lined boulevards, fancy hotels and gourmet restaurants. Of course, Jon and I walked right through all of that, avoiding any tempation for overpriced snacks (a coffee at McDonalds costs $4!).
The Botanical Gardens were beautiful. The grounds are sprawling and nicely managed. Not too much mentionable, though. Your standard Botanical Gardens.
After that, we took a bus back into the city. We ended up at City Hall, a beautiful old building with a nice big cricket pitch in front of it, which happened to be in use. So, Jon and I watched a game of cricket, which I'd never seen before. We still couldn't quite figure out what was going on, but it was fun.
Anyway, the rest of the evening was spent walking in the parks along the river, and then in Chinatown snacking, as usual. But, I have to go now, because we're going to get dinner here in Little India...mmmm curries for $1!!
More Singapore tomorrow, then bus to Melaka, Malaysia at 5pm...
talk to you later!
"Words have no wings, but they can travel a thousand miles" (Korean Proverb)
Welcome to Flying Words, Jon and Aileen's blog of our adventures in South Korea! We will be in South Korea for a year, starting in mid-July, teaching English in a private school. We just graduated from college this past May, and are looking forward to having some adventures before continuing our education.
We started this blog to keep all our family and friends updated and to share our photos and stories. We hope this is entertaining for you! We will miss you all, and are very thankful to have the internet to keep us in touch.