Tag Archives: singapore

The Rest of the Story (Singapore Style) …….

There were just a few other things we did in Singapore that we did that you might want to know about if you get a chance to go there.

Of course, there is the Hard Rock Cafe.

And there is a great beach at Sentosa Island. Bear even found a sand dollar. And the girls found some great shells.

One-fourth of all the world’s cargo goes through Singapore, so you can see a lot of big ships coming in and out of the port.

Singapore has a Chinatown that is very fun! And we thought expensive.

And Chinatown has a Hindu Temple.

And a Buddhist Temple.

This guy is watching you so behave yourself!

And Chinatown has lots of market shops with fun trinkets.

And this laughing budha who will give you well wishes if you rub his belly (and drop a coin in the slot).

The seahorses did not fare so well. Apparently they are used in soup.

This was bamboo something – it looked kind of like a bamboo jello jiggler. No, I did not try it. Next time.

There is a go-kart ride that goes down a pretty big hill. Lots of fun. Be careful doing this if your kids are at all competitive. It could end up costing a lot of money trying to let everyone win.

After the go-kart (luge) ride, you take a chair lift back up the hill. If you catch it at the right time, you will see this amazing view.

And what is a visit to an Asian city without a little monkey love?

And the dare devil adventure continues. Here is one of my Trapeze artists in the making.

Here is a little quiz for you – do you know what happens if you put a picture of one daughter on the flying trapeze for all the world (and her friends) to see and you do not put one of your other daughter? You pay for therapy for years. So, forget what the economists are recommending this is my own little version of savings. Angel taking a flip……

And this is the mega zip. You put on a harness, attach it to the cable, say a quick prayer, and zip down the mountain. This is a fabulous ride ladies – you actually have to weigh enough to do it. No skinny minnies here.

The whole way down I am thinking “I cannot believe I just strapped myself to a cable this high off the ground and trust that I am going to land safely. And I took my child with me.” When I landed, I thought, “that was really fun!”

You can also rent segues.

The trick is to lean forward enough – but not too far. Here is what I learned about riding segues – you really don’t want anyone taking your picture from the back. 😉

And there is a suspended obstacle course. Yeah sure, sign me up. You can choose to obstacle one, two, or three stories up. First floor for me and Angel. Hubby, Flower, and Bear – all the way to the top. The kids really enjoyed this. Hubby and I were very glad to have survived it.

Why does it look so high up you ask? Because it is.

And there is the night safari. Some people LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. We could have skipped it and gone to the regular zoo instead. It’s at night and so it’s dark – I know, continue to be amazed by my deductive reasoning abilities. But it is hard to see the animals and many of them are still sleeping even though they are nocturnal. But seeing these guys dance around with fire was pretty full of awesomeness.

And the animal show was cute enough.

Especially when they wrapped this big-arse snake around my husband’s neck.

And forget a chicken in every pot. I am running for President and promising a 7-11 on every corner! Slurpees and all. Singapore 7-11’s even have a mashed potato fountain machine. They tasted a lot like KFC mashed potatoes which made Bear and Hubby very happy!

Swimming with the fishes (and sharks)…….

You might remember that we just got back from a vacation in Singapore and that I said there was so much to do. I think we did just about everything – except apparently the slingshot. Dang it – somehow I just did not know about that one. One of the first things we did was visit the aquarium.

In a weak parenting moment, I agreed with my husband that it would be a great experience for him, Bear, and Flower to swim with the sharks in the aquarium – Angel and I decided that they really should have someone taking pictures of their adventure to document it for the ages (safely from outside the tank) so we did not join in on this one…

Yes, that would be my family petting a shark. Thankfully it was a shark with smallish mouth.

And, not just sharks, but eels too. Goody.

Oh yeah and rays. The bubbles coming out of my sons regulator show that it surprised him just a tad to have this ray come swimming right by him.

And this is my daughter telling me to get used to holding my breath while she tries new adventures. Bear and Hubby have the same opinion.

Angel and I snorkeled. I probably have not told you how much I do not like fish. And, in particular,  how much I do not like big fish. And how much I do not like big fish swimming around me. Oh, and they gave us raw fish and shrimp to feed the very big fish so they would come even closer to us. That was simply brilliant. And they let us squeeze into put on these wet suits. Yes, I love my daughter very much and she had a great time.  Actually, it was fun – except for the whole very big fish thing – I did get to pet sting rays. Very cool!

Angel kept asking me why I was not putting my head underwater to see all the really big fish. I simply explained to her that I was having so much fun watching her that I did not need to see the fish. Wink. Wink.

The whole aquarium was really pretty cool. Seahorses always capture my attention.

And jellyfish – especially very cool jellyfish that change colors with the light – especially very cool jellyfish that are locked away in a tank and cannot possibly sting you.

This guy was unusual.

And talk about crabby. Did they really need to combine a spider and a crab? He was pretty dang big too.

There was also a seal show. What’s not to love about a seal show? It was fab.

We are big fans of turtles of all shapes and sizes.

So, don’t miss the aquarium if you venture out to Singapore!

A Charlie Brown Christmas……………

About a year ago, I was decorating our house for Christmas and getting ready to move our family around the world. It was an overwhelming time and it felt a little rushed. In many ways, it is mostly a blur. Immediately after Christmas, I literally stuffed all the decorations into boxes, shoved them in the closets, and checked one more thing off my to do list. Christmas – done and undone – check. Then I began really focusing on moving my family to India.

What I didn’t realize is that almost exactly a year later, I would visit Singapore all decorated for Christmas and I would hear Christmas songs in every store. That I would buy candy canes in Singapore just because I could – they just don’t seem to be available in Delhi. And that when I got home I would just stick them in the cabinet. Because we were treeless. I don’t think I have ever been treeless. In fact, we usually put up two tress in the U.S. – one that has decorations the kids made and one that no one is allowed to touch but me. But now, all of our decorations are in the U.S. – except for a few that I bought at a craft show a few weeks ago.

My parents got divorced when I was pretty young, so I often celebrated Christmas twice. My mother’s birthday is Christmas day. It’s always been a wonderful time of year for me. After I got married, we started celebrating Christmas three or four times – just depending on how many different groups of family members were gathering together. Christmas Eve with number one hubby’s family is a wonderful, cherished tradition. Christmas morning with most of my family is magical. Then of course, we have our own party of five celebration. Throw in a few parties and some cookie baking and a white elephant gift exchange and you have yourself a Christmas season.

Well, most of that simply cannot happen when you live around the world from the people you hold most dear. Even putting up decorations seems like just going through the motions. But not being able to put up decorations is really depressing. We will be home for literally 20 hours Christmas day – the rest of the time we will be traipsing around the world. We are counting our blessings and know just how very lucky we are. But, something is missing.

Until last night. Last night, number one hubby brought home this. Now you know how he earns his status. Today after school we are going ornament shopping. We might even make some hot chocolate and sing a few Christmas songs.

Charlie Brown would be very, very proud. (For those of you not familiar with Charlie Brown – he is a cartoon character and one of his stories is about how he finds this little twig of a tree and brings it to life with love and lights. He turns nothing into magic with the spirit of Christmas.)

P.S. Someone is probably curious – so I will go ahead and answer the question now – yes, there are over a million Christians in India and they celebrate Christmas. Lucky for us! There are stores that sell trees and ornaments and decorations. It’s just that the town won’t be all decked out in red and green – it’s a big difference! But it feels better now.

Singapore Flyer………..

The Singapore Flyer is supposed the be the world’s largest Ferris Wheel. It takes about 30 or 40 minutes to complete one cycle and from it you can see all of Singapore. You can also listen to a taped program about the history of Singapore. It is definitely worth doing.

Feng Shui (the art of receiving positive energy by positioning things correctly to achieve Qi or good engery) played a large part in many of the design aspects of Singapore. The Singapore Flyer is no exception. Originally the Flyer rotated counter-clockwise and it was determined that, according to Feng Shui principals, it should rotate clockwise. And, the change was made.

The top of the Ferris Wheel is 165 meters above the ground. But you ride totally enclosed in this capsule. You never feel like you will fall out and it is not a wobbly ride. It goes very slowly and never actually stops.

Here are some of the sights you will see.

Doctor Fish and Butterflies…………..

Do you know about this? It is called a fish spa. You put your feet in water and these fish eat your dead skin cells. I know it sounds really icky – but it is very relaxing! And you leave with smoother skin – it is a pedicure a la fishies.

The little fish come nibble on your toes and feet and calves. They create a vibration sensation. The spa will serve you tea and you just sit back and relax. It is good to know that the tanks hold different size fish and they all feel a little different. The larger ones were my favorite. It does tickle a little at first, but you get over that quickly.

I am sure it is all hocus pocus jibber jabber – but it was fun to try it once. Here is what they claim…

We did this while we were in Singapore. I understand these spas exist all over the world. I will definitely do it again.

We also went to the Butterfly Park on Sentosa Island. It was magical – very large butterflies flitter and flutter by you and might even land on you.

There were also other creatures like turtles, birds, lizards, and even some snakes (in cages).

There is also a tremendous insect collection inside the park. They are all pinned to boards – which sounds mean – but these are some big arse bugs – you will be v.e.r.y. thankful they are not alive and cannot move. And FYI, if you live in Colombia or Brazil, you might want to invest in some industrial strength bugspray and be very careful where you walk.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas………

Singapore is a fascinating mix of several cultures – Chinese, Indian, Malays, Eurasians, and Arabs. English is the primary language – although each group uses their own language too – so there is also Chinese, Tamil, etc. English being the universal language makes getting around super easy. Singapore’s population is around 5 million and 80 percent of the people who reside there live in government flats. Our taxi driver told us that they are all the same – 3 bedrooms, kitchen, family room, balcony, and I think two bathrooms.

There is a slight “big brother” feel in Singapore – you are not allowed to bring gum into the country or to chew it (you can smoke however – I know, huh?).  Littering brings a $1,000 fine – your second offense is $2,000. Cameras line the roads and no one crosses the street until the pedestrian light says it is ok to do so. Getting a taxi is easy – you just get in a queue until it is your turn – single file, no cutting, and no bumping. All of that works together to make an organized, efficient, and very clean city.

If you come from Delhi, Singapore will seem like a little slice of very clean heaven. There is little pollution, the sun shines or dances behind a few clouds (don’t forget your sunscreen), and no one honks their horn. Cars even stay in their own lanes. And even though there is traffic, it is not bumper to bumper – it flows nicely.

Because Singapore has so many different cultures co-existing, they seem to celebrate everything. On Friday, a lot of stores were closed for the Muslim celebration of Hajj – the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. And Orchard Road (the famous shopping district) was decorated for Christmas –  Christmas music played in all the stores. It was all sorts of loverly to see all the trees and reindeer smiling along the way.

It was a little funny to be walking in shorts in the high temps and to see this snowman. He did make me smile though.

All in all, Orchard Road was a great place to visit. We found the prices to be pretty high but you could visit any store you might be missing. It’s all here.