Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Singapore...An English Oasis

After our relaxing time in Tioman, Malaysia, Danny and I spent a three  great days in Singapore. Singapore is the ONLY place in over a year that Danny and I have been that has English as their first official language and it was wonderful... and weird.  It is strange hearing others speak in English and being able to listen in on conversations.  Usually I just tune out all sound because I don't understand it ; )

Singapore is one of the most beautiful cities I have seen in Asia.  It has awesome architecture and just feels like a western oasis in the middle of Asia.  I love living in Asia but sometimes you just really need a break, so if that is you... go to Singapore.  There is great food, beautiful city scenes, the huge ferris wheel called the Singapore Flyer, an awesome night safari and lots of shopping.  Singapore is called a "fine city" not only because it is nice/fine but they love to penalize/fine people.  Everywhere you go in Singapore is beautiful and extremely clean because they give HUGE fines to anyone who breaks the rules.  A sign on the subway made it clear that you can't eat, smoke, or light things on fire in the train... and my absolute favorite was NO DURIAN! (man, that fruit stinks!) You can't even chew gum on the subway!

Singapore is probably most famous for the shopping.  Danny and I usually aren't big shoppers but when we saw the huge Crocs store, we couldn't help ourselves.  We bought 2 pairs each and got a free Crocs heart pillow out of it! (Danny thinks it is the ugliest thing ever but I am currently enjoying it at work ; )  There are malls pretty much wherever you turn in Singapore and they are some of the nicest malls I have ever seen!  At one mall you could even take romantic gondola rides around the mall.

The fanciest mall I have ever been to.
Since Singapore is a mixture of western and Asian culture, you see a little bit of the familiar and a little bit of the unfamiliar wherever you go.  For example, Danny and I were walking around a grocery store oogling at all the great food you can get in Singapore and we saw a aisle with different Pringles flavors in it.  Normal right?  Well sorta... they were Pringles but they were some CRAZY flavors.  Who knew that seaweed, shoftshell crab, and blueberry/hazelnut Pringles were popular?  Danny and I tried the blueberry and hazelnut Pringles and decided that if a blueberry muffin and a crunchy chip had a baby, that is what you would get.  They were delicious!

Mmmm...grilled shrimp Pringles ; )

Danny and I stayed in the "Little India" section of Singapore.  It was full of life, temples, and smells of curry so it made me feel like we were right in India.  People were lighting incense to different Hindu gods at every shop and we saw lots of people buying flowers for their shrines.  All the blaring "Bollywood" music mixed with the flower and curries smells wafting through the air made for a great and lively atmosphere.  I would highly suggest going to Little India.

As usual, one of my favorite parts is trying the local food and Little India didn't dissappoint.  Danny and I chose a random open-air restaurant and decided to just point to the best looking dishes to see what we would get.  I actually don't know what we ate but I think it was the best Indian food I had ever had!  Freshly fried naan bread, califlower curry, and a few other spicy dishes were exactly what we wanted.  Even though we think one of the dishes maybe had some goat in it (which Danny hates with a passion) we walked away happy and full.

If I had to describe Indian culture in two words it would definitely be loud and colorful.  All the shops and buildings are a variety of colors so it was a nice change of pace from the same ol' scenery of Korea.

Colorful buildings were all over Little India.
We walked around downtown and stumbled upon an awesome restuarant street filled with the famous "chili crab" of Singapore and a variety of other genres of food.  In Andong we basically only have Pizza Hut to give us a little variety in food so any chance to have a change, we take it. 

We have especially missed Mexican food so we were estatic to find Muchos.  Right near the river you can find Muchos serving chips, margharitas and Fajitas.  Unfortunately Mexican food is one of the most expensive foods you can buy in Asia, even though in America it is one of the cheapest, but sometimes you just gotta splurge.  It was no El Taco Rey in Colorado Springs but it made me smile and think of home.

Over all, Singapore was a great end to a great vacation! 

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