Jetlagged and hardly able to walk from the excruciatingly long flight. We landed in Singapore airport last night. Over a full day in the East Coast time had elapsed. On the morning of our flight, we dropped a bunch of stuff in the mail our Netflix, taxes, etc. To give you an idea of how long it took us to get here. The Netflix was received and checked in.But, Anna and Chris, our lovely hosts here in Singapore ( Anna is Tracie’s Dad’s sister and Chris is her husband ), drove us right to Newton Circus, one of the hawker stand, this one “for ex-pats”, so while quiet, it was still really tasty. We had a malaysian style stingray cooked in a banana leaf, an oyster omelet and laksa. I got a Sour Sup fruit drink that was sour and sweet and particularly refreshing after over 24hrs of airplane food. This morning, we got up and headed out for another delicious meal. We started our day with a Malaysian style noodle dish Mee Siam and sandwich. The Sandwich was called a Roti John and it was a soft baguette filled with an omelette with a chicken meat and cover in chilis and with cucumbers on the side. It was super tasty with the chilis. We also each had a Koppi O, or Singaporian coffee. Think triple espresso sweetened with a little condensed milk. Strong coffee, with deep tobacco flavors, with an almost toffee like finish. Our afternoon was meandering and relaxed. Singapore, as we supected, is the perfect transition from the west to the east. Being a former British Colony has made it a very multi-ethnic city and english is spoken everywhere, while at the same time all signs are in one of many asian languages. At every corner, we heard a different dialect. Singapore is super clean and organized, we hear the very opposite of the majority of the rest of the asian cities we’ll visit soon. And food is everywhere, the variety and shear density of restaurants is exhilarating and daunting all at once. Singapore feels young and vibrant, in flavors, culture and especially in food. I wish my belly could hold so much more than it did today. We were especially surprised and delighted by much of the new architecture. We couldn’t help but think that this is what New York should feel like. If only our cities were as creative and open to building as this city feels. We briefly explored the Singapore National Library building, which in itself was a triumph of technology and ingenuity. It had hundreds of different public gathering places, and was enormously engaging in its design. I took a few photos of the exterior and some shots inside and within a few of the public spaces shown below.
For lunch we stopped off at a little Vietnamese spot called Va Va Voom. Tracie ordered a dish that was grilled beef over morning glory shoots, with a scattering of fried shallots. My dish was Lemongrass beef with chilis over rice. It needed more chilis. I forget, they see a Gwei Lo, and figure I don’t want it very spicy. For a drink, because there are thousands of varieties of juices and drink combinations, I got a Plum Lime Soda, which was a really syrupy sweet lime simple syrup served over ice, with a sugar cured and dried plum dropped into it. Think one of those “chinese sour plums” lots of American kids buy off ice cream trucks, or at least I did. If the lemon grass beef dish had come with more chilis it would have been perfect.
By the late afternoon, the humidity and the heat that I remember so well from my Texas home, had worn us down. Now, resting, sampling three different varieties of Thai mangoes, we are waiting to go see the new Alice in Wonderland, yea, on opening night, and here movies are by assigned seat. Wake up AMERICA. Organize. Get creative, your feel embarrassingly behind from here. 😉