The list keeps growing of major world cities I never expected to see – Shanghai, Beijing, Jiaxing, Kuala Lumpur – and now Singapore. Coming in from the airport, you are immediately struck by the buildings and the cleanliness. Both are very impressive. Unusual shapes and styles. I freely admit that I don’t get to downtown Vancouver very often, but I doubt they would rival Singapore. Even a government building was cool with multi-coloured window frames. (Ed. note: Sadly, no photo of that one. I do have several photos which I will put out in a separate posting.)
To get from KL to Singapore we travelled to KL’s second airport – it cost 1.3 billion dollars and was built specifically to handle low cost airlines. It is very nice and has lots of food choices – as opposed to most Chinese airports which are very nice but have minimal food options. This is great if you have time to spend. It also has visual teaching aids.
We did a fair amount of research on Singaporean food and it all said that Kaya toast is the one to have. I don’t think we did quite enough homework – maybe just got the name. Kaya toast is toasted bread filled with butter and kaya, a jam made from eggs, sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaves. The dish flavours is enhanced when it is matched with half-boiled eggs (Ed. note: If they were to be half-boiled, I think ours were slightly underdone), and hot tea or black coffee.
We have seen line-ups like this in different places. This shop – Lim Chee Guan is sandwiched between two others which sell exactly the same thing. Sliced Pork or Pork Floss. But Lim must do a really good job since they are the only ones who had a line-up no matter when you want. They weren’t far from our hotel (Ed. note: which I managed to book right on the edge of Chinatown) so we went by frequently.
Speaking of Chinatown, we were looking to buy some wine and asked the receptionist in a lovely spa where that would be. She said that would be at the grocery store in Shinatown (as in ssshhh) Mall out a block away. Turns out the mall is Chinatown Mall – just as it sounds.
I know you have all heard of the strict Singapore laws, but I tell you. When we were flying in and about to land, they come on and list all the weapons which are illegal to have in Singapore – knives, nunchucks, handcuffs, pepper spray etc etc. Then there is a pause and she comes on to say “If you are caught smuggling in illegal drugs, the penalty is mandatory death.” Now we knew that, but when those words come at you, it is still a shock.
This sign was at the back of the building which housed the “Ministry of Conventions and Centres”
The transit system around Singapore is good – subways and els. It might drive our good friends at “home” crazy though. The actually STAY in line until everyone has gotten off and THEN get on. They also get up for older people to give them their seat. This is quite unusual since the population of 5.5 million people is 75% Chinese.
Now I Don’t Know…
much about art, but I know what I like. We went to the Singapore Art Museum. It was interesting and really did make me think about the concept of art. These are some examples.
This artist “illustrated” the Eskimo (Ed. note: Their word not mine) in which the wolf comes across this knife which has a little meat on it and starts to lick the knife, cutting his tongue and then dying as he drinks his own blood. The white is a field of bicarbonate of soda.
This is a mass of hair – human and animal. It represents the changes women have undergone over the years –
Now, there was also Performance Art. This was a 6:28 video. The heart is frozen milk and the artist is the guy underneath. Every five seconds the video switches from the heart to him and as the milk melts, it drips on to his face – landing just above his upper lip. We saw the first couple and that was about it for us. Apparently his face becomes quite a mess. As with all art, the meaning is open to the observer. My meaning is that one has to be a little off to put a some kind of weird dental device in one’s mouth as a frozen milk heart drips onto one’s face.
We keep telling the kids that you cannot just take someone else’s work, change a few of the words and then publish it as your own. On the left is the Jean-Baptiste Greuze, La Dame de charité (1775), on the right is The Charity Lady, by Wong Hoy Cheong (200?). To be fair, he did note that it is taken from the original and just modern Chinese characters have been inserted (Terry’s ed note: the new one on the right was a photograph; the left, an oil painting). But isn’t there a whole world of ideas ou t there without using an old one? Of course he did a movie as well – Doghole, which is an examination of the treatment Malay prisoners of war received from the Japanese during WWII – but that’s been done too, I think (Terry’s ed note: New interpretations and many themes recur in literature and art. Not too unusual, I don’t think).
What is this you ask. Good question. This piece is approximately 2″ by 2″. It is a black background and on the front is –
I have no idea how many of these brass balls there were, but lots. They were in a perfect sphere about 8 feet across. It was interesting, though, that from a particular angle it appeared to have sharp corners.
We mentioned on FaceBook that we had been to the Gardens by the Bay on our first night. These are huge metal trees – about 8 stoies high. with a walkway between there of them. There are somewhere in the 9 to 10 range. Anyway, while having a drink we get to talking to the people next to us.
Every night at 7:45 and 8:45 there is a 12 minute light and music show. It is about 8:30. They tell us that they saw the 7:45 show and we must see the 8:45 show. AND we must lay on our backs and look up. It was, according to one of them, “the most spectacular thing I have ever seen.” You know where this is going, don’t you. To be fair, they did say that they came from a small town outside of Perth, but they had been to London last year. Anyway,
The trees from afar.
This is the decoration outside our room – 1003 – at the Dorsett Hotel. I have no idea why they chose this.
The Shoe Blog
I continue to make every effort to get shots of only shoes which have actually been bought, but this place was too much to pass up. The entire shop was in sparkles and sequins. How could one ever find what one wanted without being blinded?