Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Week in SIN

Before you all start going crazy SIN is the actual airport code for Singapore. I know I've been back for a week and am only now just getting around to posting about the trip last week but I just couldn't find the motivation until now. I'm sure you've all been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for this.

First off here is the video clip of me on Channel News Asia:

Being in Singapore the week before Chinese New Year aka Lunar New Year was a unique experience. I was given a gift of 2 mandarin oranges by a co-worker, mandarins are always handed out in pairs and they represent prosperity for the new year. At the end of the Chinese New Year celebration Singapore holds its annual Chingay parade. Walking back from my office to the hotel each day I could see the preparations under way. Chinatown is a transformed place during Chinese New Year - lanterns are hung everywhere, they close two of the side streets for markets, and the place is mobbed with people. I did manage to make it down to Chinatown on my last night to take pictures and experience the place.

I spent a lot of time checking out the various temples around town. Every temple was happy to welcome you inside to take a look around but no photography was allowed. All shoes had to be removed before entering, some temples provided lockers at others the shoes were just left out front. Outside the temples were bundles of incense and some had people selling flowers to be brought in as offerings. Other offerings I saw at some of the monuments inside the temple were juice boxes and other food items.

I was pleasantly surprised when I went into a temple in Chinatown to see that they had a sign indicating that photography was allowed if you bought a license for $3 so of course I did.

The final area that I explored was Arab Street. This section of town was much more subdued not as much hustle and bustle as Little India or Chinatown. Lots of fabric stores as well as carpet stores. I was very tempted to look in the carpet stores but was afraid I wouldn't be able to control myself and would end up buying something. The only thing I bought there was lunch, which was delicious. Mint tea, falafel and a meze plate - yummy!

Although I normally try to avoid tourist traps when I'm out travelling I did visit Long Bar at Raffle's Hotel which is where the Singapore Sling was invented. The place reminded me of the old Ground Round when you used to get shelled peanuts and throw the shells on the floor. I did notice that they had loads of drinks already prepared all they had to do was add ice and shake. I guess if you know that most people are going to order the same thing it's easier to prepare them ahead of time. The drink was OK nothing that special really and definitely not worth the price - this is why I typically avoid the tourist traps.
More pictures from the trip will be on my photography site shortly.


Anonymous said...

I just read your blog posting to your niece and she was interested in the mint tea because it is the name of a little pony. wishes you could take a picture of pinkie pie and all of the other pony friends. Just try to.

The Slosberg's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Slosberg's said...

That interview you gave was so profound that I found religion.