Singapore Revisited

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I was in Singapore from December 15 to January 7 to spend the holidays with my parents and brother. Some snaps:

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had come in while the Singapore Biennale was going on. This room was terrifying actually, it was glass and mirrors with these projections of traditional Japanese dancers and there was music blaring and you had no idea what was what. 

Totally forgot about how readily available cheap (and incredibly good) food is in Singapore. And that you could walk into a food court and choose from so many different cuisines (Singaporean, Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Western, etc, etc). I couldn't stay away from the juicy dumplings. Or the milk tea. Almost every afternoon I'd have this as a snack, or I'd get double the amount and just eat that for lunch. I'm becoming a dumpling. Ugh.

Christmas present from my brother. Can't tell you enough how much it made me love him and happy that he is my brother and only he could have given me this gift (well I guess other people could have too, but it wouldn't have been as funny or meaningful). 

Also a nice reminder/thing: getting my hair braided by my mom. I love when my mom braids my hair, super asian mom, makes it so tight. 

Hung out with David Lang. One night we tried to go to as many rooftop bars as we could (lol but managed 2). This is one of them. 

Oh brother. Also forgot (how could I) how funny he is and it was nice being around him. And of course it was nice being around my parents and having all of us together. 

Ugh this thing was so amazing. It's this pan fried flat dumpling thing with chives and egg. There's an insane amount of chive in it, but it's not overwhelming at all. And you also don't miss meat at all when eating this. And it's so good that you don't care about your chive-y (aka not pleasant) breath after. 

I know this animal is probably so bummed out and hating its life, but god it was cute and I needed everyone to see this. 

I also noticed more of the architecture in Singapore. There's a lot of really interesting buildings and structures. Cool. Although a lot of them are shopping malls. Not as cool. 

I was quite ambivalent about going to Singapore. I've been a couple of times before and even though there are a lot of different ethnicities there, it just felt like a somewhat non-descript city in Asia with a lot of shopping, eating, drinking, and singing. And it still is. I think it has a lot to do with how the country is run with all its infamous rules (although I don't really feel like they're as strict anymore) and it creates a somewhat sterile society (although of course there are some really really awesome things about Singapore that are specific to it and I am slowly discovering them) that is such a rat race. Admittedly, after going to other cities in Asia, the efficiency, cleanliness and how overall dialed-in Singapore is is appreciated and easy to get used to (ha!) Although there are some weird disconnects that kind of negate what the country was trying to do in the first place. 

The amount of consumption that goes on there (it's mall upon mall crammed with stuff and people) - it was a bit disconcerting and even though all the cheap shopping and food is amazing at first and you're in this happy delirious state from all the choices, the novelty wears off and you get a bit ill thinking of how this is all adding up.

All that said though, I was able to find a nice routine there (which really just involved eating noodles, swimming in my parent's pool, walking around, taking naps, and catching up on tv - god that sounds gross and who doesn't like that). I don't feel quite so whatever to the place anymore. Like everything that I don't like at first (for no good reason really), it needed time, space, revisitations. Basically it needed more of a better chance then I initially gave it. 

And now I kind of like it.

A lot actually.

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