Thursday, March 19, 2015
Singapore: A Day in Pictures
Today was my first day to really get out and explore in Singapore. Dave and his students went to rehearsals bright and early -- about 7 a.m. -- and I lingered in the hotel another hour or so before setting out myself. I decided to go to Chinatown first, mainly because it's close to our hotel.
Apparently a large number of Singapore residents are of Chinese extraction.
Chinatown is a vibrant area, but I was there so early things were only just beginning to open!
I did come across a colorful Hindu temple with some gentle-looking cows perched on the corners. Indians also make up a substantial community in Singapore.
It is a very colorful town!
After wandering in Chinatown I walked into the business district across the river and caught the hop-on, hop-off tourist bus. I thought it would be a good way to get to know the city and see the main neighborhoods.
I mostly stayed on the bus, but when it came to the Botanical Gardens, I decided to get off for a wander. I'm so glad I did. In addition to amazing tropical plants -- palms, orchids, ginger -- and a preserved area of rainforest, I came across this bright fuchsia dragonfly!
I got back on the bus and went back into the center of the city for a walk along the waterfront. By this time, it was about 2 p.m. and I hadn't had lunch. Last night, Dave, his coworker Lorraine and I wound up having Mexican food for dinner, which just seemed completely bizarre in Singapore -- so this time I wanted something local.
I found a little waterfront cafe and ordered a dish off the menu by looking at a picture. I'm still not 100 percent sure what was in it:
But it was really good. Spicy and noodly, with a boiled egg and croutons and hot peppers and a little edible green kumquat-like fruit -- fascinating!
I walked back along the Singapore River to the hotel. Across the street from our hotel is this Chinese temple. I like how authentic it looks, with its traffic cones and wayward desk chair sitting outside. It is not a tourist temple!
Last night, we found our Mexican food at a riverfront mall that, frankly, reminded me of Orlando. It seemed new and kind of spiritless, and I worried that all of Singapore would be that way. Today showed me that it is not. There's lots of concrete and glass, but there are also lots of interesting sights. More to come tomorrow!