Thursday, May 2, 2013

More Singapore

3 May 2013

The adventures continue.   I really like my breakfast banana prata - the dough is sort of like a gummier version of tortilla, but super thin, so that it's stretched into layers and then folded over the lightly fried bananas in the center.  It comes with some  hot and spicy gravy or sauce, almost a cinnamony curry flavor - but I like the banana prata by itself.  (And spicy just isn't in my stomach's morning repertoire.)  This morning's tea was lightly vanilla flavored.  Yummy!

Richard wanted to try Mos Burger, which is a big Japanese burger chain.  Where they have the Rice Burger - not a burger made of rice, nope, that would be too weird, rice in a burger bun - no, they have rice patties to make a bun!  It actually is very tasty - I had the Yakinika (or something like that) which is stirfried beef and onion, almost like sukiyaki, but not quite.  With lettuce, of course, because it IS a burger.  (The lady at the counter offered me ketchup.  Seriously.)  I wasn't sure it would hold together if I picked it up like a burger, so I ate it with a spoon.  Different, but very tasty!

We did encounter something on last night's menu:  colorectal heads.  NO idea what that is, and NO desire to find out!!!  (and I chose NOT to eat at that place!  Some of the food scares me!)

The shrines continue to fascinate me.  I liked this little metal house with stairs, presumably so the house gods can walk up to smell the lovely incense, or to eat the offerings.  Or maybe sit on the little elephant statues?  Or maybe the elephant statues are representations of the house gods (like Ganesha?) and they need to go for a walk sometimes?  I'm not sure - as I said, they are endlessly fascinating.  I think not knowing what or why makes them more interesting to us - if I knew much about the reasons or the religion, I'm sure they'd seem mundane.

There are quite a few cats in our neighborhood, and we wondered if the cats walk up the steps to check out this shrine.

So other than the shrines, most of the buildings are fairly Western and boring.  Just the usual boxy shapes.  Until we found this building, dated 1929.  Wow!  Gorgeous!  Ornate bas relief with all kinds of animals and plants and colors, plus beautiful tilework!  Sort of Art Nouveau meets China!  We found a few buildings like this as we walked around further outside our immediate neighborhood.  I really like the colors and ornamentation of these older buildings!

The downtown area has very modern buildings, and I'll get some photos - we were there late in the day on a cloudy day, and photos were coming out dark.

But there was a series of decorated manhole or sewer covers, letting people know that these sewers lead out to the reservoir, so don't dump waste in there.  Apparently this was a community initiative, and competition - my favorites were some designed by students, of course - and for my art friends, you'll enjoy the Asian and Manga influences in the art!

And of course there's a mosque, visible from our hotel window, because this is such a multicultural society.  Haven't heard any calls to worship from the muezzin - but I do like the view! 

Oh - we seem to have kind of a funny ongoing battle with the hotel fairy.  (Yes, the hotel fairy - the person you never see who comes and makes the bed and cleans the room.)  Anyway, our hotel fairy makes the bed with the ugly beige blanket between the top and bottom sheets, because it obviously looks better that way.  But they have these wonderfully soft and silky and smooth cotton sheets that are so comfy to sleep on, so every night I remake the bed with the ugly blanket on top.  I finally asked the desk staff about it, and they laughed and said that yes, people sleep between the sheets, but housekeeping makes the bed that way because it looks better.  I laughed and said I wasn't sure if maybe this was a Singapore thing we didn't know about.

Odd, huh?

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