Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Life After Bangkok
I figured there's no sense in writing blog entries for every country I went to this time around because in most cases, I didn't do much. Brunei, there was no time, as was the case last year, and we didn't even go to another city for work this time, which means I had no photos from the vehicle window either. In Malaysia, I didn't do a whole lot. I did get to spend a couple of evenings out having supper in Kota Kinabalu (generally called KK) this time, so I did get to appreciate that a little. Friends from work and I went walking out in the market and decided to have fresh seafood from the market for supper. I have great pictures of all kinds of fascinating fish and seafood. I hope to post those soon!
Other than that, I did have a bit of free time in Singapore. I met one of the most delightful people, who works at the Canadian High Commission. He's one of the Trade Commissioners (and his identity shall remain hidden or else I'll have to kill you...no, really it's just because I don't feel comfortable posting people's names here unless I have their permission), and he has lived in Singapore for so long that he is a local hire at the CHC. So I thought he would have good advice about interesting things to do, and I was not disappointed. On one evening, I went with another work friend to Arab Street. I had never heard of this place before, and I was so sad that I hadn't known about it before. Most of the restaurants there appear to be Turkish, actually, and not Arab, but even still, there are a variety of excellent places to eat yummy food from all those regions, and if you're into shisha, there's no lack of places to smoke it. We didn't get there early enough to do any shopping; apparently the market there is really interesting, and I noticed there were lots of rug stores, so it would have been nice to wander through it, but you can't win `em all. In any case, we ate at one of the Turkish places, and I had some of the most delicious lamb. I have no idea what they used in the marinade, but it was really tasty. My friend and I both loved this area. As for me, it appeals to my inner Bohemian, and perhaps I enjoyed being somewhere for a while where a lot of people (shop and restaurant owners) actually look like me. I think if I ever live in Singapore, I will probably spend a lot of time there.
The next day, I had some hours before heading to the airport for Medan (where I did absolutely nothing because there is so little to do), I went to Haw Par Villa. For those of you that have been following my blog since I first started my travel writing in 2006, you'll know by now that I have a bit of a penchant for the weird and wacky. Haw Par Villa is right up my alley for this reason. There is no point in my writing too much about it because the pictures will really speak for themselves. You'll see the link and know what this place is all about. The only comment I can say about it is that I felt it was really funny that they would describe and explain all the Chinese mythology scenes that were depicted, but when it came to other sculptures and representations, there was no explanation. Again, the photos will explain everything. Sometimes there just aren't words...