So I’m posting this mostly for the benefit of the people who did not get a chance to see Singapore during their short trip to and from AFA, for those who want to know more about Singapore, and also for those Singaporeans who are expats, and miss home. (Yes, you chun!) Considering that Singapore is the next most proliferant anime hub this side of the english internetz community, it makes sense to know more about Singapore’s people, and its infrastructure and land. I’m not going to delve into the history or its culture. You can find all that on wikipedia or something. I’m more interested in covering the more important aspects… the food, and the shopping!
A typical morning breakfast traditional amongst the Chinese group, you get various forms of deep fried dough, or Chinese doughnut, some with fillings such as red bean paste, or crushed peanut. Served with a side of sweet soy milk. (warm).
A pancake! Very similar to Tayaki, this one contains a delicious chocolate filling.
A typical food court in Singapore. This one is located at Changi Villiage. Changi is where the airport is located, which is the eastern side of Singapore. Each food stall is privately owned, each stall renting from the people that own the entire complex. Typically, the owner of the complex is also the stall that sells beverages. Beverages make the most money in the complex, charging nearly 40% more for their drinks. Everyday, these people toil, day in and day out, while the patrons are local regulars with their own jobs and problems. This kind of cycle has been ongoing since forever.
More of the food court. This particular one is a massive pyramid-type building, with stalls lined all around, and more stalls filling the center.
Just outside the food court is a sort of open restaurant. It’s too early for dinner at the moment. But these kinds of restaurants function exactly as it would a typical asian restaurant, with menus, servers, bus boys, etc. Since Singapore weather is hot and consistent all year around, this type of business is sustainable.
Just outside the food court, you get a nice view of some trees. This is combined with the residential blocks around the area. Nothing really special except it shows what the edges of Singapore are like.
Lots of motorcycles. Purchasing cars are very expensive in Singapore due to import taxes and such. The total is typically TWICE the cost of buying a car in North America – the price of a luxury sports car like a Porche Boxter would get you a crappy Kia in Singapore. Motorcycles are a cheaper alternative. But even though there his a high price luxury for cars, there are still a lot of them in Singapore.
The central area of the food court. The one in pink with the bag is my wife! The photo isn’t clear, but there is a lot of smoke in here. It’s incredibly hot with everyone cooking their food. There is no air conditioning. Couple that with the extreme heat, and you’ve got a recipie for a headache.
A stray cat. Stray cats are a lot more typical in Singapore. They’re like the rats of Singapore so to speak, so as such, there aren’t many rodents around.
They were out of chicken rice, and everything else was either spicy, or unappetizing to me, or it was fish. Mostly fish. I made the mistake of settling for western food, and was also given this strange cakebread. That part isn’t white. It’s green. And that part in the middle isn’t chocolate. It’s bread. I don’t know why it looks like that.
The fries were decent, but the porkchop tasted like nothing. The good thing about it was it was a screaming deal.
Sugar Cane drink. Freshly squeezed! It’s incredibly refreshing and delicious! First time I’ve had one! Doesn’t top the Bandung though.
The back side of the food court. This is not a storage area. These are actually retail shops. It’s a huge reality check of what life is like for these people who share the same 42km wide island with other Singaporeans who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on merchandise. No offense meant by that statement.
Further along outside of the food court, we get to the beach. This is an inlet on this side actually.
Shot from the other side of the inlet. I wish I had brought my DSLR.
Yeah, the effects of a point and shoot just don’t do this area any justice.
Walking further we get to the beach proper. Lots of transport ships and things happen around here, so it’s rarely a peaceful horizon, but the breeze is cool, and the air is clean. The sand is also quite white and fine. It’s very relaxing here compared to the bustling life of Singapore’s downtown life. Many people purposefully travel out here to escape the busy lifestyle once in a while.
No idea how grass is growing out of the sand, but it’s very cool.
Feels like Singapore. 🙂 Changi Village is situated near the Changi Airport, so every so often, you’ll see an airplane fly across the horizon from behind these trees. Like so:
Switching gears, here I am at one of Singapore’s countless shopping centers. I tell you, there is a shopping mall in some form at virtually every MRT station. MRT is Singapore’s “monorail” transit system (it’s not really a monorail, but it’s the most common descriptive I can think of at the moment. Singapore’s malls are just as proliferant as Singapore’s anime fandom blogging on the internet. I absolutely love shopping in Singapore. This is a shot of a restaurant called Long John Silver’s. Perhaps you’ve got one of these where you come from, but not me. As such, I haven’t had LJS in like, 4 years or something!
One of the many Kopitiam food courts. Kopitiam is sort of a franchise food court. It works similar to the rural food court where stall owners rent the stall from the building owner, but Kopitiam is on a much larger scale, with franchises in malls everywhere. I’m under the impression that Kopitiam also does some sort of quality control on the food they allow.
Watermelons. I’ve never seen a watermelon that’s yellow inside. Never in my entire life. From what I know, these are actually quite commonly found in Malaysia. Unfortunately, these unusually colored melons don’t taste as refreshingly sweet as their red counterparts.
Hand-pulled noodles with chicken cutlet, and a side of chicken broth with egg. I must say that it’s the best chicken cutlet I’ve ever had. Very crispy, not at all made soggy by the noodle sauce. The noodles were just the right consistency with a nice “bounce” to the chew. The savory sauce was just right, not too salty, and not too dry or wet. The veggies were also very fresh and tasty. All this for like, 5 bucks!
Fish soup. Piping hot from the “I sell fish type food products!” stall. It’s interesting how each stall specializes in one thing.
A true traditinal Singaporean breakfast. You can’t say you’ve truly lived in Singapore without having one of these – Kaya Toast (Kaya is like a kind of marmalade) Kopi (Singlish for Coffee!) and half-boiled eggs.
When I mean half-boiled, I mean very runny. Pour some soy sauce on it, stur it up, and drink! Mmmmmm!
Unfortunately, nobody seems to carry Orange Qoo anymore. Grape is an unworthy substitute.
Typical Singaporean mall design – lots of floors up. What I find absolutely incredible is that this used to be a double floor, totally ignored hole in the wall shopping center with a Value Village type of clothing store coupled with a low-end electronics store. Less than 4 years later, it’s now a bustling shopping mall featuring the latest and greatest merchandise, food, and even a two storey upside down xmas tree!
Singaporeans truly amaze me in terms of their constant updating, expanding, and augmenting. Heck, one of the department stores I used to go to (Metro) was torn down, and converted into a gauntlet of specialty boutiques! I couldn’t recognize it anymore – it was like a whole new mall!
zero percent “alcoholicity”. I found this product quite interesting, as what’s inside wasn’t alcohol, or even a beverage…
… but an umbrella. Innovative because you don’t need to place your wet umbrella into an umbrella stand, or hang it on your chair dripping wet. And you don’t have to wrestle and put it into a flimsy wet sleeve either. Just roll up, and put it into the plastic container. Done.
Cute asian products are cute.
This is an arcade “dress up your doll” game, where children can create an avatar, and literally buy clothes for it. The data is stored on the card. Thanks for ruining the young generation, Sega. 😛
A new DJ Max of some sort. The entire thing is touch screen based with a bar that swipes over. There are prompts to tap, slide, and make patterns. I’d say this game is a combination of Project Diva meets Ouendan/EBA.
The latest new LG Chocolate. I believe it’s targetted towards the female market, as the adverts feature runway models. It’s got an ultra-wide screen for you to video capture those ultra-wide cat-walks. Honestly, I think it’s a very slick and sexy phone.
This ends my first post of Singapore. I apologize for my crappy photography, as most of these were taken in the spur of the moment, and mainly to remind me of what to write about. It gives you a general idea of what Singapore is like, but it most certainly doesn’t beat actually being here and living and breathing it (humid air and all).
But before I go, Singapore is an interesting balance between different worlds, different lives, and different goals, yet it all coexists together on this small island. It’s moments like these that are magical:
Stay tuned for my next post, as I visit Vivo City and other places!