Local Heart, Global Soul

January 13, 2012

A Little Light Show on the way Home…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

We have completed our Night Safari Tour and are heading back into the city of Singapore where we will need to transfer busses and then be dropped off back at our hotel on Sentosa Island. As we travel into the central business district we are delighted by the massive display of Christmas Lights… everywhere you turn, streets and building are lit up…

…like Christmas trees!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(next photo is included because it’s a double deck bus next to a single deck bus, Little Mr. thinks this is ultimate coolness)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 21, 2010

A sweet sweet Singapore parting, Earl Swensen and friend…

Filed under: SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our time in Singapore has come to an end…  our flight out has a check-in time of 10.00 pm and a departure time of almost midnight.  We head past the Singapore “Eye” and to the airport.

The only negative point left in the trip will be the emotional goodbye when we will have to say goodbye to our wonderful Singaporean friend who will wave us though the departure gates and customs later in the evening.

We know the kids will be tired, and we are trying to  keep them awake  as long as possible now so that they will sleep for as much for the fourteen hour flight to Amsterdam as possible.

What does any parent do when this strategy involves keeping them up 3-4 hours past their bedtime? We promise them ice-cream of course.

Usually we have firm rules about desserts, quite simply it’s not a mandatory item on the menu, we want to teach our kids that often a Main course is sufficient. No Dessert is needed.

The next point is: dessert doesn’t not always have to mean “ice-cream” etc… if can just as easily mean banana, apples, grapes, kiwifruit, melon  and other fresh fruit.

Lastly, Ice-cream is a Treat and not a standard menu item. Treats need to be earned with good behaviour  and manners towards others, helping out with chores and naturally, never before a very decent portion of vegetables have been consumed.

If you make things like ice-cream a Treat then offering it at irregular times, especially when we travel, and without applying  the veggie and chores section of the Rules, gives kids a sense of adventure and indulgence.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As parents who have travelled the long haul experience with our kids regularly since they were born, we quickly learned that surviving this experience depends a lot of a “pick-your-battles” Rule.

Children love routine, they adore the same old pattern of events, eating at a set time, knowing what to expect, the active time of day, the slow winding down before bedtime, the set sleeping times. They thrive and feel safe with established boundaries that have been formed over time.

Long-haul travel throws all of this routine out of the window. We tried once the 24 hour flight from Amsterdam (The Netherlands) to Christchurch (New Zealand) with just a four hour stopover in Singapore between flights when the kids were far smaller.

It was a complete and utter failure, Himself and I couldn’t sleep on the flight, so arrived tired and looking gratefully forward to all of us having a four hour power- snooze in the airport hotel we had booked at Changi airport  in Singapore.

The kids on the other hand, slept a little on the flight and arrived in Singapore with their body clocks set to “wide-awake and-play-mode” and worse, had a heap of energy to expend that neither of we parents could hope to keep pace with.

I have slept on the hard ground  under only a blanket under the stars in New Zealand, I have slept on bare floorboards whilst travelling, and managed to sleep.

I have learned however that  attempting to sleep in any kind of sitting position is something that I don’t appear to be able to master, no matter how tired I am so I never sleep on aircraft.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

( There has been only one solitary exception to this: we once travelled back from S’pore to A’dam on Christmas Day as it was the only flight possibility, and the flight was so empty that Himself, the kids and I had a row of three or four seats each. Seizing the opportunity we all stretched out and slept the bulk of the flight, but since that circumstance occurred  pre harsher economic times for airlines, and on the one day of the year when people prefer not to be on a long haul flight,  I expect that it’s highly unlikely that we will ever have that luxury again)

So, having learned that a four hour stop-over is not nearly enough time, we now like to make a decent stopover here on at least one leg of the journey and also learned that the promise of ice-cream goes gives about as many Parent-brownie-points as a kid can give, we also know that no late night departure from Singapore would be complete without a stop at the Earle Swensen’s establishment at the airport for something from the ice-cream section of the menu.

There is a wider food menu, a salad bar etc but we keep it simple and go for scoops, milkshakes and ice-cream floats.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These are the best recycling bins I have ever seen… top marks Changi Aiport !

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

So eating ice-cream at 11:00 pm is Singapore’s last treat for us …

July 20, 2010

Hey fishie fishie….

Filed under: SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is made to remind me later to check out where the Koi will be next time we visit the Rasa Sentosa Hotel in Singapore.

We know that the hotel is closed at the moment for a complete overhaul and renovation so who knows what changes there will be next time we visit?

A sign placed next to the pool tells us:

Nishikigoi, or Koi are considered auspicious representing long life and prosperity.

Contrary to common belief koi are  not indigenous to Japan but originate from Eastern Asia and China, and are descendants of the black common carp.

The fascinating and colourful koi varieties that we admire today are the result of almost two centuries of selected breeding and their popularity is fast growing in many parts of the world.

So little fish, until next time, we have enjoyed looking at you …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


July 19, 2010

Sweets for my Sweet, Sugar for my Honey…

Filed under: SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A sweet shop is a sweet shop no matter the culture you are in..

…anyone with a sweet tooth is bound to find a delicacy that they could happily get addicted to.

We, therefore  feel duty bound to find our favourite Singaporean sweet treat.

That’s exactly how we find ourselves at the establishment of Komala Vilas Sweets and Savouries.

Yes, our Singaporean friend tells us all about what’s on offer…

…yes I have to confess that I  forgot half of it because I was rather overwhelmed by all the colours, ingredients, smells and tastes…

There were sweets made of coconut, ones that soaked in a brine to keep them moist, crispy ones, crunchy ones and soft fudgy ones…

We buy a selection and take them back to the hotel, and yes, we did find our Singaporean favourite:  little blocks of a type of milk sweet and it’s divine…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Not just sweet, but also savoury snacks…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back at the hotel we have a late night treat… sorry those two photos are not the sharpest.. . the light was low, along with everyone else I was busy eating and thus my photographic subject kept getting smaller and smaller all the time…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 18, 2010

Brace yourselves for these Bracelets…

Filed under: SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you are walking around the Little India district of Singapore then you will see lots of shops that will turn your head…

…mostly (if I’m honest) I am rubbernecking because I don’t know what the items being sold actually are, but in this case it’s just the sheer volume that stops me in my tracks.

It starts with several large containers directly outside the shop on the footpath.

From there my gaze is lead inside the shop itself and slowly as the sheer scale of these begins to dawn on me, I am captivated by the spectacle as a whole.

Bracelets: packets and packets and packets and packets and packets and packets and packets of bracelets. ( or “bangles” as  they are called here)

Packets are not only loose in the bins on the street, but also piled on the shelves that reach not only floor to ceiling in height and also the entire length of the shop.

Anyone who knows me would laugh ‘cos I could scarcely be considered a jewelery kind of gal,  but this place was fascinating.

I don’t even particularly like bracelets but I was transfixed at how it is possible to have so many different sorts packed into one little shop.

I could have taken some very arty photos here, but with kids in tow, we have time constraints.

I wonder about the customers, who they are, and how they wear all these, How many at once? Are there trendy colours,  Do they have special meaning? Are they for particular occasions or festivals?

Every time I see these photos I shake my head in wonder and the thought runs through my brain ” … wow, that’s impressive“.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 17, 2010

Little India: Garlands …but not Judy’s …(Sari, bad pun!)

Filed under: SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterdays as I further our tour around Singapore’s Little India.

Let’s resume our photographic journey.

There are not just food businesses  in the district of  Little India but a whole array of exotic goods that catch the eye…

…(mind you there is also more food, so if you’ve been reading this blog for more than a single day you know that the possibility of me being able to walk  past  it all without taking even more photos is  about nil…)

Please bear with me… it’s a foodie affliction, and the problem is not that I have this affliction but that I don’t actually wish to be cured.

The smells waft out of shops and eating establishments, some places look so amazing that if I had time I would be tempted to do a blog post per establishment.

So many places, so little time…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Travel is a mixed blessing, you have the total luxury and pleasure of being able to go somewhere in the first place and the misery of it never lasting long enough, the days race past, that appointment with the airport rushes nearer by the minute.

I’ve traveled to a heap of countries so far, Himself has been to a multitude more, together we have a “to-do” list as long as your arm and a “must-get-back-here-for-longer” list as long as the both of us…

Even places I have lived in for a long time have a zillion nooks and crannies  that I either haven’t seen or which evolve over time,  so how am I ever to manage a complete exploration of a city like Singapore?

Well, I suppose, it’s a matter of discovering small pieces of the puzzle each trip, and slowly, over time, building up a picture of the whole…

Not only are there pungent fragrances here but also  amazing splashes of colour…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…if you are thirsty you can just buy a fresh coconut, it’s been pre-prepared so that a  few deft cuts with a very large knife will take the top off, add a straw and Voila a fresh drink! Himself  loves these…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Yes, I was playing on the white line to get this photo… (don’t try this at home kids)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

..this guy’s wearing the best tee shirt in S’pore…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… hand basins in the food hall so that  customers can wash their hands before their meal.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Traditional charcoal  (or wood burning?) cooking pots…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

..cast iron cooking plates (oh I’m drooling over these…)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…a little bit of bling…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A shop where this whole level is pretty much all Sari’s and/or traditional costume…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…excellent use of the median strip as the loading bay that doesn’t block traffic…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 16, 2010

Little India, there’s almost literally a Del(h)i on every doorstep…

Filed under: SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The district of Little India in Singapore is an amazing  glimpse into Indian culture.

Wikipedia says it better than I can so there are some excerpts that I’ve pruned a little… (apologies wiki):

Little India is distinct from the Chulia Kampong  area, which, under the Raffles Plan of Singapore, was originally a division of  colonial Singapore  where Tamil immigrants  would reside under the British policy of ethnic segregation.

However, as Chulia Kampong became more crowded and competition for land escalated, many ethnic Tamils moved into what is now known as Little India. (The Chulia Kampong district no longer exists as a distinct area.)

The Little India area is reported to have developed around a former settlement for Tamil convicts.

Its location along the Serangoon River originally made it attractive for raising cattle, and trade in livestock was once prominent in the area. Eventually, other economic activity developed, and by the turn of the 20th century, the area began to look like a Tamil ethnic neighbourhood.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Although ethnic Tamils  no longer tend to stay solely segregated in one place as previously arranged,  for the sake of cultural heritage, many of the ethnically Tamil commercial or cottage industry usages are (often) concentrated in Little India.

The neighbourhood has the patronage of people of all races who wish to eat or buy something specific to Tamil culture, such as curry or clothing.

One of the more prominent examples of cross-cultural patronage besides those regarding food is that many Chinese parents go to shops in Little India to grind rice to make congee for infants because these shops have machinery primarily meant to grind spices into powder for use in Tamil Cuisine.

Food… it so often comes down to Food, doesn’t it?  it’s like a never ending circle  where no matter how far away on a tangent you think you get,  all of a sudden it’s there again,  food in guises that range from the fondly familiar to the amazingly new… and  Wow, phew, that’s a good thing LOL !!!

Put you walking shoes on… let’s go take a look around:

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These look like mega mini zucchini .. but apparently they aren’t… ( I’ll need to ask my S’pore friend the correct names)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sugar cane…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These mini aubergines are about as long as your little finger…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I think this was called the lotus fruit?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

these were the reddest pomegranates I’ve ever seen in my life… the photo doesn’t show just how red…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Gorgeously yummy custard apples..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 15, 2010

On our way to Little India…

Filed under: SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This morning we are on our way to an area called Little India.

There is an oddball reason why there are quite a few photos showing construction in this series… it’s because we will be back in Singapore in the future and I’m interested to see just how different it will look then compared to the photos I have taken here.

These are in essence the “before” photos.

I love seeing how other people live… the house styles, the feel and flavour of a place when we travel.

I love seeing how different the streets are, the transport systems, the shops, decorations and the new buildings going up…

Little India is a very distinctive part of Singapore and even the journey there from Sentosa Island is (in my eyes at least) exotic.

Jump in the Taxi with me and let’s look around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

New Theme Park under construction on Sentosa Island…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Yet another shot of Singapore’s beautiful little trams…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Singapore’s “Eye”….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some cool architecture…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 13, 2010

A Yummy Singapore Sunrise…

Filed under: SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After all the excitement in The Netherlands with World Cup Football, I can now return you to your virtual tour of the calmer shores of Singapore.

I could use a virtual holiday myself now as the heart stopping suspense of our matches has worn us all down.

This particular morning it was very humid indeed, the jet jag factor had us out of bed very early in the morning still,  but on the plus side ,we had the advantage of being able to breakfast quietly on the restaurant balcony at dawn, watching the sun rise over the palm trees.

It’s at least 30 C so initially I had trouble with the air being so heavy and damp that the camera lens kept slowly fogging up …

…moving to a table that was further under the balcony canopy took care of most of that and the air got less misty as the sun gained height.

We meet our Singaporean friend again  soonest, so a quick tropical breakfast is in order because she has plans to take us to some more amazing places today…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 10, 2010

Siloso Beach Pizzeria menu, the tropical taste of georgous…

Filed under: SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You might not have thought it from the last two posts, https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/new-35/

and

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/new-40/

but Pizza wasn’t the only thing on the menu here…

It would be remiss of me not to show you the rest of the meal….

Darn it if I can’t find my little notebook with my notes of what’s what… but never mind.. it was yummy…

Reviewing these places when we travel as a service to others of what to expect (and a reminder to us for future trips)  is a tough job, sigh, but I suppose someone’s gotta do it LOL.

Don’t just take my word for it, take a look…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s hot, and humid, so we all opt for a Cold One….  of Water that is…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Fed, watered and happy we wander down the beach back to our hotel… no parking problems, no transport issues, just a small walk and flop into bed, how excellent is that?

Very excellent indeed. Paying  extra to stay out here on Sentosa  is soooo worth it.

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