Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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Singapore Series: Little China

Little China is another ethnic neighborhood in Singapore that is drastically different from the city proper.
It's abuzz with little shops that sell everything that's made in China, naturally.

There are lots of shabby stalls filled to the gills with parasols, fans, Angry Birds merchandise and other junk, but one can also find some respectable boutiques selling beautiful high-lacquered boxes, antique china and prints.

I was surprised to see quite a bunch of Chinese traditional medicine stores which carry all sorts of dry twigs, mushrooms, something that looks and smells like dry seafood and all kinds of oddities.

And above all - COLOR RED!

Red temples, red lanterns, red ladies' fans, red candles, red boxes - red dominates Little China!

Temple that houses Buddah's Tooth

Singapore is expensive city - Madrid has better deals on fans!

Inside the little shop

Small shrine on one of the streets; so casual and commonplace

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Singapore Series: Little India

Little India is quite a substantial neighborhood in Singapore, where, yes, you guessed it, Singaporiean Indians live.

This particular stretch of streets in a complete opposite to orderly, manicured streets of the city itself.  Little India is so colorful, vibrant, fragrant and bustling with all sorts of people.

Of course, there are tourists, but mainly it's shopkeepers, tailors, that set their sewing machines right on the pavement outside the clothing shops, fruit sellers, fresh flower garland vendors, sari-clad ladies out for grocery shopping. 
It's a moving, breathing, talking and gawking mass, so full of Eastern spirit and sensibilities, something that is not so apparent in Westernized Singapore.

Here is what we saw in Little India:

Fresh Flower Garlands for Temples

One is not to smell them - their fragrance is an offering to gods of the temple


Wrong kind of Indian

One of major temples


To be continued...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Singapore Series: Die, die, must try!

Back at the beginning of November we had a short holiday and decided to explore Far East with kids.
I've never been to that part of the world and was really looking forward to explore Singapore.
Needless to say, we all fell in love.

To me, any trip should be treated not only as a sightseeing outing but as a culinary adventure as well.  Singapore provides just that.  We didn't go to any fancy restaurants, but frequented street food stalls instead - they are called Hawker Centers because in olden times food vendors use to hustle or hawk you to try their offerings.
Nowadays they do not hawk anyone, but instead operate in sort of covered market facilities under strict municipal supervision.

3 major cultures and cuisines inhabit Singapore - Chinese, Malay and Indian, resulting in mouthwatering gastronomical paradise.

Here's my "Die, die, must try!" of Singers:

1. Lau Pa Sat Hawker Center (Mostly Straits Chinese Cuisine)

Satay Vendor

Not as easily excitable Satay Vendor

 2. Maxwell Street Hawker Center (Chinese Cuisine)

Dumplings Soup and #19 (I can't pronounce it, but it was DELISH)

All the food is made in front of your eyes - dumplings are filled, noodles are boiled, vegs are chopped

This is where the soup, dumplings and #19 were made!

3. Fruit Stalls in "Little India" 'hood

Alfonso Mangoes (not allowed to export to US)

4.  Teh Tarik /Tarik Tea - Singaporean Chai Tea Latte (lots of spices, lots of sugar, lots of milk)

If you want your Teh Tarik to go, you pay a little extra and get this ingenious contraption.  No spills.

5.  Cool Pearl Milk Tea on a humid day in Little China

Chocolate Tapioca (hence "pearl") on the bottom of cold milk tea. Refreshing.

6.  Dry Sweet Little Curiosities Sold Everywhere
Press Salted Jujube? Grape Prunes?

To be continued...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kim Kardashian in Dubai

Spanx favorite customer and Ray J co-star landed in Dubai few days back.

Kim Kardashian arrived in Dubai to promote charity she feels deeply about. Oh, wait, she doesn't do charity.

Ok, then she's here to bring awareness to region's social issues. Oops, she wouldn't know and care about that one either.

Well, perhaps she came to Dubai to enrich and educate people back home about Emirate's rich culture and traditions? Power of dubious celebrity used for the worthy cause, at least?


Kim Kardashian is in Dubai to promote opening of milkshake store.

Here's what she did while here:

1.  Reminded us why she is famous in the first place:

2.  Demurely posed like a true lady:

3. Got upstaged by her own 50+ years old mother:

4. Did a lot of this:

5. Covered up for a change:

6.  Took a pic with a local gentleman:

I'm sure she did a lot of other things that brought her some handsome appearance fees, but i don't really care.
Do you?


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