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Hi all,

I’ll be on a brief blogging hiatus while I’m trekking in the Himalayas for two weeks, but you can expect lots of beautiful pictures and great stories when I return!


[Image credit: Great Walks]

I took a Bollywood dance class last week with some friends from the office.  The class was…well…strange? interesting? fun? horrible? fantastic?  I don’t really know how to put words to this…experience.

I asked my friend Beth how she would have described it, and she was far more eloquent. “It was not so much a class as a window of opportunity for the instructor to display/marvel at his fabulousness. But the moves were easy enough that we could follow without much guidance.”

She’s right.  Apart from the humiliation we all suffered through the windows of the trendy Chinatown dance studio, the most memorable part of the class was the flamboyant Filipino instructor, who spent an entire hour watching his pelvis move in circles.  This is a true story and I can prove it.

Because I knew my description could never do this justice, and I knew you would all have trouble picturing it, I managed to get someone to video our “routine.”  If you’re not rolling on the floor from laughter after watching this, then I don’t know what is funny anymore.

And who said Singapore was safe???

This is an actual sign along one of my weekend jogging routes.  I have yet to see actual palm trees on said route.

Alternatively titled: “The reaffirmation of all the reasons I am not a professional chef.”

Jen, my friend and the queen of finding random things to do in Singapore, invited me to a class at Lagnaa in Little India to learn how to cook Butter Chicken (murgh makhani).

Check out that look of confusion on my face.  I can’t even figure out how to turn on the gas stove.

Not only did I burn my onions (the chef used me as an example of how NOT to cook), but I didn’t add enough cream, I used too much tomato paste, and my chili was “weak.”  Then at the end, when everyone was holding their beautiful, buttery beige dishes, I had an ugly glob of dark brown stuff and the oil was separating from the paste.  Sigh.  It was quite obvious that I don’t cook for myself.

Too bad they didn’t ask me to make pasta.  I can boil a pot of noodles.  Kind of…

I’m over the monkeys.

For all my east-coast readers:  you know how you roll your eyes at foreigners when they oo and ah over the “cute” squirrels everywhere?  You know, the wide-eyed visitors who’ve seen Sleeping Beauty one too many times and expect the little tree rats to sing?

Well, I’m pretty sure the Singaporeans are rolling their eyes at us for oo-ing and ah-ing over the “cute” monkeys.  Maybe we’ve all read Curious George one too many times, but really, the monkeys are not so cute.  In fact, I’ll go a step further: monkeys are the Asian squirrels.  They may not steal the seed from your bird-feeder or chew on your Christmas lights, but they will screech, hiss and show their fangs, or even try to make off with your personal items.

Come on, the squirrel who drops kamikaze acorns on your head is not half as bad as the monkey who steals your passport, right?

I’m ranting about the little buggers because this past weekend I went to MacRitchie reservoir to check out the tree-top walk and the monkeys were everywhere.  In any case, the day was mucho fun (and sweaty)!  Pics below:


Des Voeux Rd, Hong Kong.

Marketing Fail?  Yes.  False Advertisement?  Nope.

I flew to Hong Kong for a long weekend to catch up with my dear friend, Kellie.  What an amazing trip and an amazing city!  I think Hong Kong must be one of my favorite big cities on the planet (after Buenos Aires and Washington, D.C., of course).  There is a buzz and gritty excitement on the streets that is lacking in clean, predictable Singapore.

We did so many fun things, like:

bargain for funky jewelry in the Kowloon Jade Market,

buy fruit without speaking a word of Cantonese (actually that’s not true – I can count to three, Kellie can say ‘thank you,’  and we can pronounce the subway stops really well…tsim sha TSUI!!),

try desperately to avoid the dead fish smell that permeates the Western district (where our hotel was conveniently located),

roam the busy streets during the day,

and roam the busy streets at night,

people-watch, drink nice champagne (thank you, random Scottish couple), and pose for pictures with Taiwanese men (I think we’re famous there) on Lan Kwai Fong street,

ride the Sky Lift (and watch the terror on Kellie’s face) to Ngong Ping Village on Lantau Island,

climb a lot of steps to see a really Big Buddha,

feast on a yummy vegetarian lunch at the Po Lin Monastery,

and enjoy the company of a good friend!

I ♥ HK!  Can’t wait to go back.

March 2010