You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2010.

Tim’s “rolled pants” have generated much debate amongst our little circle of RAs.  To roll, or not to roll – that’s the question.  Apparently it’s a growing trend.  I say “apparently” because I know little-to-nothing about men’s fashion.  Come to think of it, I know little about fashion in general – but that’s a topic for another day..

The Sartorialist explains the cuffed-pants phenomenon in this article.

It naturally followed that Tim and J-man decided to have a little roll-off after our weekly Chinatown-Durian lunch last week.  (Ok ok, we may have egged them on..)

Here’s a picture of Tim rockin’ the pant’s cuff like the a Sartorialist model:

Unfortunately, J-man doesn’t pull it off quite as eloquently.  Economists…

Can we take a poll?  Who wears it best? Try not to let my Goofy comparison bias your response.

Excerpt from my latest taxi conversation, circa Sun morning 2:30am on my way to watch the US/Ghana soccer match:

Me: But enough about me.  Uncle, who is your favorite American musician?

Uncle: I like this Anna Nicole Smis.

Me: Really?

Uncle: Yes great musician.  She has a great figure.  I love the guess jeans song.

Me: Ok but I don’t think she actually has any songs.

Uncle: Ahhh ok.  In this case, I like this Moron Curry.

Me: Moron Curry?

Uncle: Haaa Moron Curry!

Me: (silence) Oh, wait.  Mariah Carey?

Uncle: Yesss Moron Curry!

Me: Ok what about an American male singer?  Do you have a favorite?

Uncle: Mmm I think actually most Singaporeans like Sean Connery.

Me: Well, I agree, Sean Connery is awesome.  But unfortunately he is neither a singer nor an American.

Uncle: Mm Ha ok. Well in this case, most Singaporeans find Sebastian Sterile quite famous.

Me: Who is Sebastian Sterile?

Uncle: You know Sebastian Stegurglegurle.

Me: (silence…Sebastian Stegurglegurle?)

Uncle: Dis Sebastian Sterile he is doing the fighting and the running.  Very tough!

Me: Sebastian Sterile?  Oh no.  Oh no, you can’t possibly mean Sylvester Stallone..

Uncle: (practically screaming with excitement) Yess!!!!  Sebastian Sterile!

There are so many really fantastic food options in town, and I always hesitate to use the word “favorite”.  That’s why I’m putting this place down in my top 5 restaurants in Singapore.  Blue Ginger serves Peranakan food, which is essentially the marriage of Chinese and Malaysian cuisine.

The dish below is called Ayam Buah Keluak, or braised chicken flavored with turmeric, galangal and lemongrass cooked with Indonesian black nuts.  The sauce is quite nice, and the galangal, or blue ginger, does not actually taste like ginger (at least to me).  The real stars of the dish, however are the Buah Keluak nuts, which are soaked for two days, cracked, ground into a paste, and stuffed back into the shell.  It’s kind of an acquired taste – a little bitter, hints of chocolate or coffee, sour, and like mud.  Sorry, I think you’ll just have to taste it to figure it out for yourself.

And bonus: it’s close to work and highly affordable!

Singapore is under water!

Turns out the thunderstorms that gave us the aforementioned refreshing weather are also responsible for some serious flooding on Orchard Road.  Wendy’s anyone?

[pics via AsiaOne]

It had rained all day and was an uncommonly cool Singaporean evening.  I decided to take advantage of the weather and go for a jog along my usual route: the Kallang River from my house to the Kallang MRT.  It isn’t the most scenic run.  The upper Kallang River is a murky brown and the running path is lined with concrete government apartment buildings (see pic 1 below).  That said, the URA is planning to transform this area into a “lively commercial hub and leisure destination” and the northern area by Bishan park is also undergoing renovations (someday to look like pic 2?).

[pics via: wikipedia & SG press center]

When I run this route at night I can see the Singapore Flyer off far in the distance (well, 5km to be exact), and I always wonder what it would be like to run to the Ferris Wheel if the path went all the way.  Generally speaking I have enough stamina to survive the heat and humidity for about 15 minutes before I loop back for home.  But it was so nice yesterday that I kept running and found a path connector to the basin!!  It was fantastic!  I had some inspirational music pumping in my iPod buds (think Chariots of Fire), I was barely sweating (this never happens in Singapore), and I was treated to the coolest views of the waterfront.

[pic via:]

But things got ugly somewhere on my route back home. I thought I stepped on a branch because I felt something beneath my foot and on the side of my leg at the same time.  You can imagine my horror when I looked down to find, not a branch, but a black snake loosely wrapped around my ankle and coming up the side of my calf.  I screamed and kicked my leg – flinging the snake on to the side of the road.  It was absolutely terrifying, but to make matters worse, this woman who was passing by me at the time just looked at me like I was an idiot.  I wanted to say: “WOMAN! A snake crawled up my leg!!”  But she just “tsked” at me.  That’s the second “tsk” I’ve gotten this week! (The first was because I ran up the down-escalator at a shopping centre, but that’s another story…)

I’ve tried google-ing snakes to figure out what I got tangled in, but the more I read about snakes in Singapore, the more freaked out I get!  So if anyone knows what kind of snakes live by the Kallang river, let me know.  It was dark so I’m not sure exactly what color it was, but it was definitely mostly black, about 2 feet long and the thickness of my thumb.

Shudders!  On the upside, I finally made it to the Ferris Wheel and even managed to solicit a few whistles from a toothless Chinese man in the process.  Not quite sure how to top this…

This was a delightful weekend!  I slept in and watched a little bit of HIMYM, had a really yummy brunch with S (complete with macaroons!) at Epicurious, fell in love with a new perfume, enjoyed copious amounts of sushi, powered through the Mt. Faber 10k race, soaked up a little poolside sun, and had homemade pizza with some old colleagues!

Is it really Monday again?  Sigh.

[pictures courtesy of S and wikipedia]

p.s. no, that’s not vodka in my O.J. – just a trendy water pitcher ;)

I made my first attempt at baking Challah in my Singaporean apartment last night!  It took a bit longer than usual because I am pretty unfamiliar with my kitchen (Ash had to show me how to turn on the oven…) and I have no measuring utensils.  But apart from some minor issues with the dry yeast, everything went pretty smoothly.

You’re supposed to let the yeast foam in warm water for about 10 minutes before you add it to the mixture, but it took me three attempts to finally get it to foam.  I’m not sure if the water temp was killing the yeast or if the crazy humidity last night was a problem.  Maybe the yeast you buy at the Chinese grocery store is different from the stuff I use in the States?  Who knows.

Anyways, the recipe needs a little tweaking – it’s a bit bland – but other than that, not a bad start.  Will definitely make a good french toast!

Shabbat Shalom!

I’ll start this story by telling you that I called a taxi this morning.

It was early in the morning.  Real early.  And I was sleepy, and I was groggy, and I was walking out the door in a daze to get to a department meeting.  You know the kind of morning – you’re squinting and bumping into walls and your eyes are puffy and you’re pretty sure there might be a bird making a nest in your hair.   Did I mention it was obscenely early?  And obscenely sunny.  I mean really, the weather gods should have the decency to make it rain when your mind’s a muddle.   Who wants sunshine?

But I digress.  All this is to tell you that when I stepped out of the apartment lobby into the cruel, chipper light of day, I was not expecting to open the door of the taxi and find this –

A Doraemon cab:

Literally every inch of this car was covered in the Japanese toy figures.  I thought I was dreaming.  Or hallucinating.  It was all a little eerie, given that my last taxi driver had labeled me the Singaporean Alice in Wonderland (no joke – listen here).  I was half-expecting a Cheshire cat to jump out of the glove box and offer me a cup of tea.  Or find the birds in my hair nest.

A google search reveals that I’m not the first person to be taken aback by the Doraemon taxi (see Eileen‘s blog for better pictures), and it turns out Jen has also been in the same taxi.  I guess it’s bound to happen in a small city.

But still, I’m not talking to any white rabbits today.

I mentioned (quite poetically!) a few days ago that I was going to try Durian again.  Well, the verdict is in:  Still a no-go.  But on the positive side, I was able to swallow it this time and the smell was not so offensive.  I’m thinking that maybe if I keep trying I’ll acquire a taste for it – much like acquiring a taste for beer or healthy vegetables you don’t like but know you should.  Because I really think that if I liked durian, it would definitely give me some street cred…

Anyways, the epic outing was captured on film and we even came up with our own Durian haiku poems:

Butter in fruit form
Albeit slightly rancid
Makes one dread belching.
– Beth
June 2010