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I’ve had my fair share of whose-life-is-this? moments in Singapore, but this weekend was particularly bougie.

Saturday night S and I went to the Ford Supermodel of the World competition at the Ritz to support a Brazilian girlfriend of ours (2nd photo below in stripes) who fitted all the models for the swimsuit competition.  All week, S and I had been affectionately referring to the event as the “skinny bitches” party, but it turns out it didn’t feel much different from my daily life in Asia, except the girls were taller.

On Sunday a British girlfriend of mine (above in red) chartered a yacht for her 30th birthday party. Actually, I was shocked by how ridiculously affordable it was relative for what one would pay to do the same in the States.

It was all a ton of fun! We sailed out to some small islands, swam to the beach, and had a BBQ on board to celebrate A’s 30th.

It’s all a bit surreal for this nerdy research assistant from the South, who spends most of her days wearing heavy reading glasses in front of spreadsheets of obesity data.

Somebody remind me again why I decided it was a good idea to leave all this and become an impoverished graduate student…

Man vs. Orangutan? My money’s on the orangutan. Here’s why…

You can’t see Orangutans in the wild anywhere in the world except in Borneo and Sumatra (Indonesia) so J and I took advantage of our location and went to the Semengoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre right outside of Kuching, where you can see orangutans rehabilitated back into the wild. Outside of the centre they’re facing extinction due to habitat destruction and “human disruption.”

While I appreciated the unique opportunity to see the orangutans – I must admit I spend the better part of my morning observing the far less intelligent species: the homo sapien. No, I’ll reclassify: the homo stultus (subspecies: touristus).

Folks – when the park guide stops you before you enter the sanctuary (read: not a zoo, there are NO fences here) and gives you the following information:

  • Remain quiet at all times.
  • The orangutans like bags because they know they carry food.
  • Do NOT eat or drink in front of the orangutans.
  • A man went to the hospital on Friday because he tried to fight an orangutan for his bag.
  • If your baby starts to cry – “run” it out of the feeding area.
  • If an orangutan is chasing you, run into an open area.
  • Do not back into a corner. Also – do not freeze. They know you are not a statue.

take heed. J and I were properly scared, but it seemed the park ranger failed to effectively communicate his message to the 30 other fools in the group.

Exhibit A: Observe the homo stultus touristus in his natural habitat – communicating to his mate via mobile phone (ringtone: horrific) while his offspring clanks around the wooden planks in her turquoise kitten heels. To his left, a female homo stultus touristus feeds her offspring apple juice from her Louis Vuitton purse while behind him an asinine woman weakly pleads with her screaming infant homo stultus to “shhh.”

I was half hoping the Orangutans would sweep up some children and take them back into the wild. They probably have better parenting skills…

J and I high-tailed it out of the park before something crazy went down.

Bottom line: Don’t bring your baby to see WILD APES.

Alternatively titled, “It’s like the zoo, except for real.”

J and I took a trip to Sarawak, Malaysia (aka Borneo) over the long holiday weekend and found ourselves in the middle of Bako National Park. Ok, so we didn’t exactly “find” ourselves there – it was 90 minutes of driving, 30 minutes in a junk boat, and another 2 hours to the park center complete with midday sun, salty sweat and some true grit!

Basically it was amazing and just as exotic as Borneo sounds. While we didn’t see a lot of animals (I’m sure they all saw us), we did see some beautiful forests, beautiful jungles, beautiful beaches, and a whole lotta bugs!


Above: The Tajor Waterfall; Below: Taking the junk boat the park

Below: Arriving on the beach at low tide

Below: Preparing for the Telok Tajor hike. Heads up – 4 km takes 2 hours.

Below: Still relatively dry

Below: shrooms, man

Below: On the “trail”

Below: Leaving the protective shade of the forest

Below: Spiky Palm Trees

More posts and pictures from our Borneo adventure to follow! Stay tuned…

I’ve decided that being high is the best way to enjoy Singapore.

Noooo… not that kind of high! (What, you’re trying to get me killed? That’s strictly off-limits here…come on!)

I mean, my favorite way to enjoy Singapore is on a rooftop! Last night we tried out 1-Altitude on the top of the OUB building. Honestly, each time I see the skyline I fall in love! This bar has a 360 view of the city and, according to this article, is technically the highest al-fresco bar in the world.

I’m now on a mission to try them all out. So far we’ve hit up the following (in the order of my preference):

  1. Sky Park @ Marina Bay Sands
  2. Lantern @ the Fullerton Bay Hotel
  3. Loof (top of Odeon Towers)
  4. [pre . lude] & Boathouse @ Fullerton Hotel
  5. New Asia Bar @ Swisshotel
  6. 1-Altitidue (top of OUB)
  7. Orgo @ the Esplanade
  8. Helipad Lounge @ the Central
  9. Ying Yang

And still on the Bucket List: Breeze, Mr. Punch Restaurant, and fabrika. Does anyone else have any suggestions for great views of the city with some breezy relief from the heat and humidity?

We spent Christmas Eve in North Vietnam on a boat in Halong Bay. Yes, it felt as surreal as it sounds.

But at least we had some pretty nice Santa hats and a couple of gifts to open!

Then we sang some (what I can only assume were) Vietnamese Christmas carols.

We went out the next morning to catch ourselves a Christmas fish.  Mission unaccomplished, but we did find a lot of floating garbage bags.

And a cave too! With (what I can only assume are) Christmas lights!

All in all, a very memorable Christmas!

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Happy Monday!


Above: Courtyard of the Penang Peranakan Mansion.

Below (snapshots from left to right): 1) Batu Ferringhi beach, 2) flowers in Little India, 3) relaxing seaside, 4) town hall, 5) traveling feet, 6) enjoying M‘s Nasi Lemak, 7) “Happiness as boundless as the East China Sea”, 8) making Nasi Lemak, 9) climbing a lighthouse, 10) Pound it, man.


A trip back to la patria, of course!

News flash: I live on the equator, which means in Singapore, we don’t get the change of seasons.  We’ve got hot, hotter, and damn-it-turn-on-the-fan-before-I-pass-out season. Oh, and sometimes it rains a lot.

image via KevinCouncil photography (he's amazing!)

So right now I’m missing my favorite season–autumn in Carolina–and everything that goes with it: going for a run and breathing in the crisp air, jumping in fresh piles of brightly colored leaves, munching on pumpkin pie and corn bread and apple cider, and burying my head in a good book with a giant spiced latte while the rain drizzles outside.

And boots.  Damn, I miss my leather boots.

The good news? I’m off to Colorado via Tokyo and Seattle, and I’m gonna see the ‘rents!  And do as many of the activities above, of course.

Now if only I owned a jacket…

Somebody find me an oxygen tank!  The haze from the Sumatra fire is getting worse by the hour…

[image via Straits Times]

Alright, I was a lame-o this weekend and I fell asleep on Saturday night while everyone else was out dancing.  My excuse is that I’ve been training for another half-marathon, and I was exhausted.  I know, I know – I said I wouldn’t run a half marathon again, but I changed my mind.  Besides, it’s time to get my derriere in shape again.

But I digress.  The point of this information is not to tell you about my bootie, but rather to tell you about the excellent thing that happens when you are able to wake up for an early morning run on Sunday in Singapore:

Dragon Boat Racing.

Ladies, I’ve discovered something amazing!  If you go for a run at the Kallang River Park on a Sunday morning, you can watch the dragon boat racing teams practice.

Practically speaking, this means men.  Lots of Men.  Shirtless men.  With muscles. Sweating.  Doing push-ups and sit-ups and jogging and rowing in unison.

Is it wrong that I did several laps around the park? And then an extra lap for good measure?

And yes, there are some fierce gals representing for the ladies too!  Now if only I had seen Dhani Jones…


August 2020