Another Brief
Fling with
January 29, 2008

We are back in Singapore for a good night’s sleep before heading back to the airport to go to Tioman Island tomorrow afternoon.

We got here pretty late from the cheapie airport – the low-cost of Air Asia pays the price of two hours of different forms of transportation. Hey – it
was still worth it to me.

Anyway, we decided to go to the hawker stalls for some – what else? – hawker food. This was our last chance for this as we already know that on our
last night here we are going to a restaurant (our first one in Singapore!) for some black pepper crab.

After eating it was time to walk around. And we were in the place to be – Chinatown. It’s not often that I talk about how much I love walking around
a Chinatown. But here I do. Things are decked out for the Chinese New Year. I absolutely love seeing all of the red lanterns, red fish, red tassly
things, well….red

After seeing lit-up Mickey Mouse ears dangling all along the main street, I made a joke to Michelle that Mickey was apparently sponsoring this year’
s New Year. Then Michelle read something where it said that Mickey, Minnie et al are the main characters of the Chinese New Year this year. A little
bit later we saw an illuminated Pooh, Tigger, Pluto and Huey, Duey & Luey in the middle of the street. I love it!

We aren’t sure what tomorrow has in store – but we’re going to try to keep it as sweat-free as possible before heading to the airport.

Oh! And good news – Michelle’s chin is looking quite wonderful. She just cleaned it off some more and it really looks like it’s on its way to healing. I
told her that by the time Clarke sees her, he’s going to think she’s totally exaggerating what happened. Tomorrow will be one week since it happened
– in some ways it feels like it just happened. In others, I can’t believe how much better (read: normal) she looks. The only lingering problem is that
she still can’t eat non-soft things. Hopefully that will heal soon, too.

January 30, 2008

I am now back at yet another airport in the Singapore area. This time it’s Seletar Airport. We are waiting to board our flight to Tioman Island.

Even though it is only early afternoon right now, it didn’t stop us from having quite a productive morning in Singapore.

It got off to a good start when we realized the breakfast at the place we are staying was crap so we moved ourselves along to The Coffee Bean for one
of their smoked salmon breakfasts. Then we walked around Clarke Quay. This held a certain place in Michelle’s heart since her husband spells his
name the same way. We moved along to the MICA building – complete with its rainbow spectrum of shutters. Then we walked along the river
towards the durian-like concert hall. On the way we passed many displays for the Chinese New Year. The main one featured a rat. But then I noticed
smaller displays around with the different animals of the Chinese calendar. I was now on the mission to find the dragon. I finally found it. I told
Michelle I wanted to take a picture of her in front of it. Then she started reading it (as these signs talked about what they meant in terms of health,
wealth, etc.). Michelle then let out a “Hey. We’re the Year of the Dragon.” I looked at her like she was crazy.
Of course we are the Year of the
Dragon. Who born in 1976 doesn't know that? I then learned that this was the first time my sister ever had knowledge of this. I didn’t think she was
serious. But she was. It turned out she thought I was just on the search for the dragon because I liked dragons. Come on! If I were to pick an animal I
liked from the Chinese calendar, I would pick a cuter one than the dragon. Then she kind of chuckled and wanted me to read the ‘Health’ section of
the Dragon sign. It read:
DRAGON people should exercise great caution when they are on the road or else traffic accidents might just happen. All
I could say was “Oh my gosh!”

Really, I think Chinese people might be onto something.

Afterwards, we checked out the ‘Merlion’. Basically, it’s a lion statue that spits out water. But Michelle was on a mission to find it. And the mission
was accomplished.

Then, as the story would go, we got lost. I went through a period of ‘disorientation’ and didn’t have a clue how to find the Raffles City Mall from
where we were. I asked a few people and they made it sound like it was far too long of a walk. But I knew better. Apparently Singaporeans don’t like
to walk when the MRT is an option. The last people I stopped to ask which way we should go, one Singaporean man quickly said “Oh. You can’t
walk.” Then the guy he was walking with – an English ex-pat – kind of laughed and say “Yes. You can walk. I always walk out there.” And he pointed
us in the right direction. Exactly thirteen minutes later, we were at Raffles City. Unwalkable? Ha!
Back to Singapore.
Mickey and Donald in a Chinese New Year display.
Rickshaw driver taking a break.
At Clarke Quay.