Saturday, April 2, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Two things I forgot yesterday as a result of flying blind: Kampong Glam and Mustafa.
Kampong Glam is the Muslim neighborhood in
Mustafa is a huge shopping complex a block away from where I’m staying. I went in to get some laundry detergent and was searching for a good ten minutes. I had to stop three times to ask for directions (seriously) because the place is so large. And this is coming from an American, the
Tip: If you’re travelling through the region, laundry detergent is a lot cheaper and comes in much smaller (i.e. convenient) packets.
Yesterday “morning” I headed off for
Tian, a local CouchSurfer, had mentioned that there’s really nothing to see or do at
After biking for about an hour, I stopped in the McDonald’s just for some ice water when I saw that they offer a variation on the McFlurry called the Milo McFlurry. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Milo in the States, but it’s a very common instant coffee mix here in
There’s no bus from
The laksa here is very different from the laksa in
After laksa, I met up with Tian in Chinatown (as he had no motivation to come to
Something I’ve noticed is that whenever I ask people for directions (which I do in English), people’s response always involves one sentence in English and then the rest is in Mandarin. Why is that? I don’t sound Singaporean (believe me, American English and Singlish sound very, very different), so how can they be sure that I speak Chinese? It’s very strange to me. Maybe most Chinese people in
Speaking of which, Mandarin here (in the region) is a bit different from Mandarin in
Tian promptly took me to eat yam cake and raddish cake. This particular stall is only open from 5pm until they are sold out, and given that there is always a line in front, I presume that’s not too much later. By “cake” what they really mean is almost a glutinous sort of paste, but considering how hungry that description probably made you feel, you can see why they went with “cake” instead. The texture of it is sticky and mushy, almost like pudding, but with more substance, and if pudding were savory instead of sweet. We ordered two cups of sugarcane juice which were huge and much greener than it is in
After that, we walked around the area, and I have concluded that once you’ve been to
There was a local temple nearby called the
After that, we walked around to the Tian Fu Temple, which is the oldest temple in
At this point my host messaged me and we decided to meet in Geylang (the red light district) for dinner, because there’s supposed to be really good food there (among other things). So we took the MRT to Aljunied station and walked about fifteen minutes to this restaurant with really good beef kueh teow. This is very different from the char kueh teow (which I may have spelled differently… there are a few variations on the word) in
We also had frog leg porridge, which was really good. The porridge was cooked for an appropriate amount of time (because undercooked porridge is just like cooked rice in watery soup) and the frog legs were flavored with some sort of soy sauce, so that was tasty.
Oh, also before dinner, I had to stop by this beef/pork/chicken jerky store that makes the BEST stuff ever. It’s called Bee Cheng Hiang, and my favorite is the caramelized bacon. Sooooo good.
After dinner, we went down to the street that where all the “highest quality” prostitutes strut their stuff, but we were highly disappointed. Not by the quality of the prostitutes, but because as Tian explained, the cops must have come by in the past few days, because we passed less than ten girls, whereas they are usually lining the entire street. Prostitution is legal in
By this time it was around 11:00, so we called it a day and went home to chill and sleep.