Week 6 | Singapore
Singapore is the diamond of the Asian South-East. Singapore is like no other city in the world, it’s like a occidental city where you can breathe oriental air, eat good food and enjoy a great quality of life. In Singapore you can eat Chinese street food, you can walk along an Hindu who’s only wearing a sarong, you can click your heels in sync with the music on the wide wide sidewalks on the Orchard Road, heading towards huge shopping malls, looking up to the skyscrapers in Marina Bay or getting lost among the tiny colorful chinese shophouses just around the corner. Singapore holds in its 641 square meters the whole wide world.
We stayed in a small apartment in Farrer Park, two steps away from the indian district, where people were getting ready for Deepavali, a celebration during which locals cherish the victory of light (good) on darkness (bad). The colorful lanterns are the queens of the celebration. The metro is the best way to move around, the infrastructures are incredible here, perhaps the best we’ve ever seen: clean, fast, functional and elevator equipped (absolutely fundamental when you visit the city with a stroller, or two). G r e a t . The city is extremely child friendly: parks and gardens every block, we always found high chairs in restaurants and a crazy amount of family oriented entertainment. While we are on a mission to find our place in the world I must admit Singapore goes on the list of potential ones.
We spent a wonderful week in Singapore, here is our best of:
- our amazement that time we stepped out the metro heading towards the Colonial District in Marina Bay, where super white buildings stand in a vertical fashion, hosting the main museums of the city. It’s been love at first sight, especially in front of Marina Bay Sands: three skyscrapers supporting a ship, an architectural masterpiece.
- eating in the middle of the financial district only surrounded by people wearing a badge and a shirt. The visual information is wide and various: korean and chinese dishes, drinks showing crazy colors, rice, pasta, duck in orange sauce. It sounds incredible I know, but the kids ate the biggest milanese cutlet I’ve ever seen. And it was also delicious, what an experience!
- visiting the Gardens by the Bay, iron structures with the shape of a flower that become greenhouses and lovely climbing plants.
- surviving the heat while doing all of this
- buying the clothing for the first time again in Orchard Road. The wide roads with the neon signs won over us after two months and half travelling and arranging the laundries here and there around the asian south east. (Little anecdote: we were very happy when we found a laundry shop where you can wash 1kg for less that one euro on the Java island. When we came back to pick up our clothes we found out why it was so cheap. RIP clothing). An afternoon of shopping malls and it feels like we’re back to West. This is the Singapore effect.
- visiting the indian district with its colors, its scents, its people. The market, full to bursting with common and rare fruits. Very curious.
- Lia eating a Chicken Masala at Banana Leaf Apolo, one of the main restaurants of the area. I am everyday more surprised with Lia, she enjoys eating foreign food so much!
- looking for lights to take with us to an indian festival where light was everywhere, just to feel a little bit like home. Unfortunately we only found three meter long lights, that would occupy half of a suitcase. No lights for this time, we’ll try again later.
- crossing the city on a taxi in the evening, when the lights from the buildings give shape and color to the districts. It’s the time when cars are running fast, when people are leaving the workplace. The evening darkness won’t stop life.
- being invited to a friend’s place for dinner, with expats coming from all over the world. Federica reached out to us through Instagram promising a dish of pasta in good company. How can you say no? The time we spent together was a wonderful discovery on life in asian south east from the point of view of the Italian, French, German, Bulgarian and Austrian friends who gathered with us around the table. (No, it’s not a joke). To accompany the experience we enjoyed the atmosphere of the shophouse they’re sharing, a good glass of wine (rigorously imported from where we know) and delicious spaghetti.
- feeding a giraffe at the Singapore Zoo, one of the most beautiful in the world. Julien and I were thriving noticing that our kids are way more courageous than us.
- being the last ones to get out of the zoo because we didn’t check the time. We actually risked to be locked in. Oh no. Run.
- moving from town to town, three metro stops away is China Town. To walk under the red paper lanterns: done. To listen to a street vendor for more than three minutes just because of his hypnotic voice: done. Sinchuanchichiaitao: I still hear his voice.
- eating a snow ice at Mei Heong Yuen Dessert, only surrounded by Chinese friends. The weirdest ice cream ever seen, so weird that we’re still wondering what was that all about.
- having a foot massage drinking delicious chinese tea in a local spa. To see the nice chinese girl losing her patience with a three years old who’s jumping all around -> to put him on a massage bed -> to start a dvd showing a Chinese cartoon version of Mr Bean. The three years old is quiet now: done.
- eating the best street food in the world. Scattered shameless on the table ou can find: a pad thai, four indian nan (two normal, two with cheese), a duck in orange sauce, japanese gyoza. We spent more time ordering than eating. This is what Singapore is about, yesss.
- getting lost among the colorful cases in Koon Seng Road.
- sharing our sunday morning Chinese brunch with an old friend to whom we bumped into twice already since we left. We haven’t seen each other since our adolescence while living in our hometown, but now we met again in a bar in Ho Chi Minh and then here, in a wonderful restaurant inside a museum in Singapore.
- drinking a cocktail in the beautiful and historic Raffles Hotel.
- spending a whole day immersed in a Botanical Garden, breathing in that air in a green area of peace in the middle of the city. And then visiting the Garden of orchids. Thinking that living in a palm garden would be a dream.
- desperately packing our suitcases like in a Japanese manga: done.
Bye bye Singapore! See you soon.
Okay, it’s obvious. It’s been love at first sight. Cheers to you Singapore!
With a Lot of Love - #miljiangotosingapore