Posts Tagged ‘Singapore

08
May
10

#128 last walk around the neighbourhood

128/365 last walk around the neighbourhood, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

The housing district of Boon Lay where we stayed this time. Each district has a big sign like this, with the smiling faces of happy residents, and the mayor on the left to invite people to move in. Very unusual for me.

Another extremely hot and thundery day, so I couldn’t stay out too long. What a pity, since I would have liked more opportunities to just leisurely walk around and observe how people live in this tiny city state. Official visit programmes are often so tight that there are not many chances to sneak out on your own.

07
May
10

#127 hairy monsters

127/365 hairy monsters, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Before, I had only seen ramboutans peeled in tins drowned in syrup. I had no idea that they looked like this fresh! I needed a lot of guidance to be able to peel them to find the fruit inside. What a treat, though. I love exotic fruit!

Here is a picture of what it looks like inside.

06
May
10

#126 Singapore orchids

126/365 Singapore orchids, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

An early morning walk in the Singapore Botanical Garden is really wonderful. It’s a huge area, with lakes, ponds, pathways, benches, restaurants and cafés – and, most of all, an amazing variety of plants and trees.

The orchid garden was my favourite. Singapore is one of the biggest exporters of orchids, and the number of different hybrids in all the colours of the rainbow is staggering. Orchid is also the national flower of the country.

It was a surprise to me to see the drop of water on the picture – I hadn’t realized it when taking the shot.

05
May
10

#125 chinatown at night

125/365 chinatown at night, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

This is where the best bargains are made, if you are prepared to go through the song and dance of haggling and negotiating about the price. I am so used to just paying the exact price on the tag that I am totally useless at this type of shopping. The sellers probably got nice profits from me.

My favourite red Chinese lanterns looked especially nice at night. I like the atmosphere of the narrow, crowded and slightly messy alleys of Chinatown in Singapore.

03
May
10

#123 it’s a small world

123/365 it’s a small world, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

I saw this same snake charmer guy when in Singapore in February – and here was again with his little flute and the albino python in the basket, trying to catch tourists to pay him for the chande of holding the snake on their shoulders and taking some pictures. Only this time, he was on the other side of town. Entrepreneuship of a different kind.

I wanted to tell him that I had met him before, and that my previous visiting students had held his snake, but unfortunately we didn’t share the same language, so our brief meeting was without words. It’s always strange to realize that English is not necessarily understood and spoken by everybody in the world.

02
May
10

#122 COG

122/365 COG, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

By chance, I saw this march of young soldiers in the street. Locals later told me that it was the changing the guard (COG – Singaporeans love acronyms) in front of the Presiden’ts residence. This parade takes place on the first Sunday of every month. I was there to see the new guard start their march in Orchard Road towards their guard post.

I like the way the movement of the arms is visible here. It was all done with exact precision with a military band in front to set the pace. Not a surprise to see this in a country as organized and regimented as Singapore. The soldiers look very young – possibly because Singapore has a conscript army where all the boys have to serve for 2 years, starting at the age of 18-19.

01
May
10

#121 cooling water

121/365 cooling water, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

My monthly post of the Finnish name for May will have to wait till I get back home. I am also thinking of home, as the 1st of May is a big spring festival celebration in our country, and I expect family and friends are out having their first picknicks in a park.

In Sinpore, the weather was hot, sticky and close, with thunderstorms in the air. We were taken to see the latest big construction by the sea, the Marina Barrage.

It’s a big water reservoir and flood damming system in the city itself. It also provides recreational areas, such as this paddling pool, where you can walk through tunnels formed by arching sprays of water. The mere presence of water has a cooling effect on a scorching hot day.

29
Apr
10

#119 banana flower

119/365 banana flower, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Some of us were taken for lunch at Bollywood farm by the principal of our host school. It was an interesting place, built and developed by an eccentric Indian woman. She had her own villa on the grounds, too – strictly closed from nosy tourists by fences and gates, though. The gardens were wonderful, full of the most curious plants, all of which are used in the food in her popular restaurant, too.

I never knew that banana trees have got flowers – and this big and unusual as well! It was a very close afternoon, and soon after taking this picture a horrendous thunderstorm broke out. Luckily, it cleared the oppressive air a bit.

28
Apr
10

#118 a new journey begins

118/365 a new journey begins, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Changi airport, Singapore. Four students with butterflies in their tummies, a bit apprehensive to meet their Singaporean ‘buddies’ and host families.

Changi airport really deserved to have been voted the best airport in the world this year – and many previous years, too, I think. It is amazingly clean and the service is impeccable and friendly.

28
Feb
10

#59 chinese lanterns

059/365 chinese lanterns, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

The last and 15th day of the Chinese New Year celebrations is also known as the Lantern Festival. Unfortunately, we missed seeing the lantern processions in the evening, but we did see lots of lanterns all through our visit. In fact, these beautifully shaped and coloured decorations kept drawing my eyes like magnets.

These ones are from the ceiling of one of the several big malls in Singapore, where shopping seemed to be the number 1 national passtime. I liked the shape of this ‘lantern chandelier’, and especially the combination of the pink plum blossoms with the bright red of the lanterns.




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