Tuesday, November 21, 2006
We had a fantastic time in Singapore, thanks largely in part to our great hosts Kelly and Malcolm, who introduced us to all the delights of Singapore. We ate wonderful food (as well as the famous stinky durian fruit), saw all the main highlights (Little India, Chinatown, the Merlion, the Durian architecture...and the list goes on), and basked in the cleanliness and governmental efficiency that sets Singapore so far apart from all the other Asian countries. And to breathe fresh air---what a joy!
Here are some highlights:
This is a shot of Chinatown looking down through the many stalls of random "chinesey things," and that's Malcolm in the center.
This is the famous durian fruit, known as the King of Fruit, and renowned for it's incredibly horrid smell. It's a must-eat for all tourists. The locals (many of them) love durian, but apparently it's an acquired taste. Malcolm said the one we ate was pretty mild--I didn't really notice the smell, but it tasted very garlicy to me. Strange creature, that durian fruit.
We spent one afternoon at the famous Singapore Botanical Gardens. The highlight of the gardens is the orchid section--what a stunning array of orchids they had! There was even a special VIP section for all the orchids that were named after famous people. Here's the "Margaret Thatcher" variety. It was one of my favorites:
Isn't she a beauty?
This is stunning phaleonopsis orchid. There were so many different varieties--I wanted to capture them all on film, but of course my camera just can't show how amazing they are.
The main purpose of our visit was to celebrate Thanksgiving with Kelly and Malcolm. We made a huge feast complete with turkey and the trimmings--Kelly is quite the Thanksgiving cook extraordinaire! It was actually some of the best Thanksgiving food I've ever tasted. There were about 12-15 of us total (Kelly and Malcolm invited their Bible study group over for a taste of true American cooking), and we all had a great time and stuffed ourselves silly. It was fantastic! Unfortunately all the pictures from that night are on Kelly's camera so I don't have any actual proof that we accomplished a full-out Thanksgiving dinner in Singapore. You'll just have to trust me on this one. (I guess I could always post a Matt and Erika belly picture to show how much our stomachs have expanded.)
All in all, we had a fantastic time and hope to go back again someday. Hopefully Kelly and Malcolm will let us return the favor and provide them with some good ol' fashioned Hong Kong hospitality before too long.