Friday, September 28, 2012

Recess in Thailand

I have been in the States this week, so I apologize for no posts.  I have been reveling in the ease of shopping and in the low prices on everything!  But most of all, enjoying time with my daughter and sister.

Here are some highlights from the quick trip to Thailand I had last week.  John was working in Pattaya, so that is where we spent the week.  Absolutely gorgeous Hilton Hotel ( go to to see some views of the infinity pool, etc.)
The view from our window

This is one stall in a row of 10 identical ones, delectable fruits:

Party Central.  Just kit out your VW bus, add neon lights and alcohol, and you have a portable bar!

Everywhere you look, people are doing whatever they can to make a living.  Lots of entrepeneurs made carts out of their bicycles and took their culinary skills on the road:

This man did satay...hanging in front of him are strips of chicken:

The Thai food was excellent, of course, but sometimes you need that burger.  Here Ronald displays that Thai gesture of welcome:

During my stay, I had a manicure-pedicure, a facial, an hour-long Thai massage, a haircut and an hour-long foot massage.  I think I spent about $60 total.  Here is my foot masseuse:

Most Thais are quite devout Buddhists, and many corners on the busy streets had devotional temples for the people to pause for a prayer or offering of food and incense:

Here is a video of the nightlife:

If this entices you, maybe you want to start a new career!

And finally, your first holiday greeting, photo taken on 9/19:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Formula One Arrives

Race Car Fans!!  Formula One is arriving in Singapore this weekend!!!  The race will be held at night beneath the gorgeous lit-up skyline of Singapore's newest attractions!  Watch our for:

Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino

where we had an anniversary toast on the 57th floor "Koo Day Ta" bar

just above John's hand is the Esplanade Concert Hall (Maroon 5 and Katie Perry are headliners this weekend) and just below his hand is the lotus-flower-shaped Art Gallery, dedicated to Salvador Dali.  Right now there is a special Andy Warhol exhibit.  

Near the bar and on top of the hotel is the infinity pool, which looks like it is rolling right off the edge...yikes.

A view of the Singapore Flyer at sunset. You can just make out the stands for the race just behind this ferris wheel, which is 42 stories high, a height of 541 feet, the tallest Ferris whee; in the world. (It is 98 ft taller than the London Eye, according to Wikipedia.  Each car holds 28 people and takes 30 minutes to make a revolution. (Just below the right side you can see the viewing stands for the race.)
 We are waiting to take visitors along on our first ride.

The Merlion, the symbol of Singapore. 

All of these, plus the financial district skyscrapers, and a brand new huge garden, surround the marina bay where there are nightly laser shows to delight visitors.  I hope it will be telecast wherever you are - have fun and enjoy the view!

Next up:  a quick trip to Thailand.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mid-Autumn Festival

On my latest visit to Chinatown, I found the street filled with paper lanterns, ready to celebrate the Mid-autumn festival - even though there really is no autumn here at all.  I watched a street crew hanging strings of lanterns and was happily surprised that they used safety equipment for their work:

As I walked Bridge Street I saw even more colorful sites amid the tourist stalls, restaurants, and temples:

And I am so glad you don't have to endure the smell of the durian stand... it permeates the air like rotting is an acquired taste, they say.  I'll never know.
My day in Chinatown ended by my getting on a bus,thinking it would take me home.  I took a nice hour-long tour, and, having misread the schedule,  ended up right back where I started from.  Oh well.  I'm a tourist at heart.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fun Stuff

Today I will just share with you some of the fun stuff we have seen in the last couple of weeks.

How about Human Foosball?

Or Pork Floss for lunch?

(I think this is not as bad as it sounds...actually a sweetened jerky...I think.  But across the aisle from this was a food stall selling whole barbecued duck heads and chicken feet.  I just couldn't take a picture of them...)

Plants growing out of trees:

My kind of store:  (really, here I am a size XL, not exaggerating)

And we are having lots of fun on the MRT, looking at people's feet.  Maybe other places are like this, but I find that many Singaporeans express themselves through their shoe styles:

Not just any old oxfords:

Love the cuffs:

This is a 60-year-old lady with leggings and ?muckluks? No, it is not cold here:

And at the nail salon:

And one more shop window which epitomizes much of the cuisine:

Having a great time!  Wish you were here!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Natural Habitats

This week brought me up close with natural Singapore.  I joined a Run/Jog/Walk group that met for the first time this season at MacRitchie Reservoir Park, a huge nature park that surrounds a reservoir and caters to  all kinds of sports.  The prettiest site of the day was at the beginning, with lots of student groups getting in boats:

However, we were there to run...I was there to jog...but I should have been there to walk, because those runners totally outran me!!!  I couldn't take the uphill, and the downhill was too rocky.  Ah, well, next time.
This should have been me...

But I was going the right speed to see some wildlife...I didn't have my own camera with me, but this is what we saw in the trees above us:
Yes, they are wild monkeys, and they are not afraid of us...

On Thursday my UK group gathered at Bukit Timah Hill, another nature preserve, to do some hiking.  (Thank goodness they didn't want to run...  :)  The first signs that greeted us on our walk:

And after we got to the top, at the ranger station:
But we had a great time and made it up the hill, down the hill, past a few dead ends and finally earned a nice pizza lunch. 

I will leave you with a few of the striking images we saw along the trails, thanks to Barb, our photographer:





Sunday, September 2, 2012


I always knew about the cameras here but didn't realize their omnipresence. It is not a secret - we are warned.  So I just started looking around and here is what I saw in 5 minutes:

And that night, the evening news reported that there is too much littering going on, so :
That's how to change people's behavior!!