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Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Have Hot Water In My Kitchen and other interesting things....

Yesterday (Valentine's Day), was a fun and interesting day for me, yet, I want to be clear that I am far from being an authority on anything except the foods that I like! :D Please leave comments that would clarify my entries below. I do my best, but it is impossible to learn everything in two-year's time.


I went on a tour of Shiong Lim Temple in Toa Payoh. I didn't have my notebook out (my bad), but I think the guide said that the temple is the oldest in Singapore, if not the oldest building. The guide said that it was built in 1898 (the Wiki article says 1902). The temple sits amidst HDB flats towering over it, yet one can still feel solitary and meditative.

Here are my photos of the tour:

Mid-morning Coffee and Tea

Ms. Geraldene Lowe,
a very well-known tour consultant here in Singapore spoke while we had tea.

Here are a few pointers from her for Westerners:

If giving gifts........give 2 oranges -- or eight NEVER four. Four is a bad number as it is a homophone for "death".

Give only a "live" plant such as bamboo or pussy willow decorated with red bows

Never wear white or black....these colors symbolize death.

"Ang Moh" literally means "red devil". I'm not clear on the entire story, but I know that this is how some Singaporeans refer to Caucasian people. I've also been told by Singaporeans who were doing their best to be hospitable to us, that "Ang Moh" means red-haired people. I think they were trying too hard! :D

I've got a lot more notes from Geraldene, but I think it's time to move on...


Next stop, was the luncheon at the Hollandse (Dutch) Club. The chef came out to demonstrate how to make the "Tossed Salad" (Yu-Sheng, I think that's part Hokkien part Singlish) which consists of julienned-strips of vegetables along with thinly-sliced raw salmon "cooked" with lime, cinnamon, pepper, vegetable oil, and other ingredients I cannot remember (I did my best, but it's also a good thing to get into it, uh?). The ingredients to the salad are piled high; one on top of the other. Once all of the ingredients are in a huge glob, everyone round the table uses their chopsticks to "toss" the salad. It's fun and it's messy! Better yet, it is a most delicious salad!

After we enjoyed Yu-sheng, we had a sumptuous buffet. I especially liked the codfish with a black olive sauce. YUM! Oh, the other thing that I learned..........NEVER, EVER BITE Noodles! They symbolize long life, and if you bite it off, your "screwed" (in American). It is best to slurp your noodles. Yes, just as we did when we were kids eating spaghetti. Singaporeans have the most wonderful food!

Got My Hair Done...

Next hairstylists, whom I've gone to since I found them online at the Expats Forum. Dammit, they're going to quit the biz. I can't believe it! Cabie did my highlights and Arthur cut my hair. These two are the first-ever stylists to tell me that I should NOT cut my hair. My hair has grown quite long since I first started going to them two years ago. When I get compliments on my hair, I stay with the people who are making sure I get the compliments. They were quite a team, and I trusted them. I suppose it's one of those "all good things must come to an end". I'm sad, though.

My Valentine & Me...

My way-hot husband gave me a bouquet of 29 roses...for the years we've been together. Can you see the "Happy Valentine's Day" imprinted on the center rose? I'm impressed (it doesn't really matter if you are or not, he's mine and they're mine) :D

We're romantic, but not in the sense that we want to get all "pfoofed up" and got to a fancy-schmancy thing. We decided to go to The American Club Union Bar. It was quiet in there (there was a big hoo-ha going on in the Colonial Room upstairs). Our favorite bartenders doted on us, first by giving us the lunch-time menu (more extensive). I had the ox-tail for the first time -- with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies on top. Yummy! Of course, I ate too much, as always. That is real comfort food. I'm getting hungry again (not really, but yeah, I could eat some more of that). The rest of the evening??? I'll leave it to your imagination ;-)

I've Got Hot Water In My Kitchen.........

Mr. Fixit arrived promptly at noon today -- just as he'd said he would last week. He attached a "vent-thingy" to the dryer so that lint doesn't accumulate and catch fire. Then he went to work drilling holes in the walls and soldering copper pipe so that I could have hot water at my kitchen sink. He was finished with the plumbing by 5:30. After that, he spent 45 minutes cleaning up the laundry room, sweeping lint, scrubbing the floor with a scrub brush, and helping me wipe up the floor. He also took away the POS dishasher and helped me move the washing machine to where the dishwasher had been. END! :D


Flumadiddle said...

Everything you wrote was 100% accurate.

Of course, I know nothing about Singapore.

Your roses are lovely.

Donna said...

So where is the picture of the new "do"?