Hello Singapore! Finale

Its the last week that Cart and I were in Singapore. This is it. This is the last leg. The final dash in the marathon. I tried to maximize it the best I could to visit at least a couple of interesting spots in Singapore before we leave.

After our trip to Jurong Bird Park, I thought that Cart would be interested in seeing the rural side of Singapore. And thus we headed to Qian Hu Fish Farm.

The ride through Lim Chu Kang Road was very relaxing as we passed by many landmarks and places that makes me feel like we went back to the early 80’s. Like the bus stops. When was the last time that you saw the orange and white seats and roofed bus stops? It was so retro!

Eventually, we reached the fish farm and I saw this interesting looking sign :

Cart at Qian Hu Fish Farm

We entered inside. There were so many different types of fishes that I was amused looking at Cart looking so excited at the different species of fishes. I saw stingrays, some panda fishes, angel fishes as well as many others that I don’t remember the names anymore.

Cart at Qian Hu Fish Farm

Whats impressive to me was that, there were a number of really expensive fishes. Some of the breeds were up to thousands of dollars! That’s a very expensive pet. For me, if I were to have a fish tank, I’d be happy with just these Parrot fishes.

Fishes at Qian Hu Fish Farm

This is my favourite type of pet fishes. Always smiling! They look so happy and cheerful! How can anyone not like these?

After Cart and I have examined practically each and every one of the fishes, it was time for us to head to the fish spa which was just a few steps away. Cart was alredy starting to look a little stressed. We changed into slippers and then dipped our feet in the pool and immediately the little fishes were attracted to our feet.

Cart at Qian Hu Fish Farm

Although, I’ve already had experience at the fish spa, it took a while for me to get used to the fishes because the fishes were a lot bigger compared to the last time that I was there. Nevertheless, it took a while for the ticklish feeling to go away. On the other hand, Cart keeps saying that it felt wierd.

Here is a video of our fishy experience.

Well … its something to experience and I’m glad that Cart was willing to try it out 🙂

Rinaz crocs

In the end, the both of us have soft and smooth and touchably soft feet 😛

And since we were still in the farm area, I wanted to bring Cart to the Goat farm but unfortunately, when we reached there, it was already closed for the day. Darn! Ah nevermind then, we’ll just head off to the organic farm.

So we hopped on the scooter and I went past the road by the interesting retro buildings as well as a old house that reminded me of where I used to live. We finally reached Bollywood veggies where we found out that it was closed on mondays. What a shame 🙁

Oh well.

That means that we had a leisurely time go head over to Jurong East. So leisurely that we could shoot this video on my new Ixus 200 IS 😀

I hereby call this bideo – Theme from Karang Guni. You know, as a tribute towards Theme from Mahogany 😀

Soonafter we reached Jurong East! We met talented photographer and fellow blogger, YesPecan, for a quick chat and to pass her some EDM items. We shared our orders together since it was cheaper that way.

We walked past the shops where I spent years walking past after secondary school. Suffice to say, there were lots of gradual changes here. And we headed towards the hawker center where Cart noticed a new Italian food stall. Guess what he ordered?

Penne Arrabbiata, naturally!

Italian food in Jurong East

It was his benchmark food to compare if it is up to standard to his Italian tongue. Anyway Cart thought that it tasted a little strange though with the massive amount of garlic, the inclusion of bay leaves and the sweet tomato sauce. I didn’t pay too much attention though. I was too busy eating my fried pineapple rice. You cant get that in Rome!

I had a lovely chat with Yespecan and we quickly updated each other with what’s new, unfortunately, time passed by too quickly and we had to say our goodbyes as I wanted to rush home to fetch my mum to head to say hello to my old exercise class.

Mum and I used to go for aerobics together every Monday evening and after work, we’d get ready and ride the scooter to get to the community center and for the next hour, we’d burn fat together. As mundane as it sounds, I quite miss this arrangement.

Cat on motorcycle

I saw this cute little kitten on a motorcycle as we went towards the community center.

When we entered the exercise room, there were a number of new people but there were also faces that I remember. They were there for my wedding too 🙂

And naturally, after the exercise class, I disturbed them for a picture 😛

Exercise class

Don’t we look sexeh? Unfortunately for me, I cant help but to stare at my tummy. I really gained a lot of weight since I’ve arrived in Singapore. I need to exercise more and lose weight!

The ironic thing is that next day, the first place that Cart and I went to was Macdougals (This spelling is on purpose)

Yes, there are plentiful of Macdougals in Rome too, much to Cart’s disdain, but it was pretty much in Singapore and in Malaysia are the Macdonalds which I was sure to be halal.

Egg McMuffin

And the egg mcmuffin was the only one thing that I liked from this place, so I better fill up my quota right? 🙂

In anycase, we headed towards the city area and parked my scooter inside Takashimaya shopping center – the land where where tai-tai’s roam.

Rinaz act Taitai
Yeah, act Taitai only

Sidenote : Normally, when I am in Orchard Road, I’d usually park at Wisma Atria or Far East Plaza. I wouldn’t park at Takashimaya the parking rate there is crazy for 2 wheelers. When we left, at least $5 were charged to my cashcard. Freaking heck. That’s a lot for a motorcycle.

Anyways! We are here to spend my voucher which I won from the Ping.sg 2nd Anniversary event!

Guess what I decided on buying? Was it electronic items? Was it household items?

I bought bras!

Yeah, I could have bought some in Italy itself, but I wasn’t ready enough for Italian women to be fondling my girls.

I headed towards the Sloggies corner since I prefer my bras to be simple without all those embellishments. Not sure what my size was, I asked the saleslady for help.

I was surprised to hear from her that I am now a 36C cup.

I’m not too sure if that’s such a good thing.

As a sidenote, I had a rather strange saleslady, she kept knocking at the changing room, shoving in more bras and making me try on more and more stuff. But I really didn’t want to bust my voucher cap. Moreover, these bras are not what I’d regularly wear since it was a little on the expensive side. Nevertheless, the fit was pretty good.

C cup eh?

But anyway, here are my new ahem cup holders 😀

Bra!

After lunch, we dropped by Funan Center to collect my new namecards.

Loads of pigeons
There sure were a lot of pigeons right next to where I parked

I still wondered upon why I did made the namecards when there are hardly any events that I go to in Italy. Regardless, I think my new cards look spiffy with the new updated Italian words in them. But in retrospect, I think that I should have added some words regarding the things that I do at the back, instead of leaving so much green space.

Is just that I’m still not sure what to put. Writer? Photographer? Video Editor? Sexeh blogger extraordinaire?

Anyway, what do you think?

Rinaz new namecards

And since we were in the area, we popped by one of the electronic shops to get an additional battery for my new Ixus 200 IS camera. If I am not wrong, the place was called Song Brothers.

It was completely a smooth experience buying items from there. The lady serving me was polite and clear. None of the drama that happened as when I was at Sim Lim Square. She sold me a battery and even helped to stick a protective cover on my camera’s LCD.

It was then, when I asked her how much does the same camera costed there.

I dont remember what she quoted but for sure, it was a more competitive price to Sim Lim Square and even Mustafa Center. It was heartbreaking that I had to go through all that drama when we could have gone here instead! Doh!

Seriously everyone, I will never ever go to Sim Lim Square ever again and nor do I recommend anyone, locals or tourists alike to go there.

Anyhow, I was already rushing to head back to Jurong where we will be meeting my aunt and cousins later but Cart pulled my hand and insisted that we have coffee, “It wont take long, it’s only espresso”

So we walked towards Espressoul which was just a couple of blocks away from Funan Center and facing Parliament House.

Two espresso please! Make it ristretto!

And that was when Cart finally had the espresso that was acceptable to his standards 😛

And by pure chance we met with Danny! Head barista and one of the owners of former Geek Terminal. Geek Terminal is popular hangout with a large number of bloggers as it was the location where quite a number of blogger related events were held. Plus, they had really good coffee. Illy! The best coffee according to Cart.

Coffee at Espressoul

Danny told us that they have since shifted from the old location to there and rebranded themselves as Espressoul. Unfortunately, we did not have much time to chat more and we said our goodbyes and we rushed down to the Singapore Discovery center.

The last time I was at the Singapore Discover Center, it was in 2006 and I had to accompany a few club members for a competition. It seems much the same since then except for the newly functioning Joo Kun MRT station. Hopefully, now, it will be more accessible for more visitors 🙂

Anyhow the reason why we were here was mainly to watch Avatar! My cousins has been raving about this movie for weeks and was willing to watching it again!

Avatar at Singapore Discovery Center
Check out how tall the seats go up to

Personally, I quite liked watching the movie here. Its not crowded with people so it was more conducive and feels more relaxed. The screen was as good as a regular cinema since it was about 5 storey tall. Plus you could bring in your own food and choose your own seats 😀

It was good to spend some time with Cik Enon and the cousins 🙂

Just too bad that my mum couldn’t make it and my sister already fainted in bed, tired from school. I’m sure they would have enjoyed it too 🙂

Coincidentally later Juli asked me out for dinner at Holland Village just as we left Singapore Discover Center.

Why not? I thought to myself. When will be the next time that we meet anyway?

And thus, we went to Holland Village. It was an interesting place to go to on account of the number of expatriates hanging out here, thus the culture and the air is a little bit different. I guess a little more well heeled.

We met Juli and walked towards a Lebanese restaurant, and I was a little bit stunned at what was on the main road. There were at least 20 soldiers guarding the area. I was too nervous to even snap a picture lest they shoot me with the rifle they were holding.

The restaurant caretaker assured me that they were there just for safekeeping as there were concerns that there will be fights brewing from the many pubs in the area. And eventually, we made our order.

Rinaz and Juli

It was a rather nice place and I quite liked the decorations. I didn’t take much pictures though. I don’t know, I guess I just wasn’t in the mood 😛

Shawarma

Anyway the food was alright. I didnt liked the appetizer too much but I enjoyed my shawarma plate but poor Juli couldn’t eat her food as it looked and reminded her too much of the male anatomy! LOL!

After we said our goodbyes, just for the fun of it, I did a little detour to see my former schools. The gates were shut since it was night time, but its nice to be back in memory lane.

Jurong Institute

This is what used to be Jurong Institute. Jurong Institute doesn’t exist anymore but I had a lot of happy (as well as not so happy) memories here. I could probably write a teen novel based on the accounts that happened to me here. Ho ho ho! Idea!

Bukit View Secondary

And here is Bukit View Secondary. It was a lot larger than what I remembered. Even during my short stint as a teacher there, there were plentiful of changes.

One of the memorable incidents that happened there was when my friends treated me to a coke drink during my birthday. I took a sip and it was horrible! Turns out that they spiked my drink with soy sauce!

Urgh!

Happy birthday indeed!

The next day we went back to Vivo city to meet with sweet (and newly married!) UFC for lunch. While waiting for her, Cart and I contemplated on buying this made in Singapore aromatherapy diffuser. But I was worried that I would not have any space in my luggage so in the end, reluctantly, I didn’t get one.

Pirated Cooking Mama
We also passed by this shop. Can you spot something interesting?

We met UFC and we had a chat about her new married life and what she was up to and she handed me these adorable little hair sticks that I picked from her blogshop. She even gave me more discount … I should have gotten more stuff! 😛

Hairsticks
These are hairsticks, not colour pencils

And then we went to Candy Empire to buy the German version of Pocket Coffee.

Before I coming to Singapore, I was contemplating on bringing something unique from Italy. Initially I thought of bringing Ferrero Rodnoir, however a friend informed me that it was already available in Singapore. So I brought Pocket Coffee instead!

The supermarket cashier was giving me wierd looks when I bought like 20 boxes at one go. So I give them a seductive look in reply. Like this :

Rinaz pretending to be seductive
Rinaz act seductive

Anyway, to my horror, it was only when we arrived in Singapore when my friend, Eu Chai informed me that was Pocket Coffee being sold in Singapore albeit, it was manufactured in Germany. And Cart and I had to see this for ourselves.

German Pocket Coffee

Suffice to say, it doesnt taste the same as the original, Italian version. So we were a little more placated.

We said our goodbyes to UFC and that was when suddenly I remembered … I didnt take a picture of UFC!

We then rushed over to Jurong Point to meet with my friends Jayden and Mus and Hema! We had such a lovely time chatting the whole evening from Coffee Bean, all the way to Swensens where we had dinner later.

Dinner at Jurong Point

Its nice to be surrounded by happy, funny and cheerful people. Mus even declared that he wore a green sweater specially for me since I like green! Bwahahaha!

I dont remember what we chatted about, but for sure, I had big smiles and was laughing all throughout the evening.

UCB Commercial

And here were are in an unofficial United Colours of Benetton advertisment.

Thursday. It was our final day in Singapore.

I woke up early and already I felt the webs of sadness starting to form. But in any case, I had a of of things to settle before the flight.

First I headed to the ICA to collect my new passport since the old one was expiring mid 2010. It was a leap of faith thing. I wasnt sure if they would be ready in time since I applied just the week before. But luckily for me, the man behind the counter pulled out my new passport and thus I was cleared!

As a sidenote, isn’t it annoying that government websites still needed internet exploiter for online transactions such as these? It took some while for me to get through it since I was using Ubuntu on my netbook and Internet Explorer isn’t compatible with Linux. In the end, I had to use my brother’s lappy with windoze. Go figure.

And then I rushed to send some packages to friends and then to the post office as I was anticipating that my luggage might be over the airplane limit and thus I bought a Singpost box.

Little did I realise that it was a little too big for me to stuff on the scooter.

Singpost Box

Luckily for me, I had a long elastic hair band which I attached to one end and used a brochure to hold the other side. And I rode slowly, praying that it didn’t break.

I even rushed by Jurong East Library to pay my fines (How did I get one anyway? I havent been borrowing for over a year :-P)

Jurong East Entertainment

And I saw the familliar Jurong East Entertainment, which was right next to it, being half demolished. A little nostalgic for me I guess, since this was one of the places that I hang out at as a student. Anyone remember the $1.99 meal from Long John Silvers?

Finally after all of the chores, I rushed towards home and rushed to the wet market and then to fairprice to get some condiments and Singapore foodstuff, you know, stuff that I couldn’t get in Rome. My Lingham’s Chilli Sauce is my main priority!

Singapore foodstuff

Here is a portion of the food that we bought. Initially, Cart was concerned that the food might not clear the immigration, but I was gung ho about it and wrapped it neatly among our clothes.

And then we packed like crazy! So much things to pack and I was already worried that including the books that I wanted to carry with me, would be too heavy in the end and I had to reluctantly leave them, for now.

It took several hours to pack and after the whole affair, I saw that it would be impossible to have time for a family dinner at West Coast Food Center, so we had to make do with the hawker center which was next to our house instead (My dad wasn’t too fond of the food there unfortunately)

Dinner at Hawker Center

I desperately tried to eat a couple more Singapore food to ease me through the next 11 months or so. I wouldn’t be able to have these anymore

Dinner at Hawker Center

And this is the final meal that I had in Singapore. Half eaten chicken rice before I remembered to snap a picture of it. And then it was already time to go to the airport.

Hema drove us

Hema was so kind to volunteer to drive us to the airport. Juli was already there in the front seat next to her and I took in the last Singapore sights. Several of my relatives were there to wish Cart and me goodbye, my aunts, cousins and grandmother. I was mostly quiet the entire time because I was feeling emotional.

Family saying goodbye

Bye everyone. Thank you so much for your hospitality! It has been a lovely three weeks. Its too bad that I was not able to show Cart all of the places that I wanted to show him, like the Singapore Museums, Haw Par Villa and others. But hopefully we’ll be there December 2010. God willing 🙂

We’ll meet again soon! :-]

And stop pressurising me to have kids. KTHANXBAI!

9 thoughts on “Hello Singapore! Finale”

  1. Geri

    Yay!!!! 😀

    Mintea

    I did 🙂

    But you know, three weeks is not enough to make up for a year :

    We hope to plan it better the next round 🙂

    Tomlinson

    Hehe, thanks for the comment 😉

  2. Hope it’s the last entry for a while… I am spending all my office time reading with a stupid smile on my face instead of working… (joking…)… thks again for letting us enjoy these moments. All the best Paolo from a grey morning @ Fiumicino airport… PS I can see the tail of the Singapore Airlines 747-400 from my office (ooops nostalgia…)

  3. Very convenient to go where u want to go with ur own scooter ! Was parking a problem ? I know my bro spent a small fortune each day on parking when he drove us to all the must-see spots/malls !

    Ur video is priceless ! All the scenes r so familiar that I felt a sense of homesickness in the pit of my stomach. Sg is so vibrant, so full of snyergy. I missed that the moment we get back here. Life is so tranquil that I go into a dip for couple of weeks 🙁 Do u hv the same experience, or is it just me ?

    I see that u got ur “loot” thru the customs, hehe. What for yums did u lug back ? Oh I envy u – already planning ur next trip !

  4. Yeah! I love scootering!

    Parking isnt a problem because there are pretty much motorcycle parking almost everywhere and its a lot cheaper than car parking too.

    Of course cars have the advantage of fitting more people and has a roof when it rains, so its more comfortable. But I still prefer scooters over cars 🙂

    I think many Singaporeans feel the same way as you do … me too! I miss Singapore for its familiarity, for the convenience, for the friends and family. It’ll always be in my heart and I’m always a Jurong girl 🙂

    Hohoho, I brought back a couple of items, I dont even remember what they are! I just went to the supermarket and grabbed pretty much anything that looked interesting to me!!!

  5. You know what I’ve never eaten pocket coffee – because real coffee is everywhere!

    Meanwhile sama sama here, ate like mad when I was home – only I never got to lose the extra kilos I’ve put on, just continue piling them on after leaving Sgp…

    Come again, why did you print those namecards for?

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