Hello Singapore! Part 6

On the last day of 2009 thanks to Geri, Cart and I visited the Jurong Bird Park.

Singapore Bird Park

Its been a long while since I last been here – probably in my early secondary school days. Like the Zoo, for sure, there has been a lot of changes here. It seemed a lot larger than I last remembered it.

Singapore Bird Park

One of the interesting species of bird that I noticed was this one which originated from Egypt on account of the strange angle that its bending its legs as opposed as to how a cat will bend its legs.

Singapore Bird Park

I also saw a number of beautiful looking birds. Like this Malay Fish Owl.

Singapore Bird Park

Ohh … look at how striking the eyes are! Now if there were ever a Bomoh Potter, Asian version of Harry Potter, he’d totally take this beautiful creature.

There were so much to see in the park.

The only unfortunate part is that, still being a school holiday, the park was crowded with rather hyperactive kids

Singapore Bird Park

We went in the area where there was a penguin feeding and the kids were running around on the parquet stage despite the emcee’s plea for the area to be cleared. There were parents even encouraging these kids to carry on what they were doing

In any case, Cart and I had a really nice time exploring. We just wished that we went there earlier though. I thought that we could have explored the place in about 3 hours. Unfortunately, there were a couple of displays that we had to skip because of lack of time.

Like the African bird display. By the time we got there, we only saw these creepy displays.

Singapore Bird Park

Being it almost sunset, I was nervous to stay too long in case they turn alive and kill us both and hung us up a pole. Like this

Singapore Bird Park

I dont like human sized statues! Seriously! Look at how sinister they look!

The next day, Cart and I headed to Vivo City to meet a couple more Singaporeans living in Italy.

Singapore Bird Park

I quite like this picture. Even wearing casual clothes, we look so high society! Its a bit sad that its evident that I’ve put on quite a bit of weight while in Singapore, with the incessant stuffing of my face with local food.

It was as always nice to meet people who have experienced the same situation that I did, living overseas, overcoming language barriers and the homesickness that comes every now and then.

A few hours later, after the rest had to leave, Eu Chai a fellow Singaporean that I met through the facebook group, Cart and I adjourned to Barcelos. I’ve seen rather confounding restaurant reviews between Barcelos and Nandos since both specialise in chicken and both lets you choose the level of spiciness you want.

I loved my chicken so much.

Barcelo's Singapore

The picture might not give it much justice but its good! Red flag means Supa Peri. That means I am strong enough to take the heat!

Barcelo's Singapore

And Cart had a vegetarian stir fry. Red flag! We are both powerful people!

Barcelo's Singapore

And we gnawed a bowl of potato wedges between us.

Barcelos is a little on the pricey side if you compare it to regular fast food restaurants, my set meal costed about $14 while Cart’s was $13 but I think that its nice to try something new once in a while. Ayam penyet is still the best!

Anyhow, I had a really lovely chat with Eu Chai. I find him witty and charming with a lot of interesting stories to share. There was one time when he was in university in Venice when a classmate asked him, “How do I say in Italian, do you have a lighter?” And he cheekily replied, “You say, Can you light my fire?”

And she went up to a guy and said just that! Last Eu Chai said was that they were in a relationship because the guy was ecstatic that a girl would ask him that.

I was amused and could listen to Eu Chai for hours. But we had to leave to go to another meet. So we were forced to say our goodbyes.

Before we left, I snapped a picture of a map from Gothere.sg on how to go from Vivocity to Hillcrest Road

Gothere.sg

I still got lost anyway -_-

And Geri was furious! “Where are you guys?!” She smsed “I am hungry! You are late! late! late!”

I was flabbergasted. My internal GPS failed to function when I saw the unfamilliar road. Moreoever with a pillion behind me, I got even more confuzzled. To add to that, it started to drizzle.

When we finally reached peperoni’s pizzeria, we were about an hour late. Geri looked as if she was about to faint from hunger. I tried to bribe her with a present but I don’t think that it worked though šŸ˜›

Anyway Geri got me a really thoughtful gift in return, which I love so much šŸ™‚

I looked at the menu and ordered a pizza. In my opinion, Peperoni is probably one of the best pizza that I have ever had in Singapore. The grand sized pizza is something to be seen


Sweska, Nicole and Daphne posing with pizza in January 2009

Anyway Cart ordered Penne Arrabiatta

Penne Arrabiatta

Its his benchmark of checking the standards of pasta in Singapore by always ordering the same item in places that serves Italian food. Even Pastamania.

While Geri ordered creamy chicken pasta

Creamy chicken pasta

Creamy pasta is her favourite type. Well, if she comes to Rome, we’d gladly whip up some creamy pasta for her šŸ™‚

Geri, Rinaz and Cart

It was lovely to be in the company of Geri. We met a long time ago in the heydays of IRC and I always admired her intelligence and savvyness.

Unfortunately, Geri had to go soonafter the dinner since she had to go to work the next day. Serves us right for being late!

The next day, Spai, Cart and I made the decision to finally buy the electronics items that we’ve long wanted. Since Cart has been stolen of his handphone, he desperately needed a new one and I was keen to try out editing in HD videos.

So Cart has decided on getting a Nokia E72 and I was enamoured with the Canon Ixus 200 IS

And thus the three of us made a trip to Sim Lim Square to look at the prices. Personally for me, I was already disenchanted with Sim Lim Square due to the very rough salespeople there. And I really didn’t have the intention to buy anything there. But since the boys said that it will be fine, alright then.

Coffee!

After having a nice cuppa coffee right below Sim Lim Square, (Spai was most enchanted by the pretty coffee art) we looked around the first two levels since they specialised in gadgets such as these.

So after a while, after comparing the different prices in the shops, we went back to the shop with the best quoted price. I was ready to make my purchase when the boys started to ask about additional batteries that the camera could use.

Salesman : This battery is very good! Comes from Japan. $45 only!

Me : I don’t want the battery. Looks expensive. The second floor shop sells it for only $25 (And it was true)

And thats when the salesman flipped out

Salesman : YOU ARE SO STINGY! EVERYTHING WANT TO COMPARE!

I was stunned

Me : Why are you so rude? I was ready to buy from you but you are being so rude!

Salesman : GET OUT OF MY SHOP! DONT WASTE MY TIME! I DONT WANT TO SELL TO YOU!

It took a while for me to calm down. I was really pissed off by the man’s rude behaviour. I didn’t do anything violent. But the situation really hit my nerve. Its people like him that gives Sim Lim Square a bad reputation.

Moron

Please avoid focuspoint electronics at all costs. I made a feedback to Singapore Service Star. But I doubt that they would do anything about that.

To calm me down, the boys took me to have dinner at Little India which is just a bit of a walk away. I was upset more at how idiotic people could be, more than anything else.

Little India

It was always full of life in Little India. Kind of scary to ride a scooter in during the weekdays though, but there would always be something interesting to see at every corner. Indian clothes shop, Jewellery Shop, Eyebrow Threading shop …

Little India

We were joined with fellow blogger, Bradley and his friendly wife Margie for dinner at Cart’s favourite Indian restaurant, Komala‘s.

At this point of time, I forgot to take pictures due to the animated conversations that we had between the 5 of us. I found Brad and Margie to be intelligent, easy going and fun loving people. Brad shared his experiences of living in Singapore and Margie started to tell me about the similarities about tagalog and malay language and I was quite surprised at the number of words that we shared. Like Gunting for Scissors, Tolong for Help and others that I dont quite remember right now.

Serves me right for taking such a long time to blog šŸ˜›

They tucked in to a hearty Indian meal. While I had my veggie burger with potato wedges

Little India

I seriously wouldn’t mind turning into a vegetarian if I could have food like this every day. Its really flavourful and a lot more satisfying than the Steakhouse burger that I had some weeks prior to that. Thus Spai, Cart and I enjoyed our meal but I’m not too sure if Brad and Margie did though, since the next day he twittered something about having stomach pains. Uh oh.

The five of us then went over to Mustafa center which is a 24 hour shopping mart which is popular with the locals as well as tourists due to the competitive price that they had. Not to mention the much more professional service by the salesmen.

Check out our new toys šŸ˜€

Nokia E72 and Canon Ixus 200 IS

I would have preferred my camera in green but there wasn’t any for that particular model. Cart naturally couldn’t stop fondling his new Nokia E72. It was a lot easier to type on plurk and twitter on that. Darn, I should have gotten one too.

And thus, from this point onwards, the images in this blog post uses the new Canon Ixus 200 IS.

The next day mum hosted a kenduri with our extended family for giving thanks and prayers for the safe journeys that my parents had while performing their pilgrimage and for Cart and my travel here.

Kenduri

A large amount of people arrived, which was expected since my mum had 10 siblings while my dad had 12. Go figure the number of cousins šŸ˜›

It feels somewhat like Hari Raya with the familliar faces all around and for a moment, everything about Rome was forgotten. It was until they started asking when Cart and I are going to have kids. Everyone keeps asking that! This is stressful!

Anyway! To change topic, my uncle set up a chocolate fountain and all the kids scrambled to eat it! It was interesting to see the chocolate sloshing down.

Here’s a video I took of the chocolate fountain in HD!

I should have took a few seconds to include all the yummy home cooked food though. There were so much! And I ate like there is no tomorrow.

Later on during the evening, a couple of my secondary school classmates arrived – Jamaliah and Surina.

And we told each other stories of how we hanged out beside the bookshop and thus nicknamed ourselves the title of, “Bookshop Girls”. And we marvelled at how coincidental that each of us in the group (save for one) married a non Singaporean (How wierd is that?) as we looked at each other’s wedding photos.

And here we are posing with the ketupat that I bought while in Geylang. I’m totally going to hang this up for Hari Raya this year. If Italians can hang wreaths on their door during xmas, I want to hang a ketupat.

Kenduri

Its a pity that my ketupat is a bit flat from the flight back to Rome. Ketupat penyet.

16 thoughts on “Hello Singapore! Part 6”

  1. Shabel

    I think you’ll like Barcelos. Even if you cant take too hot food, you can choose the degree of hotness there šŸ™‚

    Naili

    There’s a lot of interesting things to see in Singapore. Dont listen to anyone who says that Singapore is boring, it just depends on if you’re game exploring šŸ™‚

    Where do you live by the way?

  2. Ya, we definitely did have a good time with you guys that night. My wife still mentions to me often about how she enjoyed talking to you especially Marina. Cart’s a really fun guy, and I could see that he’s a kindred spirit when it comes to new gadgets. I’m not sure if we’ll get the opportunity to meet again in the future (other than online) so I’m glad we got together that evening!

    The food at that shop tasted great going down but maybe the spice was more than we could handle! So, maybe next time we’ll try something else on the menu. ^_^

  3. actually, i would avoid sim lim if i want to buy electronics.
    i go there to purchase computer parts since i could just fix them myself, and i could check out the prices in the comforts of my own home, using hardwarezone.com pricelist comparison.
    is unfortunate that you had to encounter such a case, but its a good thing that you refused to bend to their hard sales techniques.

  4. Heyyyyy!! I haven’t been here in a long time. The last 6 posts on S’pore were great. You sure did your rounds! I went to Barcelos once but didn’t end up eating anything. Soon, soon…

  5. rina, u sure make me wanna visit Singapore, heheheh.
    but i’ve been considering that for ages now, may be soon, so that I could see u, perhaps? šŸ™‚

  6. Brad

    Yikes, I’m sorry that you couldnt take the food! Maybe you could try the veggie burger instead. Anyway there are heaps of nice Indian food which are not spicy šŸ™‚

    And yeah, we really enjoyed meeting you guys. Magie is really sweet and friendly and lovely to talk with. You’re a lucky man šŸ™‚

    Nazry

    The ironic thing is that the next week while going to Funan Center to buy an extra battery, the shop sells it for even cheaper than in Mustafa Center -_-

    Definitely the last time I get anything from Sim Lim Square. Waste my time, and get a heartache only.

  7. Through the six chapters of the Singapore travel story I really felt I was there… it might be the right balance of stories, pictures, characters, movies, hylarious comments… well you have a talent for letting people enjoy your feelings… brava. I might be in Singapore sometime early May and I already have lots of information about food places. By the way, a fast brain like yours have ever thought about business possibilities between Singapore and Italy or viceversa ? Having two kids adopted in Vietnam I am trying hard to find a link for my biz activities with Vietnam, but it’s the whole South-east Asia interesting and this is why I might go and visit soon… well was just asking.
    Have a nice day and say hallo to Cart as after all the reading, is like I knew.
    Paolo

  8. Brad

    I think you’ll like it! Well … I liked it enough to be ok in being vegetarian šŸ˜›

    Too bad that there isn’t such food here in Rome.

    Paolo

    Thanks for dropping in my blog and I hope that you have a lovely time in Singapore in May šŸ™‚

    And no, I’ve no idea on how to start any business dealings between Singapore and Italy. I don’t have such experience but I would love to šŸ™‚

    Naili

    I havent taken the train to Malaysia since I was a little girl! Usually we take the coach even though in all my experience, it was always cold! Haha

    Its unfortunate that my mum and I got cheated by the coach service the last time that we were in KL.

    Penipu besar. Jahat kutu2 ni semua.

  9. Rina, I’m juz around the corner: KL. Hehehe.. My husband has alwiz cajoled me to go to Singapore, but we keep heading to Thailand most of the time. Thinking of taking a train there, coz I’ve never experienced a journey on train except in the UK long time ago.

  10. Well you see… already an idea for business… a veg restaurant in Rome, maybe with Singapore flavours… beside jokes I will keep you informed about biz opportunities. I am dealing with the Italian Chamber of Commerce for South-East Asia for some opportunities related to our airport services experience… you obviously speak malay, english and italian, but do you speak mandarin too ?
    Ciao P.

  11. Brad

    Not that I’ve seen any. Its as accessible as a halal Italian restaurant šŸ˜›

    Paolo

    My mandarin isnt up to par, I only know a little of it, learning from kindergarden and mandarin tv shows. I’d need to brush up on that šŸ™‚

    But do keep me posted!

  12. I love that ketupat! And I’m wondering if anybody spilled chocolate on that nice-looking curry just in front of the fountain…

    Saw that you have met up with Lana – was saying the other day how much easier it was for Singaporeans living in Italy to meet up in Sgp than in Italy itself :-).

    Meanwhile, saw your exchange on the veggie restaurant in Italy – in my experience, most Italians do not want to eat anything except Italian food. But there are huge Muslim communities now all over Italy – I think a halal restaurant selling different cuisines (not just kebab) could work especially in an important city like Rome.

  13. really? what a mess it must’ve been… so sorry 4 u and ur mum. seriously, when u’r due to be in singapore again, i should make a point of visiting? hehehe…

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