31 May 2010

Thieves' Market

One of the fun things we did this weekend was to explore the Thieves’ Market here. It is the oldest flea market in Singapore. The place was full of roadside stalls selling all kinds of junk. Apart from items like old clothes, shoes, belts, electronic things, some shops had some interesting stuff like cattle horns, horseshoes, traditional cake moulds, cool looking teakettles (always a favourite with me) and statues of Buddha in all sizes and materials. I was interested in buying a couple of things, but the guys would take one look at me and quote ridiculous prices. The perils of looking too much like a tourist, complete with a camera, I guess.

The shopkeepers were rude and meant business. They were interesting to look at too in terms of their clothing and facial expressions. So different from the fake put on polite faces of the salespeople in the malls. I always ask people before I take their picture, especially close-up shots of the face (one of my self-imposed photography rules) but here I was scared to even ask because I was certain I'd be scolded. So when one of them saw me with my camera and asked me take his picture I was more than willing.

Some pictures from there.

the sunny outdoor market

kettles, coins and other interesting stuff

A certain little person thought the place was a yawn!

Watches of all brands. Couldn't tell if real or fake

chargers

clothes


Don't miss the picture of Tamil film actor in the corner

Now you know where to find your stuffed Alligator when you lose him!

cameras!

Amruthanjan!

I had a fun time browsing the market, but had to get out before I threw up from the heat. It was hot! I had a massive headache from too much sun and I took a long time to recover from it. Next time I plan to visit, I will ensure I take an umbrella with me.

28 May 2010

Aboard an LRT

A great way to travel in Singapore is to use the public transport. It is convenient, efficient and fast. We've been using the MRT and the bus system (the cool red buses) to go places from the time we have arrived here. Yesterday we tried out the LRT (Light Rail Transit) just for fun. LRT was developed to provide better connectivity with the newer housing areas of Singapore. LRT cars are smaller, slower and less crowded than the MRT. These are some pictures I took yesterday from the window.







26 May 2010

Merly


Say hello to Merly. She's one of the mascots for the Youth Olympics Games to be held in August.
Some facts about Merly:
She is a vegetarian
Is deeply concerned about the environment and wants to become an environmental scientist
Likes to collect seashells so she can return them to the sea
Her paw is shaped like a heart
She likes to explore the seas surrounding Singapore, swim and sing.
She is a great listener and a lovely friend.

I think I'm in love with her!

Source:The Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee

Teh Halia

Tea made with black tea, condensed milk and ginger. It is poured from a height between two vessels to give that frothy top. For this reason it is sometimes called "pulled tea"

25 May 2010

to market, to market

I've always loved open vegetable markets. My earliest memory associated with them is walking with a red wire basket with my mom or dad to do the weekly shopping. The market we went to was large and crowded. I remember the open stalls, with makeshift roofs of gunnysacks or large pieces of tarp, displaying mounds of fresh seasonal vegetables. The people haggling for the best deal, the cows munching on discarded cauliflower heads or cabbage leaves, the lazy dog asleep under a cart occasionally flipping his tail to rid it of the pesky fly (Seriously, these are the images that come to mind when I think of the HAL market in Bangalore.) The smell of rotting produce, overripe fruit and the strong odor of spices was always a constant. It was pure sensory overload.

Years later when I set up a home of my own, I still went shopping in such markets. My favorite was the Madiwala market. The stuff in the supermarket shelves just did not match up to the mind-boggling variety available there. Not to mention the quality and price. I always enjoyed bringing home a new- to- me vegetable armed with the suggestion of the vendor on how to go about cooking it.

When we moved to Hyderabad, I was overjoyed to find Raithu Bazars. I took time from my busy work schedule to stop and get my week's supply of fruits and veggies. Similarly, the farmers' market in Charlotte. I made the trip even if it meant going out of my way. I delighted when I spied a stall set up outside a farm selling freshly picked peaches or strawberries. I always insisted we stop to sample their wares. Then the move to Chennai happened and I still made the weekly trip to the Tiruvanmiyur open market.

Well, why this sudden walk down market lane? I was at a supermarket here in Singapore yesterday and was looking to get something to turn it into a quick subjee for dinner, when the thought hit me. Is there a farmers' market in Singapore? Or am I stuck with the boredom and predictability of buying from the supermarket shelves?

22 May 2010

Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is a row of restaurants and pubs along the Singapore River, a cool place to hang out. Some shots I took of the place when we went there yesterday. The restaurant we chose had a good view of the crowds and the river. The food? The less said the better!



18 May 2010

No!

From the "fine" city Singapore. This fine system I guess is one of the reasons the city is so clean, green safe and orderly.

17 May 2010

One Week In Singapore

I'm about a week old in Singapore and enjoying the experience of exploring a new city as a resident. The last time I was here I took some typical touristy pictures, so that does not count :-)

Yesterday was hot and humid, but that did not stop us from enjoying a small hike in Bukit Timah, the highest point in Singapore. I thoroughly enjoyed being sorrounded by tall thick trees and the well laid out tracks.







My First Butterfly In Singapore




16 May 2010

Chinatown


Yesterday we explored Chinatown. I took so many pictures that I had a tough time choosing what to post today.

15 May 2010

East Coast Park

We have been eating almost all our meals outside. We usually go to one of the food courts of the many malls surrounding our serviced apartment. Today we decided to go somewhere nice for dinner. We decided to go to East Coast Park, walk around a bit and get something to eat from one of the outdoor places.

We arrived just in time for the Sunset. Unfortunately, the sun decided to hide behind the trees and buildings and I only managed this after scouting for a good location.


It became dark by the time I finished. We were hungry and a walk in the dark didn’t appeal too much, so we decided to get dinner. ECP restaurants seem like popular places to eat seafood and each one had a long line in the front. We headed for one that seemed less crowded and immediately got a table outside. The food was good. I especially remember the Prawn Tom Yum Soup. So delicious!

playing with my camera during dinner

ECP seems like a nice place to enjoy a walk and do some cycling. We will definitely be going back.

8 May 2010

New Beginnings

My new home. The first picture I took after I landed here. This was the view of dawn breaking from the windows of our serviced apartment.