Welcome to Singapore – leave your chewing gum at home

My life offers a fairly constant stream of new learning and opportunity. Most recently I learned that among other things, chewing gum is illegal in Singapore. Thankfully I travel with caring co-workers who alerted me of my poor choice after popping in a piece of gum as we were preparing to land in Singapore. Who wants to enter a new country with bad just-slept-with-my-mouth-wide-open-for-6-hours breath?

The other thing I learned on this trip was something I really knew already – this kid does not cope well in extreme heat. Located 1 degree north of the equator, this is a toasty little place with humidity ranging in the 90% rage. This turns me into a bonafide indoor-girl, which is why I’ve concluded that Singapore and I were not meant for each other.

While I wasn’t worried about how much sweat was gathering on my upper lip, I was stunned by my surroundings. What an amazing place. An incredible blend of modern architecture and colonial influence. It is an immaculate city with so much to see. And, as with all of these new destinations, I did my best to eat my way through the very best of it.

We were in Singapore to join our colleagues based there for a large shipping exhibition. Singapore was recently voted as one of the most important shipping hubs globally. It was easy to see why.

 

The famous Marina Bay Sands – where the exhibition was. A crazy structure of 3 towers of hotel rooms with a massive pool and restaurants spanning the top.
Another view of the Marina Bay. It is quite the sight. The shops below are only the very fanciest brands – there is money in this town.
The other tourists taking in the view. This was at around 8:30 in the morning – the only time it was even remotely bearable to be out in the sun. 
The view back towards the city – a major financial centre – major banks and investment firms occupying those towers.
All the business-people need to eat. So many fantastic food shops bordering the financial district.
Upon arriving in Singapore – one must have a Singapore Sling – this pretty drink set me back a mere $24. There would only be one…
Evening were balmy and warm – a tolerable 28 degrees.
Another rule in Singapore – no purchasing alcohol after 10:00pm. According to my colleagues who didn’t return to the hotel until 7:00am the next day, I suspect there is a way around this law.
So much energy out and about.
Thankfully I had left my cattle back at the hotel this day. 
They take all the fun out of riding on an escalator. Good thing I didn’t pack crocks and a maxi-dress.
Singapore fashion may not be something I attempt to emulate back home…
Fun art installation outside of the Asian Civilization Museum which made me feel wee. 
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The reward at the end of our long days at the exhibition were incredible views at the top of Marina Bay Sands.
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Our skilled Sales team talked our group into the otherwise exclusive, reservation only club. Ce La Vie. Up above the 57th floor.
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We even got ourselves a table inside for dinner. Where the rich and famous dine – not thinking twice about the price of the cocktails. Only one for me…
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The view behind the Marina Bay – down towards the botanical gardens. The entire experience there felt like living in a perpetual botanical garden. Notice the number of ships off in the distance. 
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The famous infinity pool – access denied to us ordinary folks. This is the closest I got – creepy, sweaty lady taking pictures from behind a shrub. And to think they didn’t let me in…
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Capturing the sunset over the city.
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Another evening we dined at Chijmes – previously the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ), which was a premier girls’ school established in 1854 by an order of French Catholic nuns. Now a thriving foodie-scene.
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My colleagues headed into Chijmes.
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The inside ambiance.
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On the menu…pepper crab. One of the famous Singapore dishes. The crab came all the way from Canada. Seriously… We may have gone back two or three times.
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One of our best meals – at the famous hawkers market. This one had a food stall with a Michelin star. Crazy good.  The drink was fresh squeezed sugar cane juice. You will also notice that this was one of many occasions in which I embarrassed myself by using my chopsticks upside down. Between that and my profuse sweating, I was embarrassed by myself. 
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I think they don’t quite understand what carrot cake is. I had the black carrot cake. Quite delicious – no sign of carrots or cake.
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My lunch one day. Laksa – a traditional spicy coconut curry soup. Purchased at a popular restaurant called Toast Box where their most ordered dish is toast – go figure. A slice of toast with peanut butter for $8.
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They use just a wee bit of butter.
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We even saw some wildlife there. This being the rare white elephant unicorn.
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On our last day we had time to explore Sentosa Island. A very strange island resort which feels like a giant Universal Park. 
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The view towards Sentosa Island from the mainland. 
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A tropical paradise in a really weird man-made manufactured way.
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The Marina Bay at night.

Glad to be back home – suffering through the jet-lag. Back to a dreary day of snow and rain – it’s blissful to be cold again!

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