Month: December 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy holidays! We are traveling through Vietnam right now and will be back in the new year.

I leave you with a photopodge from Singapore and happy wishes for a grand new year!

xoxo

j

DSC_0583

DSC_0578

DSC_0577

DSC_0261

DSC_0285

DSC_0555

DSC_0493

DSC_0503

DSC_0508

DSC_0501

DSC_0272

DSC_0157

DSC_0678

DSC_0622

DSC_0637

DSC_0604

DSC_0321

DSC_0487

DSC_0417

DSC_0455

DSC_0423

DSC_0403

DSC_0276

Moon Festival: Singapore, Part Deux

DSC_0617

We happened to be in Singapore for the Moon Festival, which is not as huge of a celebration in the States, or I’ve just been ignorant of it my entire life. The Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese and Vietnamese and lands on the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar. It lands on the date of the autumnal equinox when the moon is at its fattest and roundest and signifies that everyone should be the same by eating lots of dumplings and mooncakes.

DSC_0564

Oh, the mooncake! There are many varieties of mooncakes, the most popular of late are similar to mochi and made of rice flour. The flavor profiles are endless and include durian, lychee, green tea, mango, etc. The traditional mooncakes are made of regular flour and contain 1 or 2 bright yellow egg yolks inside to again symbolize the moon. Pomelos are also eaten during the harvest. I think anything fat and round will do.

DSC_0227

DSC_0510

DSC_0513

DSC_0224

Additionally, there are lanterns hanging all over the city, on towers, on bridges, on water, on bamboo, anywhere you can manage.

DSC_0232

DSC_0233

DSC_0328

DSC_0676

Many also burn incense in reverence to the deities.

DSC_0200

DSC_0196

DSC_0213

Here’s what we ate:

DSC_0592

These beautiful creatures are bamboo clams, more commonly known stateside as razor clams. The price reflects the amount of meat you actually get and satisfies people like me who get irrationally angry at tiny clams for only containing pearl sized nuggets of meat that seem to disappear down my throat too quickly. These were steamed open, doused with plenty of soy and fish sauce, and had transparent sweet potato noodles lovingly draped over them speckled with scallions and bits of garlic. I love thee, razor clam. May I someday go dive for a bucket of you and steam you open myself.

DSC_0593

Best dim sum roadside stand ever. I can’t begin to describe the comfort I felt when biting into the fluffiest of bao stuffed with the treasures of perfectly barbecued pork. The siomay and harkao were also scrumptious.

DSC_0679

DSC_0666

DSC_0668

DSC_0671

Why did I fall in love with Singapore? I leave you with this image to ponder.

DSC_0680

B(ack)LOG: Singapore

DSC_0014
You may have thought I’ve abandoned my blog but I’m back to revive it! And there are so many backlogged posts-to-be that it’s simply embarrassing. Work had me incredibly busy that the only relationship I was having was with my bed, and even it felt neglected. I had the honor to work on President Obama’s visit to Jakarta, which is the most logistically complex thing I’ll probably ever have to tackle in my life. A VVIP visit is no joke. But it was worth the hours and work.

Anyhow, let’s not belabor the point and get right to it! We were in Singapore ages ago but let’s pretend it was just last weekend. 😉 To land in Singapore from Jakarta is like being beamed to a parallel universe where everything has order, efficiency, and scrumptious food. You see those arrows up there on how to get off and on a subway car? People actually heed them. This is a truly civilized city and I must admit it’s deeply impressive. But too much directive signage makes me uncomfortable and the anarchist that slumbers deep inside me starts to slightly jostle with impudence. That being said, I still had an amazing time. We packed a lot in one weekend so Singapore will probably have a few post dedicated to it.

Let’s start with the museum. DSC_0019

The National Museum of Singapore was surprising well-designed. Not only was the building a perfect marriage of colonial and modern architecture, the exhibits were thoughtful and used multimedia in ways I haven’t seen enough in the States. DSC_0022

If I recall correctly, Japanese sisters.

DSC_0025

It was acceptable for Chinese men to take two wives.

DSC_0026

This photo exhibit had family portraits of the first immigrants of Singapore (Hainan Chinese, Armenians, Indians) and short films that were shown behind them. I often find the short descriptions next to art not to be explicative enough. The films were able to go in depth about the history of Armenians in Singapore as well as the polygamy of early Chinese settlers. It was fantastically informative!

We ventured into the food exhibit and didn’t realize we were entering paradise. The only thing missing were actual hawker stalls.

DSC_0038

DSC_0035

DSC_0034

DSC_0065

DSC_0089

Traditional cake and cookie molds:

DSC_0091

DSC_0094

DSC_0096

DSC_0097

Entrance to the Singapore History Gallery.

DSC_0130

DSC_0129

The Singapore Stone, 10th-14th century.

DSC_0132

Completely in love with these William Farquhar prints.

DSC_0147

DSC_0138

DSC_0137

So much more to come! Back in black, baby!