Friday in Singapore
Apr 4, 2008
|The Internet has been pretty bad. I have twice downloaded pictures only to lose the connection 15 minutes into it, thus losing everything. So I will do that later we have a more reliable connection.
On Friday Jim and I walked over to the Botanical Gardens. OK, forget about the orchids in the airport and in our hotel lobbey....this place is magnificent! Be forewarned that when I am able to download the photos, there will be tons of flowers taken by amatuer photographers (us). First (at the gardens) we had Laksa, a traditional Malay breakfast dish. It is noodles in cocoanut gravy with egg and seafood. Also, check out the bathroom (I know, I know), but its a little disconcerting when you walk in and there is no wall on one side!! Granted, it was a nice view...hope anyone outside felt the same!
As we began our walk we came across of people doing some kind of synchronized practice with swords, not what we would expect to see at Selby Gardens... In the background is the outdoor bandshell on a small lake. It appears to be shaped like a banana leaf.
Their specialty is orchid breeding. I hope the pictures do the orchids justice as I can't describe how huge and beautiful it is!!
After several hours there we came back to the hotel to get Jimmy. (He had been to the gardens several times before and preferred to sleep in.) We took a cab to the "Tooth Temple." After Jimmy told the driver where we wanted to go, the driver established that we were not devote Buddists, then launched into a great story about the tooth. He said Singapore didn't buy the tooth from India, they gave it to Singapore and Singapore did some things for them (understand the difference?) There was a huge campaign for local Buddists to donate to help get the tooth. It is supposed to be Budda's tooth. When they finally got it there was some question because it is about 3 inches long!! So they called in the National Dental Association and even though they could only exam it from a distance, they determined that it was not a human tooth. So now it is "a very special holy item with its own temple."
The Tooth Temple (despite the above controversy) was impressive. (Note that Jim and I are wearing "skirts" over our shorts. They had a beautiful art collection of Buddas (ancient and modern). Jimmy told us alot about the history of Buddism and also the differences in Buddists in various countries. For those of you who have seen the picture of Jimmy with the Tiger, that was taken at a Buddist temple in Thailand. And the tigers really are real, don't need a dentist to tell you that!!
We were in Chinatown so wandered around there for awhile. There was a Hindu temple (see picture) and lots of seedy places along the side streets. Came back and rested up so we could go out on the town later.
We went back to Clarke's Quay...it was really THE spot. (of course, we were still there relatively early). Had dinner at a Cuban place then headed over to the Crazy Elephant to hear live music. It was Janis Joplin style old rock and roll. There were lots of western (not necessarily American) men there. Jimmy had explained to us about the SPG's (Sarong Party Girls) Singapore women who are looking for wealthy foreigners. He said that is common for the conversation to advance quickly to "What is your salary" so they can determine if you are worth their time. There were LOTS of them there.
I don't think I have mentioned that the local Singapore beer is called Tiger! It is pretty much like a Corona. I am trying to figure out how to bring a Tiger pitcher back.
As we were leaving, I got a picture of the Clinic with the wheelchairs in use!
I am writing this on Sunday morning due to internet problems...hope I can attach the pictures!