Like the infamous YongFook, Singapore has left me with a bad tummy. I didn’t get the privilege of puking (like him), but I did have a wonderful time revisiting the loo over and over again. Having lived off the relative safety of American food for so long, my body tends to forget what real Singaporean chilli tastes like. A crystal clear Tom Yum soup at Food Republic in Wisma Atria might seem harmless at first, but one sip was enough to make me curl into my seat with tears of joy and suffering.
While food tends to be the centerpoint of any Singapore traveller, the interesting thing for me is that everytime I return, I seem to feel like a time-traveller who checks in on the island in almost two year intervals. Having lived in Singapore and the States for so long, I’m in the unique position of being able to distinguish the changing trends in Singapore.
Contrary to the idea that Singapore is boring (do people still think that way?), there’s plenty of things to see and do in Singapore. While most of it serve as distractions to me, there are silent gems hidden in the wake of the pompous. Being so, there are just too many photos for me to annotate, so feel free to help me add tags via Flickr. For some strange reason, I’ve been perpetually tired due to a belated jet-lag, so I’ll quickly share some of my highlights.
Here are 21 things I’ve rediscovered in Singapore:
1. Opening my cupboard, I find some games I used to play…
2. I also rediscovered some old toys I used to play…
3. The Coffee Connoisseur is everywhere. Singaporeans are more sophisticated.
4. I hope the water level doesn’t go any higher…
5. *Cough Tammy Cough Cough*
6. SMU was built pretty quick. Singapore’s landscape changes, memories fade…
7. Drastic road changes… like this tunnel along Stamford Rd.
8. Local bands still doing well. More Polished.
9. Botanical Gardens’ radical makeover.
10. Even the White Rabbit candy now has a new flavor: Red Bean!
11. More Singaporean lug laptops around… a lot more.
12. The New Paper is still the same… teaches us Singlish and Japanese.
13. 7-11 still sell Chendol softee… back in the 90s, this was so addictive and was almost extinct.
14. Kaya Toast shops have gone high-brow and are everywhere (look at the mountain of butter!).
15. There’s a vehicular trend towards compact but sophisticated cars.
16. Holland Village even at 10.30pm is so alive. Shops are still open and people are everywhere!
17. Ice-cream is passe. Gelato is it!
18. High-tea becomes so common. Families spend hours relaxing and eating.
19. Apple computers become the lifestyle choice for many Singaporeans now.
20. Being queer in Singapore is gaining more acceptance.
21. People buy more expensive laptops, some come with pacifiers for droolers (via Penny).
Heck, if you have too much time, you’re welcomed to see Singapore through my eyes via this massive slideshow.