Friday, August 26, 2011

The Bike Crash

Most of you may have seen this already, but I as I was photographing the whole bike trip I decided to take a movie and this was the result.

Pulau Ubin Bike Ride

Last weekend a group of the staff at school decided to go to this island just to the east of Singapore.  Singapore is made up of over a hundred smaller islands that are still part of Singapore.  Pulau Ubin is one of those smaller islands.  It is WAYYY different from the main island of Singapore and yet it was just a ten minute boat ride away.  Pulau Ubin is more of a poorer run down village kind of place, where there are no cars and you can only get around by bike, which was GREAT to escape to and get away from all the sights and sounds of the city.  It was really peaceful riding through the village, and then through the forest, and hearing almost nothing.  It was just a great way to spend the Saturday and relax while having some fun too.  Apparently this is an annual trip, but I am going to try and make it a little more frequent than that!  Here are some pictures.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Too Legit to Quit

Check it I got my green card!  I am legit, too legit to quit.

Fun Friday 2011

So for the first Friday back to school we did a Fun Friday Day for our Middle Schoolers. Each teach had an activity for the Middle School students, and each group would rotate between the different teachers activities all day. For my activity I created a relay race with events like: "Dizzy Jump" (had to do 10 dizzy bat spins then 10 jump ropes); "Cracker Whistle" (eat 6 saltine crackers and then get off a successful whistle...not as easy as it sounds especially as a race. Try it); and the conveyor belt (team has to move a teammate across the finish line by rolling them like a conveyor belt). He is a video of the days activities. Make sure to watch the video till the VERY end!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Majulah Singapura!

Malay for "Onward Singapore" this is the anthem for Singapore.  How is this relevant???  August 9th is National Day in Singapore, the day in which Singapore got its independence from Malaysia in 1965.  So yesterday I got to celebrate my first National Day as a resident of Singapore.

I was sort of expecting something along the lines of the 4th of July back in America with families getting together and celebrate, but for most of the day it seemed just like any other ordinary day.  Nobody out on the streets waving flags, nobody grilling out, nobody singing patriotic songs...these are all the visions I had built up for this day in my head.  Considering the fact that I have been seeing flags hanging out of the HDBs and signs advertising Singapore's 46th Birthday (like 46 is a special number), I had some high expectations.

They did, however, have a big celebration at night in the floating soccer stadium (literally a soccer stadium that floats in the marina) where they put on quite a show, but you have to have a ticket in order to enter, and you have to be a native to get a ticket.  SO, some of my co-workers and I did the next best thing and went down to the marina and stood outside the stadium to watch the firework show at the end.  Although the entire show lasted all of 15 minutes, it still was a spectacular show!  I definitely felt a little Singaporean pride.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A World of Food!

Ok, so I have spent the last two weeks sacrificing any attempts to blend in and not look like tourist so that I could document all the crazy foods I have been trying and show you all.  Anyone who has traveled with me should know that trying the local food is my favorite part of traveling, so this has been pretty fun for me.  I will update this as I continue to explore Singapore's culinary diversity, but here is what I have so far.

Black Pepper Beef
It's like Mongolian Beef except with a lot of black pepper added in.  I liked this one a lot.

Butter Chicken
This is probably my favorite dish so far.  It is essentially a curry chicken with a butter cream sauce mixed in. SO GOOD!

(don't remember the name)
This was goat cheese mixed in a cream of spinach type sauce...wasn't really a fan of this.

Roasted Duck Noodle Soup
You can get a lot of meals similar to this with pork or chicken as well.  Notice the fried egg in the center.  You will also see soy and chili sauce on my tray.  Every place makes their own chili for you to put on your meal, but you have to be careful...some are significantly hotter than others!  And yes, if you were wondering...I learned that the hard way.

Char Siew and Wanton Noodle Soup
This is similar to the one above but it is its own special dish.  The meat is made from pork and pretty good.  My roommate eats this meal at least 3 or 4 times a week.

Basically your everyday pot-sticker

Gong Bao
This is a spicy sauteed chicken dish.  I guess you could compare it to general tso's chicken except it's not fried.

Ok, so this one I didn't exactly order intentionally.  I was asking the lady what was in it, but that got lost in translation and next thing I knew she was saying she would bring it to my table.  It is basically some type of fried dough, pineapple, and cucumbers covered in a peanut sauce with peanuts sprinkled on top.  I enjoyed it, but I think it is more intended as an appetizer to share.

Pineapple Chicken with Chicken Floss
If you look REAL closely, you can see some pink/orangish fuzzy stuff on top.  That is the chicken floss.  This stuff looks the same texture as lent and is surprisingly sweet in taste.  The lady asked me if I wanted to leave it off when I ordered, but I decided to go authentic.  Next time I think I'll leave it off.

Yes, I said Enchiladas!  Myth busted.  They do indeed have Mexican food here, albeit pretty crappy Mexican food.

 Carrot Cake
This is what they call a carrot cake.  It has no carrots in it, nor is it anything like a cake soooo I have no idea how it got its name haha.  But it is one of my new favorite foods!  It is basically like a really awesome omelet. 

These are just meat skewers, and they serve them with a peanut sauce.  Pretty good.

 Guacamole Bacon Thickburger from Carl Jr.'s
Alright, so I was missing a little taste from home...this was $14 by the way!

Bubble Tea
This is like a milk tea with little gelatinous tapioca "pearls" at the bottom that you suck up and chew as you drink.  It was pretty strange, but supposedly this is already made its way to California and is quite popular, so be on the lookout for it.  It is a Singaporean original.

Soursop and Ice Jelly
Soursop is one of the amazing fruits here!  Hard to explain but it is just real sweet and real good.  This is served over shaved ice and then garnished with ice jelly (kind of like jello).  The seeds are not the soursop, I think those are dragon fruit seeds but I am not positive.

 Mango Sunrise
This was a well constructed tower of goodness with multiple layers.  It starts with sweet corn and red beans at the foundation.  Yes redbeans, yes corn, and yes in a dessert.  It was strange to me too, but you can find most desserts can come in a red bean or corn flavor.  Next layer were cubed gelatins, which had no flavor whatsoever, just texture.  Then came the mound of shaved ice, which makes up most of the dessert.  Then they cover the ice in mango juice and add mango junks to that.  Next came a spoonful of what I think are soursop (a type of fruit) or dragon fruit seeds.  All to be finished off with a scoop of ice cream :) It so good, but gave me quite the stomach ache.  I think you are supposed to share it.

That is all I have for now.  I wish I had pictures of the crazy fruit they have here (I'll work on it and add it at a later time).  But they have crazy fruits like mangosteens (nothing similar to a mango), soursop, lychees, dragonfruit, and then the infamous durian.  I have had all of these and all except the durian are VERY good (durian taste like rotten onion, but it is the texture that makes it so disgusting), so I will try to get pictures of them up soon.  Hope you all enjoyed my documentation of Singaporean food!