Last weekend, my family (+ extended family) and I took a trip to Johor Bahru, Malaysia. It was amazing because the trip was almost effortless- crossing the border took only a couple hours and then bam we were in a different country! We shopped, ate, and walked in the streets. I captured moments like crazy and here are the results.
11pm:A walk around City Square Mall; 12pm:We had lunch at a store boasting one of the best “guotiao.” (A silky, translucent type of noodles). It was fairy delicious but what really made me beg for more was the deep fried fishcakes accompanied by homemade chilli sauce. ; 2pm:Shopping at KSL Shopping Mall; 5pm: Walking in the streets on the way to find good eats; 6pm: We tried delicacies: Stingray w Chilli, barbecued honey chicken wings,Nasi Bryani.
In a strict sense, I haven’t really been “home” in 8 years. So as my days fell apart into catching up friends, blogging, marathoning TV shows and reading as much as I can, I decided to explore Singapore. Its a little weird feeling like a tourist at home, but I guess that’s a fact I have to accept because at least 5 people asked me where I was from today… hahaha interesting.
I stepped off the MRT station and straight into the heart of Little India and I was greeted with this cheery casual atmosphere.
The street was cramped with brightly colored stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables. Each stall was anything but spacious so it made sense that everything was stacked up. But it still amazed me how beautiful and orderly each pile was; it was unlike what I would have seen in an ordinary wet market.
The fruits that were so beautiful you could mistake that from plastic contrasted with the grey walls, plastered with posters,newspapers and advertisements. The paint had already peeled off, and there were many crevices on the wall, but the place still looked so vibrant and in the moment. The streets weren’t glamorous but it had looked real, raw. It was almost as if I was in India where the appearance didn’t matter as much as the goods.
After having a snack (Mee Goreng) at the market featuring cool graffiti, we set off on Buffalo Street and I got henna for $8! I made friends with auntie who had been in the business for over 8 years and learnt that Henna is a dye prepared from a plant native to northern Africa and western and southern Asia. It is used for cosmetic purposes especially in Ancient India and remains an important custom among traditional families as well as a charm of “luck.”
I got a picture with her!
After my henna adventures, I decided to enrich myself about Indian tradition and culture in the newly opened Indian National Centre featuring religious, historial granite sculptures and hand knit textiles in a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns.
I also shared a short talk with a friendly security guard Roger who originally studied in Toronto and spoke perfect standard English.
After that enlightening session, I visited a beautiful Hindu Temple! It was so crowded and lively there. People spread out on the floor in clusters and went up to the altar one by one, eyes closed, offering their honest prayers.
My trip to Little India was definitely a pleasant, enriching experience. Exploring Singapore is definitely on my bucket list before I start university! Share your thoughts below!
I know most people vote Friday as their favorite day, but I remain that Saturday is the best day of the week! This week was quite a cultural spin for me. While I didn’t do massively important things, I was out most of the days because being a couch potato is a no-no. I am going to share my experiences one by one, starting with “I see you see me.”
The series of vivid neon splotches and framed artworks smacked against a white wall immediately caught my eye as I strolled past. I wouldn’t be lying if I said that there was every shade of every color present on the wall. Corresponding to its theme (an African greeting) “I see you see me” which symbolically translates to “I see, understand and accept your personality”, the artworks, accompanied by a memoir act as idiosyncratic “pieces” of the authors themselves. They reveal the most honest, humorous, frightening, blissful, indignant memories and experiences of fellow Singaporeans.
It feels strange to say this but while I read each artwork I actually felt as if I got to know to each artist even though we were plain strangers. Stepping into the artists’ feet also made me feel refreshed too; it was a nice break from being myself in a non-depressing kind of way.
The gallery, located along the tunnel to the Esplanade, is open to the public eye from 6 August to 8 November all day. Definitely check this mini art gallery out because it will enrich your soul like it did to mine, and it’s time we supported this spontaneity and energy in Singapore!