Thursday, July 26, 2018

Singapore in Seven: Hainanese Chicken Rice

Perhaps one of our biggest regrets after leaving Singapore is why we cooked at home so much. Local food was delicious and cheap. We figured out that plan our last year there. By then we were eating local food at a hawker center almost every single night (this was especially helpful since my little girls were 1, 2, and 3 years old). What we don't regret, however, is that we tried nearly everything while we lived there. Even chicken feet.....once.

We knew during our "Singapore in Seven" we wanted to eat as much local food as we could. There was no decision for me for my first local meal: Hainanese Chicken Rice.

I have made chicken rice many years after leaving Singapore. I buy the spice packets, and we all enjoy this dish at home. But it's not the same. It's good (Firstborn requests it for her birthday meal every year), but served up local in the food stall is the best.

I had forgotten that the full dish came with a bowl of broth with dumplings and bak choy. It's soooo good. That's all I can say. If you go to Singapore, order Singapore Chicken Rice!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Singapore in Seven: The Singapore River

That night we headed down to the Singapore River. They had just finished this esplanade when we left Singapore in 2003. Some call it the Giant Durian. Some call it Fly Eyes. CC took me to see the musical "Singing in the Rain" there a long time ago.

There were hints of how it used to look, but mostly, the downtown area had changed. It was always beautiful and striking, but even more so now.

This part perhaps looked the most similar. How many times that first year did we get to the end of a long work week, then hop on a bus downtown to eat dinner out together? 

Thankfully the Merlion remained!!! The Merlion is Singapore's mascot!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Singapore in Seven: Roti Prata and Nature Reserve

Our friends, KH and LC, were actually our former landlords. We discovered within minutes of meeting them to see their rental apartment so long ago that they were also believers. (Interesting how brothers and sisters find each other.) We grew to be very good friends and have stayed in touch. (You might remember many years ago they visited us in Turkey.)  They were so happy to host us during our week in Singapore. Our first morning, we headed out to a local place for the breakfast we had missed so very much: Roti Prata. What is roti prata? It's Indian flat fried bread that is dipped in spicy sauces. How can I describe how much we loved it?! And how could I not sit there and remember my little Twinkle Toes at two years old, dipping her bread and not flinching at the hottest curries on the island?

We couldn't have our roti prata without teh halia, the local ginger tea with sweet milk.

They live near the Diary Farm Nature Reserve, so we went for a little walk. Singapore is a thoroughly modern city, but the tendency to be a jungle is forever etching in. So when land is left alone, the most beautiful tropical flora presents itself.

We saw a little field trip. I was reminded of how my little people were always wearing hats there to keep the sun off.

As we exited, we heard a familiar chatter overhead. Up in the trees were families of monkeys.

My good friend LC.

I felt so much better that next morning and just kept thinking how happy I was to be back in Singapore with my groom.



Saturday, July 21, 2018

Singapore in Seven: Back to Blogging (aka All My Excuses)

My last blog post was May 18. I just looked. As I sit here listening to life as it sounds on a front porch in Middle Tennessee, laptop balanced on my lap, I am reminded of all of the reasons I blog. I love to write. This forum helps me process life and share how God is good to me. Why haven't I blogged for 2 months? My excuses: after returning from Singapore to Turkey, I began grading the 50 research papers I had assigned to the kids to write while I was gone. On the heels of that, Firstborn landed back on our continent for the first time since she left in June. Right about the time I felt like I had everything squared away, my laptop crashed. We were just about to fly out to the USA, so we brought it with us to the USA to have it checked. It's so much easier to understand a computer repair in English. My laptop is up and running, and life is too. So, I'm back! And I missed you.

It's summer now, but I'm jumping back to Singapore so that I can stay in order. As I said in my post form oh, so long ago in May, the school in Singapore where we worked from 1997-2003 was set to celebrate their 25th anniversary. They graciously bought us plane tickets and asked us to come back and share what God did in the early years of the school's existence. CC had been back two times for administrative conferences, but I had never returned since we left 15 years ago.

Board a plane together? to Singapore? Without our kids? A few wrinkles and gray hairs more, but it was just like when we were newlyweds setting off on this big overseas adventure for the first time! We were pretty excited. Our kids are amazing at taking care of each other. I put together some food in the fridge, lined up some help getting them to and from school, and asked a couple of friends to take my two younger ones when the older girls would be at their youth retreat. All set.

The day was so busy with a staff olympics day and picnic, and our flight was a late night red eye. By the time we got to the airport, I had a mild headache. We flew to Istanbul and then on to Singapore. We did get some sleep, but my headache just lingered. Then it turned to migraine. (I've only had a few of these in my lifetime.) I ended up so sick that I threw up most of the way to Singapore. :( The last time I threw up all the way to Singapore I was pregnant with my first baby and had no idea!

We landed in the beautiful city we grew to love, and our dear Singaporean friends were there to meet us.

We grabbed quick bite at a cute Vietnamese dive, then headed home. My friend knew how sick I was, so she invited me to have a Chinese head massage by her. The smell of her essential oils floating in the air, lying on a bamboo mat, having my head massaged by her reduced the headache, and soon I was sound asleep for the night. We had seven days ahead of us, and each day would prove to be a blessing!

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