Here is an update from Brent on his time in Sinagpore. It was great to have him here visiting and helping. We greatly appreciate all of his help and we don’t know how we would have survived without him! I know he enjoyed spending time with his granddaughter and exploring in Asia. In this post, Brent will update you on his exciting adventures over the last week.
Wow! Where to begin. I have been having such a fantastic time with Taylor, Mary, and Addy since my last post. In addition, my other son, Ryan came to join us for several days. Many of the days we took Addy for a stroll, cuddled Addy, shopped and did daily chores. I decided Mary is a fun person to shop with. Usually I’m not much of a shopper but Mary has good ideas about what to buy. We always had good food too.
Here are some of the highlights of the past several weeks:
Ryan came to visit. We got together with a good family friend, Colin, who was born 1 day after Ryan. Colin lives in Singapore and he took us to the northern part of the island. He is a history teacher in Singapore so was able to provide lots of information about Singapore. We went to the cemetery honoring those that sacrificed their lives in World War II. It was very beautiful peaceful place. We then went to some of the wetlands in the northern part of Singapore and saw 5 foot monitor lizards. They were incredible. We were caught in a torrential downpour with thunder like I’ve never heard before. It was fun to have Colin join us all for dinner that night. It was when Taylor had off so he was able to join us for a great night. I took a great pictures of the cemetery and lizards but now can’t find them!
Ryan and I ventured out one evening. We went for satays with peanut sauce at the Lau Pau Sat market with cheap pitchers of beer. Vendors cook prawns, chicken, and beef/lamb kabobs on the street over charcoal. They are delicious. We then went to visit the Merlion, the symbol of Singapore. If you ever get to Singapore, go down to the waterfront at night. When the buildings are all lit up, it’s pretty incredible.
One day, Ryan and I went to Pu Lau Ubin, a Singapore island north of the main island. You take these old bum boats for a 20 minute ride to Pu Lau Ubin. It is very rural and supposed to be like what Singapore was like before it became an urban environment. We rented bikes and explored the island. We saw wild pigs, monkeys, and I ran over a 6 foot snake on my bike by mistake. Lots of really cool vegetation. There are little Buddhist shrines around the island too.
I have a very good friend, Rick, that lives and works in Thailand. Since it is only a 2 hour plane ride to Bangkok, I went to visit him over a long weekend. If you ever get a chance to visit Thailand, do it. It is a night and day contrast from Singapore. While Singapore is a very modern, clean, organized, safe city, Thailand is a different experience. My first impression of Bangkok is a very chaotic, crazy place. Steam seems to rise from dark alleys brimming with people cooking at tin shack stalls along the street. A rat runs across the street. It’s almost like a scene out of one of the Batman movies of Gotham City! But amongst all of this is a gourmet French restaurant Rick takes me too. It is such a cool experience. Rick is a wonderful host and we had a great time. We stayed at the Sheraton with a wonderful view of the river that runs through Bangkok. The first day we stayed in Bangkok and visited a Buddhist temple with a huge reclining Buddha. We explored the river using the river taxis and shopped at the incredible Chatachuk open air market. They had everything imaginable to buy. We then drove two hours south to his house and had an incredible seafood dinner on the beach. The next day we woke up early and spent the day on a boat that took us off the coast among these beautiful deserted islands and went snorkeling. What a fun day with fish and sights that I’ll never forget.
Lots of fun times with my visit to Taylor, Mary, and Addy. Lots of great memories that I will never forget. One of the BEST memories is when I was kissing Addy good bye when I was leaving for the airport to return home. I told her I loved her and she looked into my eyes and gave me the biggest smile imaginable. What a memory that is!
How was the jet lag? Is it as bad as its cracked up to be? What’s the best way to deal with it?
Jet lag takes a while to get used to. It’s not too bad as I was excited to see everybody. Best way to deal with it, is try to stay up as long as you can until normal bed time.
What climate in the USA would you most compare Singapore too? Why?
I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced anything like Singapore to the USA. People say Florida in the summer is similar – Hot sunshine and 500% humidity.
What’s the deal with driving on the wrong side of the road?
I’ve almost been run over several times since being here when crossing the road. You learn to look to your right when crossing the street – then the left – pretty quickly.
What’s been the coolest thing you’ve seen in Singapore? Most surprising? That’s an easy answer. Addy has been the coolest! Addy has been the most surprising too. You never know what she’s going to do. She has really grown in this past month. I’m sure I won’t recognize her when I see her next after I leave. She is growing up so quickly. You can stick your tongue out at her and she sticks it out back at you! Very advanced Granddaughter!
If you could change one thing about your Singapore experience so far, what would it be?
Nothing. I’ve had a great time.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen/experienced so far?
I took a long weekend and flew to Bangkok. The difference between Thailand and Singapore is like night and day. Singapore is like being in the USA. Thailand is like being in a completely different culture.
What’s been the best “Asian” eating experience that you have had?
I do like the Hawker centers. Taylor and Mary think I am crazy – but I did find these pan fried dumplings at a Hawker Center in Chinatown. I’m going back there today to have them one last time. Another favorite has been the Tiong Bahru bakery. They have the most amazing chocolate croissants. Not really “Asian” – but I got them in Asia!
It will be sad to leave. I’ve had so much fun with Taylor, Mary, and Addy. In addition my other son, Ryan, came over, as well as seeing several good family friends. Met a lot of wonderful people too.