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Dim Sum, gem stones, Art & Science Museum & a river side stroll

a travel blog by Jetsetter P

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Breakfast, bling, art and a great day

Singapore, Singapore

So I had a wonderful weekend and some awesome pictures to prove it. Li Nar and I met up for a dim sum brunch to start our day on Saturday and I'm so glad I had a guide to navigate the menu... or lack of menu. The staff goes around with carts and calls out the names of what they're carrying and you raise your hand or flag them down when you hear something shouted out that you want to eat. It's all shouted in chinese so I wouldn't have understood a thing! Li Nar did the ordering and got us hot and savory things to try. Strange twist for breakfast from the usual egg omlet or cereal i'm used to but it was worth the try, I was surprised that I liked so many of the dishes... except the chicken feet, but I'll get back to that. The various dishes are served with tea, and I'm not a big fan, but Li Nar picked out a fragrant Jasmine tea and it was refreshing. We tried prawn and pork dumplings, and this radish cake thingy, and this dough bun with egg yolk and sugar in it (which was a sweet and yummy) and then came the chicken feet. She said I HAD to try it. Well, it's mostly collegian, so it tastes like the fatty part of a pork chop almost and whatever they flavored and cooked it with was good. When it came time to spit out the toes, and bone digits, I was just grossed out. I mean the flavoring was really nice, but I couldn't get my head around the fact that it was a chicken foot. At least I can say I tried it. Next she wants me to try frog legs!! I can't believe I'm actually considering it. I feel like Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre foods. So at dim sum we literally sat there for hours, sipping tea, waiting for food to come our way, or the names of foods we wanted to try, shouted out so we could call them over and taste. I think that's why you can eat so much. Because you're not sitting with this huge portion in front of you, but over the course of one or 2 hours your nibbling on various dishes. It was a lot of fun. From brunch we walked to the bus stop to head over to the museum. Luckily for me, there was a little street fair with vendors from Thailand outside of the Thai embassy. We had a few minutes to "take a look", as the Singaporeans say, and was I thrilled to see a vendor selling hand made one of a kind semi precious gem stone jewelry. I bought the most fabulous citrine ring with yellow sapphires all around the edges - well check the photos!! Citrine is birthstone for November, and as I get older I've learned to love it. I used to wish I was born in January or December because I liked the garnet or the blue sapphire much better than my orange citrine. Now it's grown on me. This ring is stunning!! It cost me a little chunk of change, but to put it into perspective its about the same price as the 4 carat citrine ring I already had, and this is at least 8 or 9 carats, and flawless. Plus the craftsmanship and the yellow sapphires around the side make it pretty special. I had a hard time choosing because they had some beautiful pieces, but I got her card so that when I visit Thailand I can check out the factory. My wallet's going to be in trouble. Once I had my sparkly new ring on, we headed over to the Art and Science Museum for the Van Gogh and Dali exhibits. You have to walk through these huge shopping malls to get out on the other side where the museum is. The mall itself is an experience, with all the high end stores, but this one had a fake Venice canal and gondolas going through the center of it. There are fountains everywhere and art sculptures which makes it really over the top, but like nothing you've ever seen. After we walked around a bit, and I browsed in Gucci of course! we headed towards the museum. Its such a cool architectural structure and it looks like a flower almost. Its right on the river and has awesome views of the entire downtown area. The Marina Bay Sans is right behind it and its huge and towering over you the whole time. It was a gorgeous sunny day, so we took our time taking pictures, and then finally went inside for the exhibit. I can't even put the Van Gogh exhibit into words. It was magical. I've seen his paintings many times in NYC, and Paris and London, and Impressionism is actually one of my favorite movements. What they did here though was they had the paintings projected on to these huge screens all around you, they would move from screen to screen and change from black and whites to color, or just start out faded and then get extremely bright, to music. Beautiful classical instrumental tunes. It was awesome. We found a bench in the corner and parked our butts there for at least an hour, taking many illegal awesome pictures. Once we had seen the show 3 times, that's how great it was, we headed to the Dali exhibit. Now I always found Dali weird, and I never really gave his art a try. This time though I actually enjoyed it, and when I opened up to the symbolism I saw it in a new light. He's still not my favorite, but some of the pieces were really cool. After a view hours in the museum, we headed off along the river to find a place to eat. We actually had Italian and it was pretty good. Fresh calamari, the best beef salad I ever had, simple but they added some mint leaves to the arugula and it made an awesome combination, and for dinner home made linguine with shrimp, arugula and zucchini. Great. After walking all day and being stuffed, we were foolish enough to think we'd go back to my place for a swim. Instead it was about 1am and we just decided to stay in and call it a night. All in all it was a great day :) Sunday I met up with my other friend Shu Wei for a lunch meet up with other travel enthusiasts. They were a cool group and we headed for Vietnamese food, and chatted about various places we've travelled, where we want to go next, the various cuisines and politics. It's just the cultured and well travelled life I want to live, and how I imagine things could be, sipping rose tea and talking adventure. Heaven. We went for dessert at another place (I wasn't kidding when I said all Singaporeans do is EAT) but I just had a bit of fruit since I was stuffed. Shu Wei and i left after several hours of chatting, from noon to 5pm, and headed to the City Hall MRT station for a little window shopping in Raffles Place mall and the train ride home. By the time I got home, Li Nar was already on her way, and we stopped for some small bites at a Japanese place for dinner, and then came back to my place for a chat and a swim. I skipped the swim, because at this point I was exhausted from all the walking. Oh my, and the HEAT. It was REDIC today, the sweat was just running down my back like a river. So I skipped the swim and just lounged around in the much needed air-conditioning. She's trying to freshen up her swimming skills so that when we do some traveling together she can enjoy the water and do some diving. She got certified although she hasn't been diving in a few years, and I'm hoping to get my certification too so I can enjoy it while I visit Thailand and Indonesia and such. Anyhow, it was a great weekend with friends, but now I must get some rest because tomorrow the slave labor begins. Back to work! Until I write again...

permalink written by  Jetsetter P on June 25, 2011 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Dim Sum, gem stones, Art & Science Museum & a river side stroll
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