Wednesday, August 17, 2011

110705 Day 20: 1 day to BKK

Early in the morning, we got up and dove into the rush hour traffic heading to Orchard Road for my yearly health screening. This year however, I ditched my previous health screeners for someone else new because I have lost my student discounts with the previous screener, and their new plans for the general public was (in general) twice as expensive as others.

We went for breakfast at Ah Mei Milk Tea in Paragon, and had char siew po luo bao. Yummy!

After that, we visited the Peranakan museum. It was my second time there, however, there was a special exhibition about peranakan dresses, the sarong kebaya, that I was very interested in seeing.

The Peranakan Museum

The sarong kebaya is a costume made of two parts, the sarong and the kebaya. The kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination worm by women in southeast asia. The kebaya is worn over the sarong, which is a large, colorful fabric worn around the waist.

sarong kebaya exhibition

sarong kebaya exhibition

for men...

At the museum, we also tried on different types of traditional peranakan clothing. Jason looks Asian wearing peranakan clothing.

At the museum, there were other exhibits about the Peranakan people. A large section of the museum was about Peranakan weddings, and the tok panjang, a grand meal. Yes, Asian cultures are all about the food, one just can't escape it!

family alter in a Peranakan home

After visiting the museum, we walked to Raffles Place, to meet Ee Ee (my aunt) for lunch. We went for lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant near her workplace. Vietnamese food is one of my favorite cuisines. Everything is fresh, light and very simple. Everyone in the US knows pho, which is a Vietnamese noodle soup usually in a beef broth. However, other delicious Vietnamese foods are pretty unknown. My favorite is bun, which is a dry vermicelli plate with grilled pork and raw vegetables. The Vietnamese do grills very well, and their grilled pork chop is one of my favorite foods too. Grilled pork chop coupled with their broken rice (or rice bits), is one of the most delicious foods one can have. I wish I can go back to Vietnam just to eat. :)

summer rolls (rice paper rolls with vermicelli, lean pork and shrimp)



grilled beef (not pork)

After lunch, Ee Ee brought us on a walk around Raffles Place. Although it is the central business district of Singapore, Raffles Place still has a lot of history and culture in it as it used to be the shore of Singapore, before land reclamation got popular. Due to this, Raffles Place is one of the oldest settlements on the island, as new immigrants settled near the beach due to myriad of commercial activities there. As new immigrants often thank the gods for their safe journeys, Raffles Place is also home to one of the oldest temples in Singapore, the Thian Hock Keng temple.

On our walk, we walked past a traditional bakery that sold baked goods, sweets and desserts that were common in my parents' generation (1960s/70s). We visited the bakery, bought some sweets, desserts and snacks, and then headed home. Personally, I think its sad that bakeries selling traditional snacks are so hard to come by these days. Its fresh, its delicious, its good. Why did we kill all that with 'fusion' nonsense, and additives to make food last longer? Fresh bread! That's where it is...

traditional snacks

selling baked goods, the old way!

After lunch, we headed home, and then went to the barber and hair dresser respectively. It's time to get our locks chopped! I cut my hair once a year, every time I get back to Singapore. I usually cut Jas' hair once ever two or three weeks, but this time, he got to experience the Singapore Indian uncle's cut of lulian tao, meaning durian head.

After getting our haircuts, we popped by to the hawker center for some more carrot cake, my most favorite food in the whole wide world! It is so delicious, I can never get enough of it, ever. And I'm so lucky the one near my house tastes good. [I still mourn over the days where we could get $1.20 a plate carrot cakes instead of $2.50 or $3 these days!]

favorite carrot cake! loves! :)

We went for another swim, then headed home for some home cooked chicken rice! Yes, the national dish of Singapore. *yummy!* At home, we have other dishes other than chicken and rice, my grandmother also made onion omelette, fried tang hoon (glass noodles), and a stir-fried zuchini dish. *yum*

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