Sunday, September 7, 2008

Uptil Sept. 7

Today being Sept. 7. Hike through Wetland Nature Reserve.

This morning it was actually sunny and pleasant so I got up and decided to check out Sungei Buloh Wetland Nature Reserve. Yesterday it poured like no other...but will get into that later.

It was one metro stop and a short cab ride away. I never realized just how close to Malyasia I was...however, from the next MRT, it is less then an hour to cross into Johor definitely will have to do that. From the Wetland Reserve you can see over the Johor Straight. I walked through Route 1 and the Mangrove Walk. It was really nice...saw lots of birds, plants, fish, Mangroves, and the highlight....giant lizards! One of them totally startled me. Not just little lizards that us city folks would get a kick out of...from head to tail this one must have been 2.5 feet. Other observations, The place is located just as far outside the city as you can possible get. Aside from all the natural places out in the 'countryside' this area is also where most of the day laborers from surrounding less developed countries come to work. The way there I took a cab so I did not get quite so up close and personal with the labor class, but on the way back from the reserve there was no cab to the MRT so I took a local bus and with every stop we picked up more and more Bangladeshi's etc, who were working at all the industrial facilitites also in this area. Probably a part of Singapore no one ever thinks about. Also made me feel slightly uncomfortable...I was the only lone female on the bus with the exception of one other woman there with her significant other. The cab driver had also told me to be 'careful' in this area...and I didn't think I would have anything to worry about since I was cabbbing it to a popular tourist destination, but, I understood what he meant on the public bus back.

Other high light of the day was eating a local veggie supreme pizza *the chefs specialty from a local chain: The ingredient-tomato, cheese, pineapple, mushroom, bell peppers, ovlive, corn, and the special ingredient, a drizzle of thousand island dressing. Interesting...

Yesterday I had to spend the morning waiting for the maid becuase my other roomates were not home or in bed...and can not keep the place clean. After the maid left, I had my first typical breakfast set (although by now it was afternoon) which consists of 2 Soft Boiled Eggs, Two slices of toast with butter and Kaya, and Coffee. You are supposed to crack the eggs, add sweet soy sauce, mix it all up (so you get a kind of egg soup) and then dip in your Kaya Toast. Soft boiled eggs at the consistency they are here are not my cup of tea...kaya toast however is quite good.

The evening continued with meeting a friend who I met last summer while in Palembang Indonesia and then a trip to the East Coast Park which is actually a man made beach where you can ride bikes, rent skates, etc. We rented roller blades and then had dinner at a place called the Beach Hut which had a very tropical feel. Our meal was complete with fresh coconut juice still in the coconut...and monsoon rain. In the middle of the meal, we had to shift inwards (as it was an open air restaurants with an awning) becuase it started to rain. And not just a light tropical drizzle, but serious pouring. Luckily places like this are well equiped and in a matter of minutes, the awning magically extended and extra rain mats were hung so that we did not get completely drenched. Still, we sat around waiting for the rain to subside for some time. Although we didn't mind becuase the restaurant had great live music, we had good company, and we had warm Milo to keep us going. =)

Friday I went to UNIFEM to talk about a potential project and then visit the Asian Civilizations Museum at Boat Quay followed by the Bugis Street market. I am really excited about my potential project and am looking forward to things becoming official.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent at school, the usual routine...however on Wednesday it also felt like it monsooned so much so that I had to wait an extra 1.5 hours for a bus home. And parts of the campus were flooded. Thursday after school I went to Arab street to celebrate breaking the fast with my friends who are observing Ramadan and see the place lit up for the event. It was a very nice evening. And I had my first Asian Peanuts...the kind that are dry roasted and salted even though the outside looks oily. So good....

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