Afloat in South Asia

Afloat in South Asia
Reclining Buddha; Rangoon

Friday, February 11, 2011

Last full day in Singapore – Wed. Jan.19th

We spent the morning at the Peranakan Museum, the museum of the Straits Chinese and Indians. Emblematic of the progress in Singapore in the past ten years, this museum used to be housed in a little Peranakan bungalow; now it is in a lovely 1907 building that used to be a Hokkien School. The whole thing is on a much grander scale, though it does still focus mainly on the origins and traditions of the Straits Chinese. The Peranakans are descended from Chinese or Indian traders who intermarried with local women. Though many of their traditions hark back to their Chinese or Indian origins, they are set apart by their language, Baba Malay or Chitty Malay.

At lunch we went off to the hawker bazaar with our Hong Kong friend, Rob Christie. This particular market is housed in a wonderful old iron building that was actually moved a block or so to accommodate Singapore’s newest subway line. This seems typical of Singapore, which has been fortunate enough to modernize a decade or so later than Hong Kong. Unlike the ethos during the great building boom in HK, the Singaporean aesthetic seems to lean a bit more towards preserving interesting buildings. Here's a picture of the beautiful hawker bazaar...

Bryan was in total heaven in this temple of Asian food. He was spoiled for choice. Here is one that he passed up, though…

I scored big by finding the best dim sum – a yummy lunch was had by all. Here are Rob Christie and Bryan as we left lunch.

In the evening we met our travel group over dinner at the hotel. We had the advantage in that we were not jetlagged, so we were able to slip away afterwards for drinks with Rob and Animal (Dave Slater), who was in from Hong Kong on business. It has been SO fun to see so many of our dear Hong Kong buddies here!

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