Singapore during the Christmas season is ablaze with lights, decorated trees in front of all the department stores along Orchard Road, the famous Raffles Hotel (think Singapore sling) is quietly elegant and there is not the frenzy of sales and shopping that you are all too familiar with. In the ethnic quarters, where the Malay, Indians, Chinese and Arabs live, the only sign of festivities is in the restaurants and shops frequented by foreigners.
Singapore is everything you have heard about and more. This place is bustling, with new skyscrapers going up on every corner and construction crews working in shifts around the clock – most of the workers appear to be from India or Bengal – I guess no different from the workers in Dubai – but I hope they are treated a little better.
We stayed in the Arab Quarter with the beautiful mosque anchoring the jumble of streets and small shops. Of course the 4AM call to prayer stirred our sleep but at least it wasn’t blasted through loud speakers. All manner of Persian, Turkish, Lebanese and Mediterranean food was on our doorstep but our best meal had to be the rice chicken which I think was prepared like Peking duck – a very popular local hangout and way off the tourist track. Love these little gems.
So many interesting people in the backstreets of Sing from the artists, boutique owners and the 3 men at the ‘honey’ store. One spoonful of honey from Yemen (apparently the ‘best’ in the world) when you first wake up – and before that first cup of coffee – will cure all your ills and keep you living well beyond 90! We were dipping our little fingers into all sorts of honey jars while listening to parts of the Koran that foretold the magic of this elixir! We wanted to record and film but all three giggled and said no. Maybe next time!
A few photos from our walks around Sing………..
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