Saturday, September 6, 2014

Exploring Singapore: Visiting Sentosa

Hey everyone! So I meant to write about health food stores in Singapore today, but I got semi-lost trying to get to any, soooo.... now I'm going to write about what happens when you get lost in Singapore! I did end up finding one store, Supernature, but I'll talk about that in greater detail once I've been to more shops. :P

I didn't really get lost, I suppose, but I accidentally put the wrong address in my phone navigation system and ended up about 6km away from where I needed to be. I wandered around for a bit and thought I was going the right direction but I wasn't, so I turned around and EVENTUALLY found the store. By then I was too tired to find more than one shop so I grabbed lunch and headed home. The whole time, however, I was taking pictures of all the things that were interesting.. here's a small selection.

First... THIS BUILDING. I don't know what it houses but it reminds me of the downtown branch of the Seattle library, only round. Really pretty either way.

Another building resembling the Seattle library... But instead of panels this one looked like it was sort of made out of wires, like a metal cage.

This next photo looks super edited but it's not! I adjusted the saturation a bit, but the fact that the building looks like part of the sky is due to the angle of myself and the camera. SO COOL.

Bikes and big green leaves seem to be pretty typical of Singapore.

Jaywalking = very illlegal. So we use pedestrian bridges like this one! 

I saw this in Forum the Shopping Mall, where I finally ended up- no clue what half these foods are but they look fun!

 For lunch I ate at Freshly Baked, a small sandwich shop I happened across. From the outside, it reminded me a little of my favorite French cafe back home, La Parisienne.

On the inside, it was more like a little deli and sandwich shop.

And then, there was the best damn sandwich I have ever had in my entire life. 

 Sure, it doesn't look like much: but it was stuffed with fresh lettuce, avocado and tomatoes and I think some cucumber, and the bread was lightly toasted so it was crunchy but still soft, and the whole thing held together fantastically. I literally don't think I've had a better sandwich, anywhere. True, it wasn't gluten free, but it was fabulous and magnificent and I'm going to be raving about it for days.

So that was the most of my morning adventures (at least, the bits I photographed...). This afternoon was more fun because I got together with a group of friends and we headed off to Sentosa, having vaguely decided to "go to the beach". After gathering our swimsuits and sunglasses, figuring out the bus schedule and getting out to the island, we were greeted by this:

Actually two of them. So that was an interesting greeting... Then we had to find the actual beach part of the area. We'd chosen Siloso beach, as you can kind of see below.

Amidst all the food stands and random entertainers, music and deck chairs and people walking around with cold beers, there was, indeed, a beach, with real sand and real water.

I'll admit, it wasn't the clear tropical paradise I was expecting. The water was just as murky as Lake Washington back home, and it really was just.... a beach. That said, it was fun to have so much going on around us, like a constant mini-party. We could hear music all along the water from restaurants and places where you could rent a deck chair for around 20 bucks. Being broke college students, we chose to drop our things on the beach instead, and do a bit of swimming (though the water was SO INSANELY SALTY we had to keep it faaaar away from our lips; it was nasty).

Okay, I keep saying "we"... From left to right this is Madjuleen (Syria), Samta (India), Noli (Albania), me (USA), Aashna (Dubai), Jandra (Germany) and Ganjina (Tajikistan). I'm not totally sure if I spelled all those right... Sorry if I'm wrong guys! :P It's a cute pic, at any rate, and as Samta said, we've got 7 girls from 7 countries in it.

Eventually we got hungry and went in search of dinner, and I got a few more photos of the area.

We ended up at VivoCity for dinner, and Noli and I tried some watermelon juice from a fresh juice stand on the way. Why don't our US malls have stuff like this? So common here!

Another common thing here is restaurants devoted to toast. I don't have pictures of the most interesting ones, which sell peanut butter toast, chicken toast, toast in blocks, "big" toast, and god knows what else. But I did get a pic of the place I ate at tonight!

I ordered the French Toast Set, thinking it would be some sort of French Toast with fried eggs and coffee (on the menu, kopi/teh means coffee/tea). I got the biggest piece of bread I've ever seen that seemed to have been turned into eggs rather than French toast, 2 soft-boiled eggs that oozed out of their shells (...I thought they were supposed to be cooked...?) and a cup of suuuuper milky coffee that I didn't want to drink and ended up spilling all over anyway.

Luckily my friends let me mooch off all their meals, from a place called Mini Wok that served fantastic varieties of Asian rice and noodles. Lesson learned, Kenaia. Stop trying to buy Western food in Asia.

Finally, after getting lost in the mall a bit (and, um, very distracted by a ton of chocolate samples), we got outside and headed home. But not before finding this beautiful sculpture!

There's so much beauty and artwork and amazing architecture around every corner in this city. I want to spend every day walking around and just gazing at things. But school starts on Monday, and our first round of exams are only a month away. So for now, I'll limit my explorations to weekends and grocery shopping. But hey- grocery shopping in Singapore?? Pretty sure I can make something exciting out of that! :P

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