Sunday, March 6, 2011

Procrastination at it's finest

I'm losing right now in my struggle to study so I thought I'd do something that feels productive, blog about my weekend!  Like I've said before, there is so much more to Singapore than one would think and I made the most of my weekend here.  I felt like I was running around everywhere.  Wandering around Singapore, I feel very comfortable like this is my home, yet I still feel like a tourist walking around with my camera around my neck, always asking for directions, and I'm still constantly learning new things everyday.

On Friday night I went with a couple friends to an all you can eat sushi bar at Ikoi Japanese Restaurant.  I always love me some sushi.  I wish I could eat it everyday.  The fish tasted so fresh!  We made the most of our buffet by pretty much ordering everything on the menu.  The sashimi was amazing.  I tried some great new things like swordfish (new favorite), octopus (super chewy), and green tea ice cream with red beans (another asian dessert with beans).  Also, some not so great new things like "pregnant fish".  I wish I would have take a picture of it!  But I found these ones on the internet...

yummm.....? :/

You just take a bite right out of it and you can eat the whole thing.  It took me awhile to build up enough courage to stick this in my mouth and bite into it.  I chose to take a bite out of the head rather than the tail, not really sure why.  I guess the tail freaked me out more than the fried empty eyeball sockets of the fish.  Inside the fish is just a bunch of fish eggs.  It's not for me.  A little too fishy tasting for my liking and I'm just not Asian enough yet to be biting fishes heads off all the time.  I'm glad I tried it though.

On Saturday morning, Emma, Kira, and I strapped on our hiking boots, backpacks, and cameras as well as applied copious amounts of sun screen and bug spray to go hiking at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.    It was really peaceful and a definite change from all the hustle and bustle of the city.  Since Singapore is so small and densely populated, most of the land is occupied by housing, shopping malls, and businesses.  There are supposed to be monkeys at the reserve, but unfortunately we didn't run into any.  We took the intermediate trail up and next time we think we're ready to take on the "challenging" route.  It really wasn't too bad.  The hike in total took us about 1.5 hrs.  We reached the summit of a height of 163.63m (tallest point in Singapore!), but sadly the view was nonexistent.  The area was surrounded by trees and we couldn't see anything.

At the summit.  We were very proud of ourselves to have reached the top :)
After hiking, Vanessa (my roommate) and I went into the city to shop the Bugis Markets.  Everything there is so cheap!  You really do get what you pay for, but some of the clothing is pretty cute.  They sell everything from fruit, to clothing and accessories, to postcards.  We weren't there for very long because I was pretty much pulling my hair out restraining myself from buying everything!  I'm not sure if I really liked the clothing or if I was just blinded by the price tags.  I'd like to go back there on a weekday and actually have a chance to look around.  The place was so crowded it was hard to walk around, which is pretty standard for anywhere in Singapore on the weekends.  One interesting thing about a lot of shops in Singapore is that most everything is one size and in many places you can't try anything on.  You also can't return things at the market so I guess if you buy it and it doesn't fit, at least it was cheap.

We had dinner plans to go to one of the few salad bars in Singapore.  It's so hard to find a simple salad here.  All the vegetables seem to either be fried or soggy from sitting in tons of oil (at least on campus), unless you go to Subway... eat fresh.  I was so set on getting a salad and looking forward to it so much!  When we arrived, the place was closed.  On a Saturday night?  At rush dinner time in a busy mall?  What are the odds?  I thought it was the strangest thing and I couldn't have been more disappointed or hungry.  Fortunately, Vanessa had wanted to try a pizza place in the same mall called Skinny Pizza.  It ended up being some of the best pizza I've ever had and the people were so nice.  The crust was so thin it I don't even know if you could call it crust.  It was more like a cracker.

Butternut pumpkin pizza.

Following dinner, we took a casual stroll in the always perfect weather along the river while admiring the pretty skyline of the business district and view of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.  I would REALLY love to stay in this hotel.  They have a swimming pool on the roof with a gorgeous view of pretty much all of Singapore.  Rumor is that you can also see Malaysia!  Awesome!  It happens to be around $360/night for two people for the cheapest room, at least it includes a complimentary breakfast.  My friends and I are thinking about getting a room and packing 5 of us into one.  We've heard it's well worth it for the view from the top alone.  The hotel also has a casino, but you have to be 21 to enter.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
The more I explore Singapore, the more I love it.  I think it's a perfect place for exchange.  Today I went back to Little India to get the pictures I promised and see the area around Arab Street.  More on that later because I said I would keep these posts shorter!

Also because...

我很忙。(I'm busy.)
我要学习汉语。(I want to study Chinese.)


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