Entertainment at the Singapore Grand Prix 2011


If you got rid of the cars, races, and race track at the Singapore Grand Prix, you'd still have a really fun music festival going on. The entertainment line up this year was random, but impressive. The major acts were Shakira and Linkin Park. Charice, Shaggy, Boy George, and Rick Astley also performed for the F1 crowds. There were also various roving dance groups, artists, and musicians throughout the different zones. 

We stayed in Zone 1 and watched a few performances on the Village Stage. Linkin Park played after the race was over on the Padang Stage, but by that point we were tired and Jeff had a long workweek ahead of him so we went home. Ironically, they were the performance we were most excited to see. 
Rick Astley is actually a fun entertainer to watch and sounds great live. Rickrolled! 
Boy George

At last year's Grand Prix, we saw Adam Lambert and Daughtry perform on the Village Stage.

I must admit, the Singapore Grand Prix is a well-executed event with lots of things to do, see and eat and drink. It's been one of our favorite memories during our time in Singapore. Next year, Formula 1 comes back to the US to Austin, Texas. Hopefully, we'll be there too.

Off to the Races: Singapore Grand Prix 2011


And they're off! A quick video of the start of the race from our seats.

When we lived in the US, Jeff watched Formula 1 races religiously each season. The man paid extra just to get the Speed Channel added to our cable package. On the rare occasion that a local bar was broadcasting a race live, Jeff was there. Formula 1 is not that popular in the US and lots of the races happen at odd hours of the night on California time, so it was usually a party of one on the couch in the wee hours of the morning.

Needless to say, Jeff's a big F1 fan. When tickets for the Singapore Grand Prix went on sale several months ago, Jeff scooped up a pair of Zone 1 passes for us for the whole weekend. This was our third Formula 1 race. Our first was the Singapore Grand Prix last year, and our second was the Malaysia Grand Prix.

Having the chance to experience a Formula 1 race in person is a blast, even more so if you're as big of a fan as Jeff. If you thought the video was loud, imagine sitting along the track and hearing those engines in person. The cars zip by so fast you can barely catch a glimpse.

Jeff cheered on his favorite driver, Sebastian Vettel (who won!), while I cheered on Sergio Perez. To show support for my driver, I brought my Mexican flag with me. I'm pretty sure it was the only one at the Grand Prix all weekend.

We had such a fun weekend. Even if you're not into motorsports, the Singapore Grand Prix does an excellent job at keeping everyone entertained at the race. More on that later...

Oh, hey guys.


It's been busy at the Casa de Thompson since I last posted and there's lots of blogging to catch up on, but I just wanted to say hello. I'm working on a few blog posts now of what we've been up to and hope to have them up this week.

Stan wanted to say hello, too. I was taking photos of some fresh flowers I bought today and he decided he wanted to be in the background. You know that annoying person that tries to pop into the back of people's photos? That's Stan. Only he's cute so it's actually a bit charming.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!


The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional Chinese harvest festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month of the Chinese calendar (that's today, 12 September 2011). Someone compared this holiday to Halloween. Harvest festival, lanterns, sweets, the moon...there are definitely many similarities.

In Singapore, people buy mooncakes and lanterns to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The moon is a symbol of reunion, and families and friends try to get together on this holiday. Jeff and I partook in some Mid-Autumn Festival activities on Saturday night at the Marina Bay City Gallery. We went on a lantern walk and ate delicious mooncakes from the Fullerton Hotel (that's why it has an "f" on it).

Our lanterns were the more traditional kind; some people had electric "candles" in their lanterns that even flashed different colors. We were part of a procession of colorful lanterns glowing in the dark along the edge of the marina. It was a beautiful sight that brought back a lot of childhood memories to some of the Singaporean adults with us that night.

We hope you have a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Thanks to Juliana at the Urban Redevelopment Authority for inviting us to the festivities. 

Marina Bay City Gallery


Marina Bay has come a long way since land reclamation in the area began in the 1970's. Once a swampy coastline, Marina Bay is now an iconic part of Singapore's urban landscape. A lot of planning and engineering has gone into the development in the area. There's even an entire gallery dedicated to educating the public about it.

The Marina Bay City Gallery is located on the corner of Marina Bay opposite from the Marina Bay Financial Centre. The purpose of the gallery is to educate the public about the urban engineering and technical feats that have gone into making the iconic Marina Bay what it is today.

The gallery has a detailed model of Singapore's downtown area, showing current and upcoming buildings and development. Singapore's skyline is going to look really different in the next ten years. 

I also got a chance to meet Walter in person. Walter: Adventures of a Curious Colossal Bunny is a roving guerrilla art installation by local artist Dawn Ng. According to the website, Walter "is a celebration of our ordinary by helping us look at this city as children again." Walter will be at the Marina Bay City Gallery until 30 September in case you want to go meet him, too.

If you'd like to learn more about the past, present and future of Singapore's downtown area, pop in to the Marina Bay City Gallery and have a look. It's a pretty impressive place (and, it's free). Daily walking tours of Marina Bay are available everyday at 4:30 for $8. For more information, check out their website.

Roomorama Giveaway Winner Announced!

(but first, here's a gratuitous photo of Little Joe)
The winner of the Roomorama giveaway is Jill! Thank you to everyone who entered. 

Jill, email me to get your prize of US$75 Roomorama credit.



In college, I gravitated towards shot glasses and t-shirts. Not only were my travel destinations limited, but so was my taste in souvenirs. I looked forward to the few trips I planned for months in advance. Not the most exotic or far-flung of travel spots, but to a college student with a weekly schedule full of exams and swing shifts at shitty retail jobs, anything was a welcomed getaway.

Nowadays, we're slowly filling our home with much more memorable keepsakes from our travels to remind us of the different places we've been and the people we've met. Textiles have been a current favorite, such as the quilt in the photo above, made of old skirts from Hmong minority women in Vietnam.

Another reason why I like buying things like quilts and fabric is that they're easy to pack. This is especially important for us because I'm not sure how we'll be getting our stuff back to the US when we eventually return.

Do you bring home souvenirs from your travels? What kind of stuff do you buy, if anything? Do you have a favorite?

Seven Links Blog Project


My friend Kirsten recently tagged me as part of the Seven Links Blog Project. To participate, I selected one blog post for each of seven categories. The Seven Links Blog Project is a way for bloggers to showcase some blog posts that haven't seen the light of day in a while, but are worth revisiting. It really got me thinking about how much I've evolved as a blogger and how far this little blog has come in the past year.

Most Beautiful Post:

The Flying Pigeon

I guess "most beautiful post" could be interpreted in many ways, but the first thing that popped into my head was my bike, The Pidge. I think she's a thing of beauty. I have no idea how I'm going to get The Pidge back to the US, but I'm determined to bring my velo with me. I want to start a Flying Pigeon Bike Brigade in Singapore and we can all ride our lovely bicycles around together. Who's with me?

Most Popular Post:

All Aboard: Riding the Train from Tanjong Pagar to Johor Bahru

The closure of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station was a big deal in Singapore earlier this year, and this blog post got a lot of traffic because of it. The uncertainty of the station's future as well the nostalgia it stirs up are important topics to many Singaporeans. I'm just glad I got a chance to ride the train a few times out of Tanjong Pagar before it closed.

Most Controversial Post:

Singapore Blog Awards 2011

I really don't think anything I post is polemical. But when I think of controversy I think of something that could be disputed, and that reminds me of being nominated for the Singapore Blog Awards earlier this year. I didn't win and I'm not going to say I should have. Just being nominated in the first place was really rewarding for me. I will say this though: I felt like I was a token non-Asian throughout the whole event.

Most Helpful Post: (I couldn't pick just one, so here are two)

Booking a Bus Trip from Singapore to Malacca

I had a lot of questions about booking bus tickets to Malaysia, so when I went through the process myself I thought I'd document it and share. I've had a few people tell me they've bookmarked it to use for future trips. Taking the bus to Malaysia is really easy (and really cheap).

FAQ: Exporting Dogs to Singapore

I received a lot of emails from people moving to Singapore with their dogs before finally compiling all their questions into a post. I hope to write more about exporting dogs to Singapore because there are always people who end up at our blog while searching for this topic. I couldn't find anyone writing about it a year ago, so hopefully people will find me.

Post Whose Success Surprised Me:

Beer Making Class at Red Dot Brewery

Who knew so many people would be interested in beer making classes in Singapore? I didn't expect this to be one of my most read posts (second most popular). Home brewing is hard to do in Singapore, but not impossible. There are lots folks out there interested in home brewing besides us.

Post That Didn't Get the Attention It Deserved:

Men's Fashion Week 2011 Singapore Review

Attending Men's Fashion Week last year was really exciting for me because it was my first event ever as a member of the media. Despite my criticisms of the event, I had a good time attending fashion shows. I put a lot of thought into my review of the event, but I think it fell on deaf ears. Maybe this blog's readers don't really care about fashion, but I do.

Post I'm Most Proud Of:

German Girl Shrine at Pulau Ubin

This is another one of my most popular posts, probably because when you do a Google search for the German Girl Shrine, I come up as the third link. I remember riding around looking for the shrine thinking "This will make such a good blog post!" and I guess I was right, because it was even linked to on Bloesem, a pretty big design blog. On my next trip to Pulau Ubin, I'll leave the German Girl an offering as a way of saying thanks.

In order to keep the Seven Links Blog Project going strong, I have nominated the following three bloggers to participate. Please check out their blogs if you get a chance and thanks for reading!

Leone: Our Life in Singapore

Crystal: Crystal and Bryan in Singapore

Jill: battered suitcases.
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