Thank You: 200 Posts Later

11/22/11

This is my 200th post! (In case you're curious, this was the very first one, way back in May 2010).

I started this blog 200 posts ago so that Jeff and I could keep our family and friends in the loop about our lives abroad. Moving to a new country with not much more than our dogs and a few suitcases was a big deal and our people back in the US wanted to know what we were up to. We also wanted to document our travels and the things we experienced in this part of the world for our own posterity. 

At first, it was just our parents and a few friends who read this blog. I had no idea anyone else would start paying attention. Now we have a small, but steady readership (thanks you guys!). Thanks to this blog, we've made some great friendships and connections while living abroad. Neither of us expected it to become a helpful tool in the relocation process, for us or for other people looking to move to Singapore. 

So I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who follows this blog. Thanks to the people who leave comments and to those who just lurk around. Thanks to the people who recommend our blog to others and link back to it. Thanks to the friends and acquaintances we've made, both on the interwebs and IRL. 

Blogging is fun for me, and I enjoy the challenges that come with trying to keep things interesting around here. I like looking at my older posts and seeing how my writing and photos have evolved. I hope to keep learning and improving and, who knows, maybe I can keep this up for another 200. 


The Moluccas Room

11/20/11





Recently, Jeff and I were invited to have lunch at the Moluccas Room at Marina Bay Sands, where we enjoyed a delicious sampling of Indonesian cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant gets its name from Moluccas, the former name of the Indonesian province now known as Muluku.

The Moluccas Room's Executive Chef Alicia Tivey was born in Indonesia and comes from a French culinary training background. She uses contemporary techniques and ingredients not commonly found in Indonesian cuisine to redefine traditional Indonesian dishes. My favorite entree was the Angus Beef Rendang; Jeff's favorite was the Confit Sakura Ayam Tuturaga, a citrusy chicken curry. I also recommend the Sri Kaya Creme Brûlée for dessert.

The restaurant is at Marina Bay Sands facing the Marina, so if you come to the Moluccas Room, try to get a table with a view. I learned they have high tea everyday and hope to come back to check that out.

For more information, visit themoluccasroom.com.

Thanks to LeRoy at FoodNews for the food tasting invite. All opinions in this post are my own. 

Mint Museum of Toys

11/16/11




They sure don't make toys like they used to. I feel old just saying that, but you'd probably admit this too after spending some time at the Mint Museum of Toys in Singapore. This place has been on my Singapore bucket list for quite a while, and after walking past it several times I finally got to check it out.* 

The five story former shophouse on Seah Street (behind the Raffles Hotel) is home to an impressive collection of toys from all over the world, some of which are over 100 years old. Toys are organized by country, time period, character or genre. From Japanese robots to American comic books, German teddy bears to Chairman Mao toys, there's a little bit of everything. 

The museum is simple, with glass cases lining the walls and a few helpful signs here and there. But it's the toys that steal the show. They're in great condition and many are displayed with their original packaging. 

If you want to take some nostalgia home with you, there's a fun little gift shop with old school toys and trinkets (perfect for stocking stuffers!) on the ground floor. The museum also has a rooftop bar and a cafe.

*I visited with fellow blogger Tanya. Check out her great write-up about Mint Museum of Toys here

Of Ice and Men

11/11/11

We were in Hong Kong again recently to celebrate our fourth anniversary. Besides my need for an egg tart, the weekend plans were pretty spontaneous. Except, of course, for a visit to an ice skating rink. 

Ever since we discovered the lone ice skating rink in Singapore, I've wondered why someone would build it on the third floor of a mall in Singapore. But then we went to an ice skating rink on the tenth floor of a mall in Hong Kong and I was in awe. 

Unlike the rink at Kallang Leisure Park in Singapore, the rink at Mega Box (the name of the mall in HK) is impressive. The ice was in great shape, people actually knew what they were doing out there, and it was much larger than the rink in Singapore. They even have an ice hockey league at this rink. Jeff was sad he forgot to pack his ice skates.

While we were at the rink, Jeff bought himself a new hockey stick at their pro shop (a rink with a pro shop...we had to come all the way to HK for this). He's getting ready to represent Singapore again at the World Pond Hockey Tournament. 

The rink in HK had an entire wall decorated with NHL hockey pucks. I counted four San Jose Sharks pucks. It may not seem like much, but seeing something so familiar like our home team's hockey puck on display in an ice rink in Hong Kong brought smiles to our faces.

The rink was quite a trek from our hotel, but we set aside an entire morning to go there to check it out. Jeff proudly carried his newly acquired hockey stick around Hong Kong as we made our way back to the hotel. To say he was excited about it would be an understatement. Forget that it was our anniversary; it was more like Christmas. 

And then as we were arriving at the airport to come back to Singapore, Jeff realized he forgot his beloved hockey stick in the hotel. 

I don't know what it is about hockey sticks, but this is not the first time Jeff has forgotten one. Once, he showed up at a tournament and didn't realize he left his sticks at home until he got to the rink. The tournament was in Las Vegas. 

We almost missed our flight home because we had to wait for the hotel to drive his hockey stick to the airport, but we all made it. And now we have a story to tell about our anniversary in Hong Kong. 

The Berlin Wall in Singapore

11/9/11

The other day, Jeff and I went on a blike (me on the bike, Jeff on rollerblades...yeah we made that up) to Bedok Reservoir Park. The park is pretty close to our apartment, but we had never really ventured in that direction before. On this particular weekend, Bedok Reservoir Park was very peaceful and desolate. I had an ulterior motive to wanting to check out the park: I had read a long time ago that pieces of the Berlin Wall were on display here.

The portion of the Berlin Wall on permanent display at Bedok Reservoir Park is called "Kings of Freedom," painted by graffiti artist Dennis Kaun. The Berlin Wall was brought to Singapore by Robert A. Hefner III, a wealthy American art collector. He tried finding a place to display it in the US, but finally settled on displaying it in Singapore because his wife suggested it (she's Singaporean). You can read more about the Berlin Wall in Singapore here.

I think it's really great that an important piece of history is in Singapore, but Bedok Reservoir Park is kind of an odd location for something like this. It seems out of the way and I don't know if it's getting the type of foot traffic it deserves. A cafe is opening next to the display which might change that though (it's scheduled to open this month).

If you want to check out the Berlin Wall in Singapore for yourself, head to Bedok Reservoir Park near the intersection of Bedok Reservoir Road and Bedok North 3. The enclosure looks like this:

And if you can't make it to Singapore, maybe there's a piece of the Berlin Wall closer to you. Check out this list of Berlin Wall segments all over the world. 
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