Monday, May 26, 2008

Sea Monster of the week

The lesser wonders of Bako's national park include the mysterious walking, jumping, tree-climbing fish called the mud-skipper. These minnow-sized creatures awed me as they walked along the rocks and jumped over the water, which led me to yell "Evolution, evolution!".

Friday, May 23, 2008

Laura in Borneo

We spent last weekend in Borneo, land of the awesome proboscis monkey, shown above. Why is this exciting, you might ask? Well, until you've been in the jungle with an 80lb fat-bellied big-nosed monkeys swinging over your head, it's hard to describe. But please check out those noses and bellies.

Sarawak, Borneo, is also home to Muslims, Chinese, and tribal people who live in longhouses, all represented below. More pictures here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pink, Grapy and Delicious

The fruit of the week is mangosteen. Though it's in season at the same time, and sold with the Durian, this fruit is different in that it is delicious! Now tied with passion fruit as my favourite, the mangosteen tastes like an enhanced grape, bursting with flavour and peachy undertones. (Ya, ok, so I haven't gotten out much lately, but don't worry, I'm escaping interview island to Borneo this weekend).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

East Coast Park

As a distraction from my daily job applications, interviews and rejections, we spent an afternoon at East Coast Park. You would think that living on a tropical island would mean more beach time, but this was my first time to this 15km beach facing the harbour's parking lot of waiting ships. The park is a good place for walking, sports, and eating chili crab. The picture below shows the view of downtown, taken from the pier.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Durian Season

The national fruit of Singapore is here, and sold all over town! If you walk into your local Singaporean grocery store and are accosted with an alarmingly unpleasant odour, this is the durian. For this reason, they are forbidden on public transportation - you have to walk your durians home or eat them on the spot!
So, what does it taste like? You know the smell of sulfur that indicates a gas leak? Well, combine that with rotten onions, and that was my experience. Sadly, the durian is either loved or hated, and unlike with my other Singaporean culinary experiences, I haven't yet acquired the taste.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Chinese Paradox

China is the land of opportunity, where 1.3B people are rapidly becoming richer. And yet, China is one of the hardest places in the world to do business, due to language, culture and government.
China is developing quickly, prosperity is evident amidst poverty (see two pictures of Shanghai, above). And yet, the model of this Suzhou business park does not include the pollution evident from the rooftop.
China has amazing food, often presented in banquet form. Yet here is a picture of me eating snake.
I learned these things and more during my course in Beijing and Shanghai. And yet, I had no time to enjoy the experience more thoroughly by exploring the sites.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sydney in Fast Forward

Here is my best shot of Sydney from the Olympic Park hotel where I spent a day and a half. Here is a list of things that Australia has that make me miss Canada: suburbs, good wine, chilled out attitudes, wide open spaces, large people and bad hair dye jobs.