Saturday, November 29, 2008

Historical Shophouses

Far prettier and more interesting than the tall skyscrapers are Singapore's under-appreciated shophouses. Historically, Singaporeans would conduct business in the open ground floor, and live in the second floor. Later shophouses were more ornate, adopting ornamental and art deco styles. Theses colourful buildings in my neighbourhood have survived Japanese bombing, urban development, monsoons, mold and the blazing sun. Here are more pictures.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Above and Underground Tourism

Exploring altitudes in tourism, Barry and I recently visited Singapore's Battlebox. This underground WWII bunker recounts, in a sometimes cheesy fashion, the fall of Singapore to Japanese occupation. The wax figurines of surrendering British forces, however, did not recount the terrible hardships endured by the Singaporean people during occupation, so we still need to visit the other war memorials. One of these is at Sentosa, Singapore's tourist island reached by cable car. The view from said cable car shows hotel construction at Sentosa in front of the port, in front of downtown.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tiger Brewery Tour

To appease our incessant intellectual curiosity, we toured Singapore's Asia Pacific Brewery. Sadly, since our guide's microphone only amplified vowels, we only learned the following:
1) Tiger Breweries, owned by Heineken, produces Tiger, Heineken, Anchor and Barron's and ABC Stout, and Kilkenny and Guiness via licensing.
2) ABC Extra Stout, the leading stout in Cambodia, is not to our liking.
3) Beer is made through a series of tubes and vats, which do important things, some of which involve caustic soda. Or, some vats are labeled "caustic soda" so that brewery visitors don't try to imbibe from them.
4) Beer bottles which are underweight are pushed off the conveyor belt, kicked around told to beef up.
5) During WWII, not only was Singapore occupied by Japan, but also only watered down small beer bottles were available.
6) You can sort of almost tell the difference between draft Heineken and Tiger with your eyes closed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Several Updates

Here is what has been happening lately. The Deepavali decorations have been taken down, beaten to death as shown, and replaced with Christmas decorations. Barry demonstrated how to chase away geckos: you locate the lizard with the head lamp, then use one badminton racket as a shield while coaxing the gecko out the window with the other. Please make sure you're properly equipped should you be in an unwanted gecko situation. Finally, much joy was experienced due to these products at the Japanese Grocery store.
Mmmm, curry just like in Vermont.