It is normal to exchange small talks with the masseuse while you are getting massaged by her. Today at the massage parlour, the conversation was interesting:
Lim (my masseuse): Do you know Tai Chi?
Me: Well, yeah, I mean I know what it is and have seen people practicing in parks. But I don’t know anything else about it, like benefits and reasons to do it etc.
Lim: It’s very good. It increases your focus, stamina and energy. It has helped me a lot.
Me: Okay! That’s nice.
Lim: But today I am not going to my Tai Chi class.
Me: Why not?
Lim: My Tai Chi teacher is drunk and cannot take class. She sent a message.
I didn’t know how to react. Because, I was of the opinion that Tai Chi is equivalent to Yoga in China. If an Indian yoga teacher excuses herself from teaching a class because she was drunk, it would be something totally unacceptable. It’s because a yoga teacher is expected to be a teetotaller. Well, maybe I am wrong in comparing Yoga with Tai Chi. Perhaps Tai Chi has nothing to do with the principles of Indian Yoga!
This incident has intrigued me to learn more about Tai Chi.
Some conversations make you, well, speechless. Today, I went to the nearby food stall to buy lunch. This is not my first time in that stall. They cook nice oriental food. The food is reasonably priced too. A boy and a middle aged woman usually serve and pack the food from the buffet display. The boy is terrible at English. People can eat in a limited sitting space inside the stall if they wish. I wanted to make sure the boy understood that mine was a takeaway order.
The food stall always has a queue in front of its counter. Perhaps it enjoys its monopoly in the area. I was lucky to be the second in the line. The moment I queued up, the boy uttered, “Next!” I went towards his side of the counter and told him to pack me a takeaway lunch. He went towards the other side of the counter. I was waiting for him to ask me what food items I needed. However he called me from the other side and gave me a packet of red liquid (most probably black tea) in a poly pack. I didn’t understand what was going on. I asked, “What’s that?” He replied, “You say takeaway. This takeaway.” I didn’t know how to react. I said, “I need food to takeaway.” Now, he looked all confused. He forwarded the red hot liquid pack towards me. I said, “No, I don’t want that.” Then understanding the confusion, the lady came to help. She asked, “You don’t want this?” I said a firm and annoyed “No!” The boy murmured, “But you said takeaway.” I ignored him and told the lady that I want vegetarian food. She smiled and said, “Eh, vegetarian. Come on! Only Indians eat vegetarian food. Tell me what you want from the buffet.” For a moment I again didn’t know what to say. I just smiled back. I wanted to say, “Okay, first of all, that is not true! There are vegetarian people from other countries too! Second, I AM an Indian!” But I decided to keep quiet. I instead pointed at the dishes and said, “Give me this, that and this one.” She packed all to go. I thanked her. She asked me, “You are Malay (Malaysian), aren’t you?” I shrugged and smiled, letting her remain in that doubt and curiosity regarding my origin.
Posted in food, people
Tagged food, food stall, Indian, lunch, Malay, Malaysian, Singapore, takeaway, tea in a packet, vegetarian
The one thing I love about Singapore is its discipline in every aspect of life. Thanks to the many rules this city has! I heard that if you break any rule here, you will get fined. However, I was yet to see if it was true until I received this in the mail.
A fine for a falling window! I had to share this, though I realise that it is for a greater good of the people in general, but this is a new for me.
So, now you all know what I will be doing on December 12 .
An orchid overload near the Singapore River Cruise ticket counter at Clarke Quay
Today (May 13, 2014) was Vesak Day in Singapore. For us it was an unexpected holiday. Starting the day at an easy pace, we went out for lunch. We both felt like some comfort food. So we went to our preferred A-Roy Thai restaurant at the Funan Digital Mall. There we decided to go to Little India after lunch. I suggested we take the MRT from Clarke Quay instead of going to our regular City Hall MRT station. Clarke Quay was nearer from Funan. While walking towards Clarke Quay, we saw the pristine looking boats cruise by. My partner suggested we take a cruise trip and then go to Little India. I agreed and we both boarded the boat 37, as suggested by the boat operators. A boat ride for two cost us S$44. These are some of the pictures that would say more than words here.
The Central Shopping Mall above Clarke Quay MRT station
That’s the Supreme Court of Singapore
Another landmark of Singapore: The Asian Civilization Museum
The famous Merlion of Singapore.
The amazing Marina Bay Sands Bay area. It’s a whole new world of experiences.
A part of the Central Business District (CBD) of Singapore
The Esplanade – A theatre destination of Singapore complete with a sky garden, food stalls etc. Because of its design, people call it the Durian (a local fruit)
Our co-passengers in the boat – a mother-daughter duo
Posted in Singapore
Tagged Asian Civilisation Museum, boat cruise, boat ride, CBD, Central, Central Business District, Durian, food, food stalls, foodie heaven, fruit, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion, MRT, Raffles Place, shopping mall, Singapore, Singapore river, tourist spots
In the middle of the madness of house hunting and my work, we had a reason to celebrate. It was his birthday yesterday (May 4)! He wanted to take the day easy. We called off all the house hunting appointments. He relaxed at the hotel and I completed some work.
In the evening, we went to Changi Beach Park. It is a beautiful and serene place to sit and watch the ships and aeroplanes go by. A unique meeting point of the waterways and airways.
A sign near the park walkway
We ended the birthday celebration with a nice and delicious dinner at the A-Roy Thai restaurant at the Funan Digital Mall. The Anderson’s Ice Cream added that special touch to the day’s end.
I have been seeing houses since 2:00 pm today (May 6, 2014). The real estate agent (a lady) is kind enough to show me around in her Mitsubishi. On our way to the last house, our conversation went like this:
She: The house we are going to see now is near a Mosque.
Me: Near a Mosque?!
She: Yes. (She continued gracefully) It’s a Punjabi Mosque.
Me: Huh! Ahem, okay! But we call it Gurudwara.
She: Yes, that.
During our house hunting, the lady often calls house owners from the car, and tells them about our requirements. She also enquires if it’s possible for the owner to show us the house today. So far, we had no problem seeing (viewing) houses at any condo except this one place. The description of the house was too good to be true and it met all requirements completely. But the owner doesn’t want to let it out to Indians. She argued over phone with the man saying that these are nice educated people, not like others who litter the place and so on. I asked her, what the problem was. She said, “They don’t want to rent it out to Indians.” I asked why so. She said, “They are scared of the Indian curry. The landlord said that the previous Indian tenant cooked so much that the smell of the curry got stuck to the air conditioner and walls. The smell took really long to go from the house.” I did not know how to react to that. I wondered what the previous tenants cooked and where they were from!