Wednesday, May 31, 2006

100th post!

Wow, this is my 100th post. I'm really enjoying writing this, especially with an event like going to Singapore.

Speaking of Singapore, I stayed up all night (well, I think I fell asleep from 2:15am to 3am) trying to get acclimated to US time, and I felt fairly chewed getting ready for the flight. The flights were all uneventful, which is good, and I worked on having less wine on my return than on my arrival. I watched part of The Constant Gardener, which looked really good. I like just about everything Ralph Fiennes is in, and I definitely want to finish it.

I plan on keeping this blog going to record as much as I can, so thanks for coming this far with me. I can't promise you'll get anything out of it besides pure, blogtastic entertainment, but I'm hoping for a ride.

More from The Dubliner

Our second Irish pub, The Dubliner, had more Guinness memorabilia, but the music selection was pretty lame. Disco tunes in an Irish pub? I think we may have heard Ace of Bass. Music: awful. Guinness: delicious. Fish and chips: pretty good.

This one's for you, Chris!

We found another Irish pub, The Dubliner, and guess what was behind the bar? It looked too big (and bolted to the wall) for a drink and dash.

Yet another nice car outside the hotel

This time, a Maserati.

We also saw an Aston Martin Vanquish on the road, but I couldn't get my camera ready in time. In an unusual display for Singapore (because traffic is monitored very heavily), it was racing a Porsche 911 Turbo down the street and from a red light.

Vacuum cleaners

This is the vacuum cleaner that they use at work. I like the design! I give it a 6 from 0 to 9.

This is the vacuum cleaner from the hotel. Kind of boring, more utilitarian than the one from work. I give it a 4 from 0 to 9.

The smallest grocery known to man

Down the street from the hotel, attached to the gigantic mall, is the smallest grocery store I have ever seen. I would go here to pick up top-up cards for my phone, and maybe a Pepsi, when I wanted to mix things up from the 7-11. I had a hard time walking straight down the aisles - I had to turn to the side.

The store was basically a U shape with stuff just crammed into every nook and cranny. As you can tell from the pictures, it was too crowded for landscape mode - I had to go portrait!

This is how we...Rolls

One more awesome car outside the hotel - Rolls Royce but I'm not sure which kind. It has a pneumatic hood ornament - a panel moves to the side and the hood ornament extends - very nice in case you park it around rappers.

One more gift from the hotel

After my second week at the hotel I got another little goodie - a bag of chocolate chocolate-chip cookies from the restaurant. These were very good cookies - surprisingly moist and rich, crunchy on the outside, delicately chewy on the inside, but my wife can still teach them a thing or two about making cookies.

Brewerkz microbrewery

We checked out a microbrewery on the river - Brewerkz, which has a really good selection of good beer. This is the sign at the taxistand, and if wine is more your thing, its sister bar/restaurant is Winegarage, but I didn't go there.

Brewerkz is on the river, which made a great place to sit outside when the weather was nice. Today it was warm but not very humid, which was unusual.

This was outside the bar. Grammaticians, you've got your work cut out for you!

I opted for the hamburger, which turned out to be a "Cowboy Burger," which means "add bacon."

Inside the bar the brewing equipment was visible, which was interesting. They had about seven "regular" beers, but nothing darker than a dark amber.Their Brewmaster's Reserves had about six or seven, with a Bock that was very nice - closer to Shiner than Guinness though.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

What's a nice Irish pub like you doing in a place like this?

We accidentally find a place that has Guinness on tap - Muddy Murphy's Irish Pub. A pretty cool place, and good atmosphere if you want to drink.

Back in civilization

We get back to town, clean up and head out. I stop by Michael's room and immediately get jealous. While he doesn't have an office/living area in his room, he has an LCD TV and DVD player. Say what? He doesn't leave me along long enough to move it to my room though, so we head out.

We end up at yet another awesome hotel, the Shangri La, with an amazing restaurant, The Line.

It's an amazing outlay of food, buffet style, and we can't help but gorge ourselves. I start with Indian, of course, and then move on to Asian. I stay there for course three and pick up some sushi - you know, in the name of science...for my blog. I'm so full I can't even take pictures of dessert, which is tiramisu, cheesecake (mine is better!), other dainty things.

Putting the pedal to the metal

We rented some bikes for a few bucks and just took off. There are some nicely paved roads around the island, and some muddy paths where you don't want to stop in case an infected mosquito bites you.

Here I am by a huge clump of bamboo trees.

We found a place that was selling cold drinks, and just happened to have a pet warthog. Just another day in Pulau Ubin! We're not really sure why the warthog is there - either dinner or a tourist attraction.

We saw a lot of primitive structures and housing. This really seems like the land time forgot, or at least the rest of Southern Asia.


We arrive, and it's pretty much like any other tropical island you've visited. Probably less than 100 people living on the island, but it still manages to have have some nice Land Rovers as police vehicles.

Here I am in front of some kind of temple, probably causing all kinds of disrespect.

What's a tropical island without something to eat? Maybe...seafood? We settled on a place that looked fairly nice, with open air seating right on the water.

We had the ubiquitous Tiger beers and ordered Emperor noodles and some local dish that was a vegetable of some sort - both dishes were very good. The Emperor noodles were like stirfried vermicelli with prawns, and the vegetable dish was some sort of stirfried, uh, vegetables.

After lunch, on the way to rent some bicycles we stopped by some sort happening. We don't think the guy providing the music could hear any of the monitors, as we were treated to looping feedback through lunch. I found an open seat next to a native and enjoyed a bit of the action. Don't ask me what it was about - I don't think I can make up something that would be its equal.

Pulau Ubin

Today we went to an island called Pulau Ubin. We took a fairly long taxi ride to Changgi Village, paid Sing$2 and got on a "bum boat" and rode to Pulau Ubin.

Here is the little harbor where we got on the boat.

Here are the boats lined up. Somehow a guy knows which one we need to board to get to the island. Word to the wise - sit toward the back if you don't want a few lungfuls of exhaust.

We saw another bum boat acting as a tug pulling a huge boat of indeterminate origin and contents.

Here is a view of the island on our approach. It looks like a veritable tropical paradise...but will it contain the elusive durian?

Posting resumes!

Party people in the house! Here come the rest of my Singapore entries.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Back in ATX

I'm back in town, but it might be a day or so before I get the rest of my pics up. I'm pretty backlogged, though.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Getting ready for the day

MES and I planning some outdoor activities, but it's raining. Big surprise over here, where it seems to rain every day. We stepped to the bar and restaurant upstairs to spend some time. The restaurant looked great, and the bar was pretty cool too. After an amaretto sour and a few gin and tonics the rain stopped, and we had the edges knocked off enough to go get a cab.