Monday, March 05, 2007

I miss my crab meat popiah from Penang!

Singaporeans put eggs in their popiah. No sauce. Weird.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

New York, New York!

I was planning to post these photos from our trip in New York a while back, but we were really caught up with all the packing and moving back to Malaysia. Speaking of which, I'm hoping and praying that my DVDs arrive home safely -- I'm going to be a total bitch if the Malaysian customs decide to confiscate my Hedwig and Brokeback. It's not like I sent Shortbus back.

Anyway, quick recap of our NYC trip -- we basically did the touristy bit because we were pretty broke and it was our first time in NYC. The good news is, I know where I'm going for my grad school.

* We ate. A lot. See photos below for proof. Bagels in Central Park (NY really does make better bagels. Apparently they boil them before they bake them). Pizzas and kebabs in Times Square and cupcakes in Greenwich Village and Soho (I'm still waiting for my cupcake tree for my birthday. I adore NY's love affair with cupcakes). Dunkin' Donuts sucks. Krispy Kreme rules.
* Note to Peet's -- you need to expand to the East Coast! And Asia. Couldn't find a decent cup of coffee in the city. And, here's the shocker, in New York, when you order your coffee, you actually have to tell them how you want it. They put in the milk and sugar for you. Eeks! How in the world am I supposed to tell someone to put in enough milk until my coffee is a specific shade of khaki? My teaspoon could be much smaller than someone else's teaspoon. Wait for it, that's not even the end of our coffee dilemma. When you buy coffee, the cover is completely sealed and if you detach the seal to drink while you're walking, the seal cuts you. Ouch.
* Central Park was beautiful. What's even better? An apartment in The Plaza overlooking Central Park. Mmmmm...
* Apple Store on 5th Avenue did not disappoint. Zhuang got his green iShuffle. I had to wait till I sold my old iPod before I got my orange iShuffle. Weee...currently listening to Christopher Moore's "I Suck" on my new toy.
* Finally caught Les Miserables. Really wanted to see Wicked, but the $120 ticket was a little out of our budget. Staging was Les Miz was impressive and the actors were really good, even the 7-year-old girl who played Cosette.
* Had the famous frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. Apparently, this kitschy cafe was where John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale's characters met in the by the same name. Love the menu, food was really good and the frozen hot chocolate was amazing. Prices were very reasonable.
* People in Long Island speak really, really loud. What's louder than Long Islanders? Drunk Long Islanders, as I've learnt on my flight back which had a transit in Las Vegas.

Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Frozen Hot Choc at Serendipity
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Pizza in Times Square
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Zhuang molesting the Bull at Wall Street
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Last day in NYC
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Les Miserables
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Imagine, Strawberry Fields
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Hot Dogs in Central Park
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Dunkin' Donuts - that's the before shot
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Cupcakes in Soho
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Bethesda Fountain - for the Angels in America fans
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.

Munching bagels in Central Park
Originally uploaded by audreytmv.


In the land of the Singa-Pura

I find it very weird when friends ask me, "Why are you doing in Singapore?" when they see my MSN message -- well, let's see, I just came back from San Francisco about 2 weeks ago, I'm hot and bothered in Penang and I need a job -- why would I NOT be in Singapore?

I haven't really decided if I like this city yet...oops, I mean, country. Heh. But it still has my attention, I'm not bored yet and I'm still discovering some cool things about the city, so we'll see. I love the MRT -- then again, all forms of efficient transportation are friends. For some reason though, as simple as the MRT/LRT looks, I still can't figure out which is where is Singapore, my bearings are still not in place yet. Which is very strange, because it took me less than 15 minutes to figure out New York's subway system and London's Underground -- weird.

Had some good food in the past couple of days, thanks for Zhuang's brother and his wife Michelle, who has generously taken us in and given us not only a roof over our heads, but is feeding us (in extremely generous portions) and telling us lost sheep which MRT station to stop at when we go for interviews. So far, ate at Akashi near Tanglin Mall -- yummy sashimi, comparable to San Francisco's sashimi but S$150 for 16 pieces of sashimi -- phew! Had dinner at Shunjuu at Robertson Pier (oops, I mean Quay -- these Brits). Interesting, because Shunjuu served sumiyaki -- which I think translates to mean charcoal grill -- a different side of Japanese food that neither Zhuang or I have had. Besides frozen yakitori, which doesn't count. The basic idea of sumiyaki is bar food or appetizers, so servings come in two skewers per order. We had mushrooms wrapped in chicken and bacon, shrimp wrapped in bacon (I died and went to heaven, my two favorite things combined), cabbage with bean paste dip, beef, pork and chicken skin skewers. Most of the skewers were good, but definitely would not re-order the kinki fish and arc shell. Went for western food at Colbar, which reminded us of Senior Citizen's Association back home in Penang, but the food was waaaaay below standard. I would take the Senior Citizen's Association roti babi and chicken chop anytime.

Singapore aside, things that have made me raise an eyebrow since I've been back:
- Where did all these Chinese come from? I mean, I know that Penang and Singapore have always had a big Chinese population but they're now everywhere I turn. Maybe it's because it's CNY. Singapore's not as bad, even though it's 76% Chinese, but it's strange because servers in restaurants speak to you in Mandarin and we had Din Tai Fung in Paragon a couple of days back, the server couldn't even speak English! On the bright side, it's a great place to practise my Mandarin.
- What's with the abbreviations? OMG. It's everywhere. I mean, how difficult is it to spell Los Angeles Times? Damn, I know NYT and WSJ are generally accepted abbreviations but LAT? Honestly. Or ICT?
- Tights. People walking in 90F in tights. Under shorts. With tank tops.

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