Stories, Travel

Reflections on China

Prior to the Ninja Turtle’s visit to China, she had certain preconceptions about the place. Having only visited the country once – and this was way back in 1999, on a primary school trip to Beijing – her knowledge of China was vague at best. Sure, she knew the country had made progress in leaps and bounds, but when one is stuck with the memories of a public schooling system with too many hyper-disciplined, super-enthusiastic students crammed into a tiny classroom fighting to answer every single math question, and public toilets in a brand new state library with no doors on the cubicles, it’s hard to know just what to anticipate.

First and foremost, the infrastructure is pretty well established. There are certainly a lot more cars than bicycles on the roads now, which also explains the constant curtain of grey that hangs on the horizon. Let’s just say those aren’t rain clouds.

Since it has been over 10 years since the Ninja Turtle has lived in a Mandarin-speaking environment, her confidence was initially shaky. Sure, she occasionally speaks Mandarin with Mother and Papa Turtle, but mainland Chinese will very quickly point out that the Chinese diaspora speak bastardised versions of proper Mandarin.

This is especially so in Singapore, where the people arguably speak a creole. What some people take pride in as bilingualism is in fact, generally a substandard ability to faintly grasp two languages just enough to get by. To the Singaporean-Chinese ear, mainland Chinese speakers have a very strong accent when speaking in Mandarin.

After a day or two however, the Ninja Turtle got accustomed (thanks perhaps in part to her 4 years of Chinese-school education… yes yes, she went to a Chinese-education school, no need to point and laugh hysterically). She even got complimented on her Mandarin skills by a few people, which is not so different from when the French back in France compliment her for speaking English really well…

Another pre-trip concern was the food. Shameful confession of the week: the Ninja Turtle loves food, but food doesn’t always love the Ninja Turtle. This is especially the case in Singapore, where the Ninja Turtle lives like royalty – she eats a plethora of exciting dishes in food courts, hawker centres, restaurants, and inevitably, spends a lot of time the following day sitting on the throne… So there were questions as to just how well her guts could handle food in China (Mother Turtle could offer no real helpful advice in this area) and also, whether she’d get used to the taste.

A quick word on the standards of service in China: it is AMAZING, and the Turtle isn’t just measuring this against shoddy French service standards. The hotel staff were almost creepily efficient at their job, and it took the Ninja Turtle until the end of her stay to appreciate and get used to it. On day one, she requested a quiet corner, and was given a very comprehensive explanation of how buffet breakfasts worked while shown to her table.

Ironically, when she asked where the coffee machine was, she was told that the coffee would be brought to her table. Now the Turtle likes her coffee in a very particular way, so she said no worries, she could serve herself, it was a buffet after all. The service staff gave her a very injured look, as if the Turtle had challenged her very purpose of existence by cheerily suggesting self-service at a buffet breakfast. A few back-and-forths of insisting who would get the coffee later, the Turtle relented.

Day Two onwards, everyone on the team seemed to know everything. She was greeted warmly each morning, no repeating her room number, automatically shown to a quiet corner, served her coffee and glass of water, and checked upon every 15 minutes to see if the meal was up to standard, and the coffee topped up like magic. As she left, she was waved off by no less than 5 people, wishing her a pleasant day. It felt like these wait staff were customer service angels, and the hotel restaurant Customer Service Heaven.

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There was one thing the Ninja Turtle was looking forward to in China, but sadly, it did not eventuate. Not often does the Turtle visit a new city and not take the opportunity to run in it, exploring the sights. Sadly, the quality of the air was enough to make this asthmatic Turtle think the better of it. After all, running is meant to improve one’s health, not compromise it. And truly, it’s not fun at all when one is wheezing like Darth Vader after 500m.

Fortunately, the hotel where the Ninja Turtle was staying in had a fitness centre, and possibly the best treadmill she's ever used in her life.

Fortunately, the hotel where the Ninja Turtle was staying in had a fitness centre, and possibly the best treadmill she’s ever used in her life.

She even went for a dip in the swimming pool, but got severely told off for not wearing a swimming cap, even though she saw no signs, nor received any instructions about the matter prior to going in the water.

She even went for a dip in the swimming pool, but got severely told off for not wearing a swimming cap, even though she saw no signs, nor received any instructions about the matter prior to going in the water. It was the one and only time on her trip she feigned complete ignorance of the language and pretended she didn’t understand a damn word that was being yelled in her face.

So there you have it, some reflections of China. A vibrant and exciting country that’s straddling two worlds – developing and developed – with most of its ancient history and culture still thankfully preserved despite the Maoist regime, and a culture of keeping up with the Joneses driving its domestic consumer spending (although that is probably still peanuts in the grand scheme of its economic growth). Five days isn’t enough to go by, but this simply means one thing: the Ninja Turtle will definitely be returning to China for more.

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Arts and Culture, Food, Travel

The Ninja Turtle Makes A Pilgrimage

Today was a public holiday in Zhenjiang, China. Rather, it was a “make-up” holiday for 端午节, which fell on Saturday 20 June this year. 端午节 is sometimes also known as Dumpling Festival or Dragon Boat Festival or Double Fifth Festival (because it falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month), and from its various names, one can only guess at the significance of this wondrous day.

This is a holiday to commemorate the poet and politician 屈原 (c. 340–278 BC) who lived back in the Warring States era of the Zhou Dynasty. A quick summary of his story goes as such: patriotic chap served in high offices, his royal leader allied with the enemies, chap gets banished for opposing royal leader’s decision and accused of treason – btw chap gets all emo and writes plenty of poetry during this period – some years later their city is betrayed by allies and in despair, chap flings himself into a river full of piranhas. The local folks panic and race out in boats (hence the Dragon Boat Festival), chucking sticky rice dumplings into the river to feed the fish so they won’t eat his cadaver (hence the Dumpling Festival).

This is the version taught to the Ninja Turtle as a child. There are several other pretty cool legends involving dragon worship or celebrating a female character called 曹娥, both of which are pretty amazing but neither of which are familiar to the Turtle, so she dare not elaborate, but here’s the gist. Coincidentally, the fifth day of the fifth lunar month falls pretty close to the summer solstice (longest day of the year) in the northern hemisphere, so perhaps it was all simply an excuse to party hard?

Anyway, the Ninja Turtle knows it’s a public holiday in Zhenjiang, China this Monday because no surprises, she’s right here. Catching the early morning flight bright and early at 8am from Singapore to Shanghai yesterday, she rode another 4 hours in a car to reach Zhenjiang. Since it was a public holiday, she got to do a spot of sightseeing with her relatives and a new acquaintance at possibly the most famous landmark of Zhenjiang – 金山 (Golden Hill).

Jin Shan Temple in Zhenjiang.

Jin Shan in Zhenjiang.

金山 (Golden Hill) has quite the history to it. Although standing only at 44m tall, it houses 金山寺 (Golden Hill Temple), built some 1600 years ago, and has a pretty cool story attached to it. The legend of the White Snake (白蛇传) in Chinese literature goes as such – some young boy eats some immortality pills and pukes it out; a white snake spirit who’s like, hundreds of years old swallows the pill and takes on a beautiful human form. A tortoise grows jealous of the snake’s immortality. Some years on, the boy grows into a man and meets this beautiful snake-woman and they fall in love, while said tortoise turns into a human monk called Fahai. Man dies of shock when he discovers his wife was a snake, snake-woman revives dead husband with magical herbs, and husband still loves her.

All well and good except the tortoise-monk had a vengeful streak so he imprisons clueless husband in 金山寺; snake-woman tried to free her husband by flooding temple and some innocent folks died as collateral damage, but her powers were limited cos she had a bun in the oven. Tortoise-monk captures snake-woman and imprisons her in some pagoda while her husband was consigned to life as a monk (but later their kid comes back to save them or something… look, it was like the ancient version of Game of Thrones meets The Hobbit plus some Xena/Hercules thrown in for good measure and it all gets rather complicated with animal-people so the Ninja Turtle can’t remember it all OK? But Google will give you more if you’re so inclined.) Apparently this was a story started as an oral tradition and is now one of the four great Chinese folktales. And  金山寺 was the setting of this epic tale, so the Ninja Turtle could only gape like an idiot while wandering around the site the entire morning.

The lotus flowers were only beginning to bloom...

The lotus flowers were only beginning to bloom…

Going in, the first sight was of vendors selling joss sticks, to be burnt as offerings to the gods/spirits/something.

Going in, the first sight was of vendors selling joss sticks, to be burnt as offerings to the gods/spirits/something.

So of course the Ninja Turtle HAD to buy some.

So of course the Ninja Turtle HAD to buy some.

A photo with her 三姑 (auntie on dad's side of the family; his third sister) at the entrance.

A photo with her 三姑 (auntie on dad’s side of the family; his third sister) at the entrance.

Walking in, the Ninja Turtle quickly learnt that there was in fact, more than one temple; in fact there were a cluster of them. She didn’t take any photos out of respect since it was a religious site with people praying and all, but she did spend a good long time gaping at the incredible sculptures of the four sky gods, the eighteen arhats, the various buddhas and the Goddess of Peace. Her new acquaintance taught her how to kneel on the red silk pillows, offer prayers and the proper etiquette to bow.

Here is an idea of the various temples and pagodas at the site. The colour yellow/gold indicates royal endorsement, specifically from some emperor dude called Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Here is an idea of the various temples and pagodas at the site. The colour yellow/gold indicates royal endorsement, specifically from some emperor dude called Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The writings of the emperor (the Ninja Turtle poses with her 二叔 - uncle on dad's side of the family, second bloke in the family which means Papa Turtle is the oldest male in the family).

The writings of the emperor (the Ninja Turtle poses with her 二叔 – uncle on dad’s side of the family, second bloke in the family which means Papa Turtle is the oldest male in the family).

View from the top of Golden Hill.

View from the top of Golden Hill.

On the way back down, the Ninja Turtle was treated to the sight of people throwing coins (trying anyway) into the mouths of the stone sculptures. Apparently if the coin goes in, the person will get wealthy.

On the way back down, the Ninja Turtle was treated to the sight of people throwing coins (trying anyway) into the mouths of the stone sculptures. Apparently if the coin goes in, the person will get wealthy.

Second Uncle Turtle explained that these were Buddhist scriptures that were conversations between Buddha and the Sky Emperor (think along the lines of Plato's The Republic if you will).

Second Uncle Turtle explained that these were Buddhist scriptures that were conversations between Buddha and the Sky Emperor (think along the lines of Plato’s The Republic if you will).

What Second Uncle Turtle explained to the Ninja Turtle while strolling through the temples was this – that everything is nothing and nothing is everything. What we see around us is all but an illusion, and what is eternal (that is, the soul) is invisible to the eye. What we cannot see remains eternal, and all that surrounds us is transcient and temporary.

To quote John Oliver – Holy Shit. That’s some pretty heavy stuff to be talking about on a public holiday Monday morning. Contemplating Life, the Universe and Everything before wine o’clock gives the Ninja Turtle some serious heebie-jeebies. Fortunately, distraction was at close hand…

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So wraps up the Ninja Turtle’s adventures on her first morning in Zhenjiang, China. It was an emotional morning, and she was left contemplating how despite being of Chinese descent, there was so much of Chinese history and culture she was unaware of. The world is a large place, and in a cosmopolitan globe-trotting generation, there’s a lot we learnt of ourselves by seeing the unknown in new places, but sometimes, the only way we can truly know ourselves is by returning to our roots.

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Food, Travel

Two Turtles Go A-Dining (Warning: Food Porn Ahead)

This week has been an absolute food-fest for the Ninja Turtle. Beginning with Sonic’s birthday lunch at Marina Bay Sands’ Chinese restaurant Jin Shan Lou through to this afternoon’s buffet lunch at Park Royal Hotel’s Lime, the Ninja Turtle has dined out every single day, and she hasn’t had a single disappointment yet.

On the budget-friendly end of the scale, she’s had an amazing phở at Little Hanoi, a Food Republic stall situated in the basement of Westgate at Jurong East, to the tune of $6.90. Mother Turtle went with the traditional beef brisket, while the Ninja Turtle chose chicken. The broth had all the complexity one would expect from the Vietnamese noodle soup, and when they both went back to ask for more beansprouts, the waitress happily gave them a bowl with no extra charge. The beef salad was also cheap and delicious.

20150619_193634Friday night, the Ninja Turtle went out for dinner with Krazy Kow and her Plus One at one of her favourite haunts in Singapore – Holland Village. As the Ninja Turtle was hankering after some Indian, Krazy Kow suggested Bar Bar Black Sheep. The Holland Village outlet may be new, but on a Friday night, the place was completely packed, and the Turtle managed to secure the last three seats in the house – at the bar, no less – after begging pitifully with the waiter.

The best way to describe Bar Bar Black Sheep is a bar that serves a decent array of drinks, but boasts a super extensive food menu of which the term “pub grub” does no justice. Between the three of them, they ordered four curries, two bowls of rice, and three garlic naans because gluttony is best indulged in, in the company of people who love you too much to judge. The service was slow but the food was worth waiting for – after an hour of salivating and nursing their overpriced drinks, they wolfed down the lot in a matter of minutes (sorry, no photos).

Another pub meal the Ninja Turtle had this week was at the Blu Jaz Cafe with Mother Turtle. Mother Turtle learnt of this place during Baby Turtle’s last visit back in Singapore; apparently Baby Turtle thought it was a great idea to hang out with dear Ma for dinner, drinks and a shisha pipe (to her credit, Mother Turtle eventually participated, despite her initial disapproval.) The Ninja Turtle isn’t half as wild as Baby Turtle, so this time round, it was just drinks and food.

And of course, best for last, the show-stopping meal of the week – Mother Turtle surprised the Ninja Turtle with lunch at Lime, a restaurant in the hotel ParkRoyal on Pickering. It was an Asian-international buffet, and the Ninja Turtle used the excuse of having covered 8 hard miles on two consecutive days to go nuts.

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This was what the Ninja Turtle ate:

Thank you, Mother Turtle, for spoiling the Ninja Turtle rotten!

Thank you, Mother Turtle, for spoiling the Ninja Turtle rotten!

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Food, Travel

Sonic the Hedgehog’s Birthday Food Tour

Last weekend, the Ninja Turtle got to spend a few days with her best friend from Australia, Sonic the Hedgehog. He’d taken a few days off work and was initially planning to go to Bali for the weekend, but of course, the Ninja Turtle found that idea most absurd and offensive – go to Bali while she was in Singapore? And sit alone on the beach, crying into a cocktail as he turned another year older? No way. He was coming over to Singapore instead, and they were going to eat themselves stupid.

Dressed for the tropical heat, Mother Turtle takes a quick snap of the duo getting ready to hit the town.

Dressed for the tropical heat, Mother Turtle takes a quick snap of the duo getting ready to hit the town.

The duo’s first stop for the day was Marina Bay, where the DBS Regatta was going on for the SEA Games. According to hearsay, there was an urban beach with food, music and stuff, so they thought they’d go check things out.

There it was!

There it was! It’s hard to tell from the overcast skies but they got there at midday, when it was stinking hot, and time for some grub.

Sonic the Hedgehog burning some calories pre-emptively...

Sonic the Hedgehog burning some calories pre-emptively…

While the Ninja Turtle is too lazy to do more than recline on a deck chair at the urban beach.

While the Ninja Turtle is too lazy to do more than recline on a deck chair at the urban beach.

First meal of the trip: beef and chicken satay, beef teriyaki nachos and Caesar salad, with half a pint of beer and a glass of prosecco. $58 (yeah, it was a tourist trap).

First meal of the trip: beef and chicken satay, beef teriyaki nachos and Caesar salad, with half a pint of beer and a glass of prosecco. $58 (yeah, it was a tourist trap).

A quick walk to see the Gardens by the Bay, which was still incomplete the last time Sonic the Hedgehog visited Singapore...

A quick walk to see the Gardens by the Bay, which was still incomplete the last time Sonic the Hedgehog visited Singapore…

Before jumping on the MRT to Clarke Quay for the next round of drinks.

Before jumping on the MRT to Clarke Quay for the next round of drinks.

Sonic had a Singapore Sling and later, a pint of Stella, while the Turtle went with a Merlot and later, a whisky. Second round of price gouge.

Sonic had a Singapore Sling and later, a pint of Stella, while the Turtle went with a Merlot and later, a whisky. Second round of price gouge.

Dinner was a meal at the Holland Village hawker centre. Sonic tried beef hor fun for the first time.

Dinner was a meal at the Holland Village hawker centre. Sonic tried beef hor fun for the first time.

Day two started with very good intentions of repairing the previous day’s damage…

The Ninja Turtle fixed Sonic the Hedgehog one of her famous fruit platter breakfasts. This one had persimmon, starfruit and roseapple, with plain yogurt, chia seeds and honey.

The Ninja Turtle fixed Sonic the Hedgehog one of her famous fruit platter breakfasts. This one had persimmon, starfruit and roseapple, with plain yogurt, chia seeds and honey.

Better yet, Mother Turtle managed to find mangosteens! It's been years since the Ninja Turtle had last eaten one of these things.

Better yet, Mother Turtle managed to find mangosteens! It’s been years since the Ninja Turtle had last eaten one of these things.

But then of course, they paid a visit to the Ninja Turtle's other best friend the Krazy Kow, and all good intentions were discarded with an evening of food debauchery.

But then of course, they paid a visit to the Ninja Turtle’s other best friend the Krazy Kow, and all good intentions were discarded with an evening of food debauchery.

How to host a quiet Sunday evening chez soi:

1. Find a crazy friend (someone like the Ninja Turtle).

2. Make sure crazy friend is armed with another crazy friend (someone like Sonic the Hedgehog).

3. Let them rudely rock up to your home while you’re still out, armed with two bottles of red wine and some lethal-for-the-waistline snacks like chilli lime soy chips and mixed nuts.

4. Get your boyfriend to stop by for baguette on the way over, because you need a vehicle for the olive oil, dukkah and sundried tomato pesto you plan to stuff your faces with.

5. Let your guests take their wineglasses into the pool because they came with bathers, only to swim 2 half-arse laps in your pool before deciding it was enough, they were tired and hungry.

6. Dig in to the snacks and wine. Your boyfriend also brought a bottle of whisky by the way, just in case.

7. Let snacks roll into dinner, which was a giant pot of delicious pasta (got to line the stomach, you know) followed by Magnum and Haagen Daz ice cream.

8. Continue with the wine. To maximise the pleasure out of all alcoholic drinks, play Cards Against Humanity. (What better game than this to play with someone you’re meeting for the first time, right? Trust us, you’ll get to know that person so well, you’ll never forget them.)

Between the Krazy Kow and Sonic the Hedgehog, the Ninja Turtle got to enjoy the company of her two favourite people in the world. (Not counting GodzillaPin of course, although to be fair, she’s been friends with them both a lot longer than she’s known GP. So give these two good folks credit for being able to put up with NT for all these years!)

Sonic had only taken a short leave from work, but Day Three was special as it was his birthday! Mother Turtle had plenty of activities lined up…

A birthday lunch at Jin Shan Lou restaurant, in Marina Bay Sands.

A birthday lunch at Jin Shan Lou restaurant, in Marina Bay Sands.

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Both Sonic and Ninja really enjoyed the meal, but Mother Turtle was not quite done with her surprises. On the way home, they casually “dropped by” the Fullerton Hotel, where something awaited.

Chocolate mousse cake from the Cake Boutique! They brewed a pot of tie guan yin tea to go with it.

Chocolate mousse cake from the Cake Boutique! They brewed a pot of tie guan yin tea to go with it.

Happy birthday, Sonic the Hedgehog!

Happy birthday, Sonic the Hedgehog!

Mother Turtle also prepared some kaya (coconut jam) and pineapple tarts for Sonic to bring home, but before they headed off to the airport, there was one last surprise…

DURIANS!

DURIANS!

Happy birthday, Sonic! Thanks for coming to see us in Singapore and spending your special day with us! It has been great fun to have you and we want you back soon!

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Travel

Photo essay of Singapore

Here are some photos to summarise some of the Ninja Turtle’s activities in Singapore this week.

Malay cookies for Hari Raya Puasa.

Malay cookies for Hari Raya Puasa.

Also known as Eid al-Fitr, Hari Raya Puasa is the local name for the Feast of Breaking the Fast, and marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for the Muslims. This year, it falls on 17 July, and the local supermarkets are already stocked up with all the delicacies associated with the Sugar Feast. As a multi-cultural society, Singapore offers its people the chance to partake in a variety of traditions, even if it’s something as banal as sampling the cuisine of another culture. The Ninja Turtle does have fond childhood memories of being invited to her Muslim friends’ places for festivities and celebrations, cementing her belief that world peace can be attained through a shared meal.

A napping cat at a local market.

A napping cat at a local market.

Proof that the unbearable heat we’ve all been complaining about is not a figment of our imagination, nor a reflection of us being a bunch of pampered sissies. Even the animals need a midday siesta and this cat was found sleeping at a local market. Passers-by would occasionally touch it, but it was too hot/tired/comatose to care.

Durians are in season.

Durians are in season.

Nicknamed the king of fruits, the durian is a cousin of the jackfruit, and if used correctly, can double as a weapon of sorts (just use your imagination). The last time the Ninja Turtle came back, it wasn’t the right time for this pungent terror, but in June, it’s time to roll out the mangosteens, durians, jackfruits (and the Turtle has spied lychees, longans, persimmons, cherimoyas, dragonfruits and a whole slew of other exotic delights). What is your favourite exotic fruit?

Peking roast duck dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

Peking roast duck dinner at a Chinese restaurant with relatives.

Duck is an interesting dish; like pig’s trotters or frog’s legs, the French and the Chinese do it equally well, but the style is so completely different. While GodzillaPin’s grandma does a wicked magret de canard aux prunes, there is no substitute for the signature crispy duck skin with sweet dark soy and spring onion wrapped in a thin pastry like a beautiful little tortilla, followed by tender slices of duck meat.

Making a meal with the leftovers.

Making a meal with the leftovers.

Some countries don’t generally let diners take home their leftovers (looking at you, Australia), but in Singapore, it seems to be standard practise. In fact, restaurants probably would prefer to offer takeaway, in hopes of encouraging you to order more than you can finish, rather than order conservatively to reduce waste. Here, the Ninja Turtle whipped up a leftover duck, mushroom and apple salad with a homemade dijonnaise dressing, paired with a glass of wine…

International wine selection.

International wine selection.

OK, so this may offend the Ninja Turtle’s French readers, but all she can say is… tant pis pour vous. In France, they may not feel the need to import wines from elsewhere, given how many different wine-producing regions exist locally, but in Singapore, it’s all got to be imported. Which means one can easily find a wide variety of wines from all around the world. The Ninja Turtle picked out three bottles from three different countries – Chile, South Africa and Australia.

Yum seng!

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Arts and Culture, Travel

Scenes from the Southern Ridges

This weekend, the Ninja Turtle got to mix more family and fitness time, with a walk along the Southern Ridges trail with her relatives. The Southern Ridges trail consists of several sections, and is one of the more popular running routes in Singapore.

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Some of the interesting sights captured on the walk included:

The hothouse nursery at Hort Park. Shhhh.... baby plants resting!

The hothouse nursery at Hort Park. Shhhh…. baby plants resting!

Students from local schools contributing to the national body of public art

Students from local schools contributing to the national body of public art.

Beautiful garden-scaping and resting areas through Hort Park

Beautiful garden-scaping and resting areas through Hort Park.

Cousin of the Ninja Turtle, the Power Ranger explores the vegetable gardens.

Cousin of the Ninja Turtle, the Power Ranger explores the vegetable gardens.

Singa the Lion, a childhood memory for the Ninja Turtle from Singapore's National Courtesy Campaign. He used to teach us how to give up seats on the trains to pregnant women, etc etc.

Singa the Lion, a childhood memory for the Ninja Turtle from Singapore’s National Courtesy Campaign. Thanks to him, an entire generation of Singaporeans learnt how to give up seats on the trains to pregnant women, the elderly, etc etc.

Along the trail, you might encounter exotic fauna. No fear - here is your friendly PSA action plan In Case of Monkeys.

Along the trail, you might encounter exotic fauna. No fear – here is your friendly PSA action plan In Case of Monkeys.

A black-and-white house (that's what they are really called), a 19th century remnant from Singapore's colonial past. These government properties can be leased in 2-year blocks (POA).

A black-and-white house (that’s what they are really called), a 19th century remnant from Singapore’s colonial past. These government properties can be leased in 2-year blocks (POA).

Reflections at Keppel Bay, one of the several architectural peculiarities that have popped up on the island in the last several years.

Reflections at Keppel Bay, one of the several architectural peculiarities that have popped up on the island in the last several years.

Finishing the walk at a cafe, where milkshakes and a bite were very much welcome

Finishing the walk at a cafe, where milkshakes and a bite were very much welcome.

Sans doute, in a year or two, the Power Ranger is going to outgrow the Ninja Turtle *sob*

Sans doute, in a year or two, the Power Ranger is going to outgrow the Ninja Turtle *sob*

GodzillaPin, this one's for you.

GodzillaPin, this one’s for you.

After completing the longest walk in her life thus far, the Power Ranger has earned her rights to ring the Bell of Happiness.

After completing the longest walk in her life thus far, the Power Ranger has earned her rights to ring the Bell of Happiness.

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