Singapore

Tanjong Pagar

Tanjong Pagar is a cool little area near Chinatown, just a ten minute walk from the apartment. Worth a wander. The local markets are full of tropical fruits at a reasonable price (hello mangoes). Walking along Duxton Rd I also found a cold pressed juice spot with an Instagram worthy shop display. Hipster heaven, and the juice wasn't bad either.

The taxi gamble

I’ve mentioned in another post that getting a taxi in Singapore with a wheelchair can stress me out. It might seem logical that this would be the easiest form of transport for us, especially as they’re so cheap here. But it’s more of a hit or miss. The first gamble is the drivers: Some are wonderful. Though because the taxis are rented out, some are super precious about looking after their hire aka not scratching it. Others are in a huge rush and create a compulsory head jerking rave because of the incessant braking. Pass. The second gamble is a combination of the heat and the multiple sclerosis. For anyone who doesn’t know, heat can be paralysing for sufferers of multiple sclerosis. This means that sometimes the MS will stop Becks’ body from working halfway through our mastered taxi transfer ritual. Ummm really not fun. Her response in this situation is to laugh. My reaction tends not to be so amused. There are times in life that playing it safe is wise. The MRT can be a mission, but at least it’s a predictable one. 

Side note: There are 30,000 taxis in Singapore. Singapore is the size of Lake Taupo. Can we just think about that for a second? Mindblown.

Like/Dislike

Three things I love about Singapore:

  1. The heat - I would choose this heat over a windy winter at home any day. I don’t get excited thinking about the wind tunnel as soon as I step outside Wellington airport.
  2. The food -Dumplings. Roti. Char kway teow. Asian food in general. Rawr.
  3. The shopping - More people equals more shops and more variety.

Three things I dislike about Singapore:

  1. The heat - I love warm weather but a 33 degree average is slightly above my comfort threshold.
  2. The food - Tasty food over here tends to mean grease, sodium, and carbs. My more health-conscious self has escaped me.
  3. The shopping - No such thing as shopping without spending. A few accidental dents in the bank account.

I see trees of green...

4 May

Singapore Botanic Gardens. Really fun, really boiling. I was reminded that I suck at pushing the wheelchair around in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Overheated game way too strong haha. Becks and I made a deal that she would try and wheel herself when she could (all that physio and strengthening paying off woo!). Overall it was great - the gardens were so pretty, especially the ginger garden and orchid garden. Almost too perfect.

Pixie moment: I am no expert, but I am on the team that believes that nature holds the answers to many problems, big and small. I often wonder what could be learned from existing eco-systems, structures, functions, forms, patterns, and then translated to design strategies and solutions. Yes that’s right, I am claiming that there is a world secret locked in the patterns of these leaves. Notice normal*.

*reference/mantra from my friend Brady in Kansas, thanks Brady.

Also, the lunch we had at one of the restaurants Halia deserves a mention. It was probably one of the best meal experiences I’ve had in the past year. I went from a hot mess to being in a cool tropical resort escape in a second. Change of demeanour. Sister went for the duck while I had the grilled prawn and mango salad. Afterwards we shared a couple of treats from the snack shop across the footpath: ginger nougat parfait ice-cream and a raspberry meringue. Both in the what-is-life category. Success.

#WheelchairChronicles 2: The long way with wheels

I am completely sure we are right above the train station for good reason, because Lord knows that I would keep Becks inside the apartment all day due to extensive wheelchair mission otherwise. The other day Becks had a coffee date a simple 3.5km away. Manageable. Sure it was eight different elevator rides, two train rides, and a labyrinth in between just to get there, but nothing we hadn’t done before - our meeting point was just one stop further than our usual (getting a taxi can stress me out, I’ll save that for another post). For the most part, getting around mainstream Singapore via wheelchair is doable so long as you know the places to avoid (aka Chinatown). Orchard Rd being one of the main shopping streets in Singapore should’ve been fine. Ummm no. Closed wheelchair access paths, 150m wheelchair access detours (gah), in combination with Google sending us the wrong way and overheated brain not able to realise it, had me a flustered and furious mess. Late, lost, and wrong. Three pet peeves all in the space of 30mins. Tipping point, I cried. Hahahaha. Poor sister was so patient even though I made her half an hour late, and even bought me cupcakes afterward to cheer me up. What a world what a world, on wheels.