Spot the difference

Esplanade performing arts centre

Esplanade performing arts centre


Bring it up with anyone who lives here and the response is always a smirk with a nodding and knowing. It’s the Marmite of fruits - you either love it or hate it. Its smell is so pungent that it’s banned from train stations, and patients in a Melbourne hospital were once evacuated because it was mistaken for a gas leak. Hah. An apparent acquired taste, it’s been recommended that one is eased into the flavour through trying durian ice-cream, or a durian cream puff. I like to think of myself as fairly adventurous with food, but this one I just haven’t branched out on yet. I think I’m good.

Vera Mey

My VM. Each time crazier than I remember, and always able to make me laugh with/at her for a good ten minutes longer than it would be polite to. I still can't believe that of all the places in the world, I am currently just a five minute walk from my childhood bestie. So much love for this woman. She's like Helen Clark or Michelle Obama but with a dose of unicorn.

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.

Thirty Five

7 May

Becks’ 35th birthday fell the day before she was admitted for her transplant. How’s that for a birthday present - a whole new immune system. The biblical meaning of 35 is also hope. Cute.

With her hospital admission also equating to the start of her neutropenic diet (no raw, fresh, or uncooked foods, everything home-cooked, and a million other rules), we eagerly translated this as a chance to go ham on everything she wouldn’t be allowed as our celebration. The night before her birthday we took a trip to Chinatown food street for dinner, and afterwards met up with VM for dessert at our favourite calorie joint Awfully Chocolate. We finished the night chilling poolside, and opened a care package that had just arrived from our relatives in Melbourne - thank you Aunty Tania, Uncle Phil, and Emily! Have to make a shout out because this gesture was such a beautiful surprise, crazy generous (even colour co-ordinated), and gave all the warm fuzzies at just the right time. Seriously perfect and we felt so loved. Thank you.

The next day on Becks’ birthday we went out for lunch with our friend Gracie who is the pastor contact we have from the church here, along with some visiting pastors from New Zealand (Kapiti Coast of all places, such a small world). Dim sum was on point with amazing service. The wait staff even had ear pieces for communication from their supervisors, all secret service-esque - Singapore efficiency strikes again haha. Comforting talks about mutual friends and many dumplings later we rolled our way back to the apartment to get sister all packed, ready, and rested for admission day. The big part of the journey about to begin, and so starts the year of hope.

A sister, a bestie, and a care package, with a view. One of those moments.

A sister, a bestie, and a care package, with a view. One of those moments.

Notable Eats

Just, well yeah.

A. So Pho, Paragon Mall. On the right is the imperial rolls, a crazy good version of spring rolls oh ma life.
B. Chinatown Complex. Olive fried rice sounds weird but tastes great.
C. Chinatown Food St (aka Smith St, meant to be). More of a touristy outdoor hawker centre, but you can't really go wrong with fresh roti and some good satay.
D. Fried carrot cake. A famous Singapore dish - doesn't actually have carrots in it, nor is it a cake haha. Made with rice flour and radish, growing on me.
E. Marche. For the homesick days when you just want some Western food. 
F. Paik's Bibim, VivoCity Mall. Warm soy noodle bibimbap! Tasty, affordable, and healthy-ish.
G. Thai Accent, VivoCity Mall. Originally went here because everywhere else was closed. Pleasantly surprised! Especially with the Thai beef salad.

I'm just one big vacuum cleaner with taste buds really.

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.