Geckos, Stingrays, and Sunshine

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hello there!

As the gecko war rages on in the kitchen, I have found a new weapon.

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Behold, the Clorox Pistol.

Chris:  Why does it smell like bleach in here?

Me: Ummm… there was a gecko.

Chris:  Did you smash it and clean it up?

Me:  Not exactly. I sprayed the SOB until it turned white and died.

…You could perform surgery in there.

Since we’re not using the kitchen for surgical operations or cooking, we’ve been trying lots of new places around town. Most recently we had some BBQ stingray. Delicious! Tastes similar to scallops but with the consistency of a flaky, white fish. The locals think we’re tourists and love to explain to us how to eat. At a Thai restaurant in a place nicknamed “little Thailand” the whole restaurant stopped and stared at us while we ate. Always nice to have an audience..?

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Satay on the left, stingray on the right.

We’ve had lamb and beef satay– skewers of meat with a tasty sauce. Indian food, burgers, lots of noodles. I ordered a “Pumpkin Noodle Soup” the other day. Turns out, there is no pumpkin. I have no idea why it’s called that. Instead of pumpkin, you get a handful of fried silverfish– like tiny anchovies– bones and all. Ah, yep. What a surprise! It wasn’t bad, just different. The longer they sat in the soup the more salty and fishy it became. Lesson learned.

One of my favorite things has been something called bao, or sometimes pao.

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Yummy bao!

Bao is a steamed ball of yum. It is like a steamed bread/dough stuffed with various things– we tried chicken, BBQ pork, and egg custard. The BBQ pork was by far the best. The egg custard is a desert bao– very sweet! It’s what they say “must try” in Asia.

The two pieces together are the BBQ pork. The other white one is chicken. And the yellow are egg custard.

Oh you’re asking about the frog we ate last week? Well, while tasty, not my favorite. The frog is served in a steamed pot with vegetables and a sauce. We chose kung pao sauce which is on the spicier side. There are frog bodies and frog legs. They tasted just fine, but it’s full of bones and not a lot of meat. Too much work and not enough reward if you ask me. I’ll stick to ribs as we know them in the US 🙂  I’d eat frog again if a group wanted to go, but Chris isn’t expecting me to suggest it anytime soon.

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Breakfast! Chris is a bit more heavy-handed with the soy than I am. That brown stuff is eggs. Mine in the background is a *tad* lighter…

The staple for breakfast in Singapore is kaya toast. It’s toasted sandwich squares with butter (never any crust) and kaya spread, which is a sweet, coconut jam. The toast is served with two soft boiled eggs, which you mix up and traditionally sprinkle in white pepper and add soy sauce. Then you dip the toast and enjoy! It’s very good! You typically get coffee with the dish, which is called “kopi” here. And it is STRONG. Chris and I both drank black coffee in the states. If we did that here, well, I’d be dead and not writing this blog. Here we order “Kopi C kosong” which is coffee with evaporated milk and no sugar.  No place has napkins, so bring your own.

And when you’re done, you gamble on the toilet situation. Many places do not have toilets.The places that do, don’t bet on the availability of paper towels. But most of the time, they are very clean. Sometimes they’re not. And other times you’ll second-guess just how badly you really have to go.

Like when it’s basically a hole-in-the-ground…

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Wear closed-toe shoes or wait… You’ve been warned.

Hovering has a whole new meaning here. Please don’t ask what the faucet is there for; I don’t know and I’m really okay with that.

I don’t want to give the impression that Singapore is dirty or lacking sophistication. Believe me, parts of this tiny island are unbelievable. Last weekend we did some exploring at Sentosa island– which is where mega billionaires live and home to a large tourist area, like Universal Studios. We’re going back this weekend to visit some museums, the aquarium, and back to the beach bar we found last weekend. Here’s a sneak peek!

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Cheers!
C+J