Sunday, October 28, 2007


This evening we welcomed our first visitors from the US: Dustin and Yvette. They were both planning to visit and, as it turned out, they were able to book their tickets on the same flight (even though the reservations were made months apart).

They came heavy-laden with gifts and hard-to-find favorites (like Lucky Charms cereal and Crystal Light Lemonade).

We have a busy two weeks planned, but I will try to post some pictures along the way.

Right now, I'm just enjoying having a few friendly, familiar faces around! =)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Good Advice (Part 2)

Remember this sign? My brother, Dan, sent me a response that I thought was post-worthy. He took this picture while in Scotland last year.

I had a good chuckle. Thanks, Dan!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Survey says. . .

As I mentioned in the post below, we just returned from a 5-day trip to Thailand. What I didn't mention is that we are heading back there in a few weeks for another 3-day trip.

This time, I landed in Thailand with a general sense that Thai food is good. But, when it comes to Thai cuisine, I'm a novice. I've only tried two dishes: Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry (both of which I love).

When it comes to vacations and food, I'm kind of a stickler. . . I like to know that what I'm ordering is going to be good. I don't like playing double roulette. As a tourist, one is already taking a risk on the restaurant; no sense doubling the risk by ordering an unknown, potentially gross item. After all, isn't one of the best parts about "vacationing" the guilt-free, delicious food? So, Josh and I usually stick to the crowded restaurants (usually a good indicator that the food is decent) and familiar menu items.

I happen to know that several of my regular readers are Thai Cuisine fanatics and I am hoping that said readers can help me out. When we return to Thailand in a few weeks, I want to approach the dinner menu with confidence. I want to branch out (this trip, I had green curry three times!).

So, here's the question: What is your favorite Thai dish? (You can give me runners-up, too, if you can't narrow it down to just one)

picture taken from

I'm feeling Krabi!

We just got home from a 5-day vacation in to Krabi, Thailand. We didn't know what to expect when we booked the tickets. All we knew was 1) Thailand is only a 1.5 hour plane flight away from Singapore, 2) Vacations to Thailand are cheap, and 3) Thai food is good. We were happily surprised to find that in addition to those three things, Thailand also boasts some of the friendliest (albeit, not very proficient in English) customer service around, the absolute cheapest massages you can find anywhere ($3USD for 1 hour!), amazing weather, and some of the most beautiful coastal scenery you can find in the world. Here are a few highlights from our trip.

Elephant Trekking in the jungles of Thailand
(How many of you can say you have heard an elephant burp?
Imagine a 30-second long, rumbling noise that feels like a mini-earthquake!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Few More International Night Photos

The Korean Fan Dance
This was a very graceful dance performed by about 10 students.
The traditional costumes were gorgeous!

The Bhangra Dance

This high energy Northern Indian dance was amazing! The group danced to a fun, techno version of "If You're Happy and You Know It . . ." There were three ICS-ers on the dance team as well as 2 Punjab community members. I thought I caught this performance on video, but ended up with a still-shot instead. Oh well!!
( I did a search on YouTube to see if I could find any good examples. This performance is the closest match in terms of choreography and energy to the one at our school, though I think the one we saw was more fun because of the music =)

International Night

Last Friday, ICS (the school for which Josh teaches) hosted it's biggest event of the year: International Night. The school invites all of the students and their families, as well as the entire staff and their families to enjoy an evening in celebration of the many countries represented at our school. The different ethnic groups organize to bring traditional food from their nation. Many students and staff dress in traditional costume. The highlight of the evening is the traditional music and dance presentations.

This year, Josh was recruited to dance on the Filipino Dance Team. They performed the Tininkling Dance--a traditional dance where dancers dance in and out of bamboo poles.

Although Caleb is not Chinese, we decided to dress him in a Chinese costume which we recently found in Chinatown. He left the hat on the whole evening! I am not sure, but I think he may have stolen several girl's hearts that night!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Some Good Advice

. . . and your mother.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Chinese Lantern Festival

Yesterday marked the end of the Mid-Autumn Autumn Festival (also known as the Chinese Lantern Festival or the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival) here in Singapore. Actually, not just here in Singapore, but everywhere in Asia. Next to the Chinese New Year, this is the biggest holiday in the Asian Calendar.

Above is a picture of a mooncake (which was "borrowed" from because I couldn't afford to buy one of my own to take a picture of because they run in the upwards of $30 for one 4-inch cake). These dense lotus paste cakes are traditional gifts during Mid-Autumn Festival, as are Pomelos (those huge grapefruit-like fruits).

Not being Chinese, we weren't sure how to celebrate the holiday. So, we headed to Chinatown on Moon Day (Sept 25th this year) and figured that we'd celebrate in our own way by eating delicious Chinese dumplings at Zhou Handmade Noodle Hawker.

After a tasty dinner, we wandered around Chinatown. Prior to sunset, Chinatown was a little deserted and we thought perhaps we had the wrong day. Then, the sun set and the crowds came out, and we discovered why it is called the Lantern Festival.

During Lantern Festival, all the Chinese children are given small paper lanterns with a little candle inside to "play lantern". Caleb isn't Chinese but he got a lantern, too.

We enjoyed the beautiful lanterns handmade by a master Chinese lantern maker. There were about 12 large displays. Some of our favorites were the replica of the Taj Mahal and the 40-foot-long peacock with colorful plumage.

Josh and Caleb in front of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
(we didn't go in because we don't have a huge interest in Buddhism nor dentistry so there wasn't much of a draw)