Monday, February 25, 2008

On a hot day. . .

For $6 (adults), you can not only enjoy the air conditioned environment of the Singapore Science Center, but you can learn quite a bit of interesting information about science and math and everything else that's cool. And, the best part is, you can actually have a lot of fun doing so.

If you're a tourist and only in Singapore for a few days, I would say there are a lot of other cool things to do (unless you are 1) a huge science fan or 2) don't live anywhere near another hands-on science center). But, if you have more than a week or if you live here, I think you couldn't find a better way to spend a hot afternoon.

The whole center is hands-on, but there is a huge section devoted to little hands. Even Caleb found plenty to do and was enthralled with all the buttons, bells and lights. I had planned for us to stay two hours, but we ended up staying four. . . and we still didn't see half of what there was to see! We will definitely be going back.

Maybe we will see you there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Exciting Discovery

Although we have lived in this condo complex for 7 months now, it was only yesterday that I learned about the mini-mart located in the basement car-park (as they like to call parking lots here) of the clubhouse. Since we don't have a car, I've never had a reason to visit the car-park. But yesterday I heard a rumor that there was a little store right here in our condo complex and after some investigation, the rumor turned out to be true!

It may not look like much to you, but if you could have seen the jig I danced when I discovered this goldmine, you would know how exciting this news is to this convenience-loving American. The best part: they sell ice cream, which I have not been able to buy due to the warm weather, 20-minute bus-ride and 1/2-mile hike home from the regular grocery store. Hooray for convenience stores, ice cream, and basement car-parks!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Chinese New Year: A Visit and some Factoids

Josh's sisters, Janella (and her husband and 3 kids) and Joanna, came for a visit over Chinese New Year. We said goodbye to them this morning after a fun-filled two weeks. Here are a few favorite pictures from our time together.

Firefly Tour in Desaru, Malaysia

The Pulai Resort, Desaru, Malaysia

Singapore Zoo

Palawan Beach, Sentosa Island, Singapore
(Sign says "Southernmost Point of Asia Continent")

Here are a few interesting things I learned about Chinese New Year:
  1. Taxis charge extra.
  2. If you go to California Pizza Kitchen on Orchard Road, they give you an $18 voucher for your next visit in the traditional Chinese New Year "red envelope"
  3. Chinese New Year is determined by the first new moon of the new year. It starts on the first day of the first lunar month of the new year and ends on the 15th day.
  4. We are now in "The Year of the Rat"
  5. In traditional Chinese culture, if it is your year (the same animal of the year you were born) you are supposed to wear red every single day for the entire year.
  6. On CNY Eve, families gather for a "reunion dinner." Typical dishes include fish and dumplings.
  7. A few superstitions:
    1. Don't sweep your house during CNY or you will sweep away the good luck.
    2. Don't cut your hair during CNY or you will cut away the good luck.
    3. Don't wash your hair on New Years Day or you will wash away the good luck.
    4. Don't cry on New Years Day or you will cry ever day of that year.
    5. Do wear red on New Years Day to ensure a bright and happy future.
    6. Don't lend anything during CNY or you will be lending things all year long.
    7. Do open your windows and let in fresh air. This will blow in the good luck for the New Year.