Sunday, November 30, 2008

Recent Trips (part 2): Phuket, Thailand

Thailand is a must-visit for anyone traveling in Southeast Asia... why? ... because the beaches are beautiful, the rock formations are amazing, the water is blue, the food is great (mostly), and the people are friendly. Hence, our 3rd visit to Thailand in less than 2 years. I'm opting to embed a slide-show for this post since (I think) the picture quality will be better.

Recent Trips (part 1): Hong Kong, Macau

One of the (many) beauties of living in Singapore is the fact that it's a major hub in Southeast Asia...translation: it's really easy to travel to many different countries. There's always the caveat of vacation time & funds to make the traveling possible, but teaching has opened up more time than my previous jobs, and inexpensive flights make the funding a bit more affordable.

Even though Singapore is a great place to live or visit, it's always a treat to leave Singapore and escape the heat/humidity for a little while.

In October, we visited Hong Kong...second time for me (Josh), but first time for our family. It's amazing how much you can cram into a short vacation of 3 full days. Here's a quick picture-synopsis...

who likes airplanes?

disneyland hotel

disney mtr

whoopin' it up at starbucks


two international finance center

view from the peak

peak terrace

praia grande (portugese restaurant)

a-ma temple

macau tower

ruins of st. paul's

lovin' it

disneyland hollywood hotel pool (annabelle's first swim)


Friday, November 21, 2008


Did you know that drug trafficking in Singapore is a capital offense? I'd seen the signs in the airport, but figured they were probably scare-tactics to make would-be offenders think twice. Apparently not. I recently read this article in the local newspaper. That got me curious about the subject. I read an interesting analysis and then looked at these stats. It turns out that Singapore has one of the highest per-capita execution rates in the world. In case you're not able to read the articles yourself, here is a quote that helps explain the government's position on this issue:

"The basic difference in our approach springs from our traditional Asian value system which places the interests of the community over and above that of the individual. . .In criminal law legislation, our priority is the security and well being of law-abiding citizens rather than the rights of the criminal to be protected from incriminating evidence."
Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew

Agree or disagree, you can't argue with the fact that Singapore has done an amazing job of maintaining a low crime rate.

The Best Burger in Town

Okay, I know this is risky because not all taste buds were created equal, but I am pretty confident that I have found the best burger in town (Carl's Junior doesn't count since it's technically fast food. One could make a pretty good case for their burgers, though).

The Bacon Mushroom Cheese Burger at BlooiE's Roadhouse at the Rail Mall on Upper Bukit Timah Road is awesome. Seriously. I'm married to a burger fan and we've tried burgers all over the island. This burger is amazing. I don't normally like mushrooms on my burgers, but this is different. They must have cast a yummy spell on these mushrooms because I just can't get enough of them!

If you're really not in the mood for mushrooms and you refuse to take my word on it that you'll feel differently after you've tasted the Bacon Mushroom Cheese Burger (which wouldn't make sense --why would you go at all if you didn't want to take my word for it), then I suppose you can opt for the Chilli Burger. It's pretty awesome, too.

(I'm not too good at photographing food, but even so, doesn't this Bacon Mushroom Cheese Burger look yummy?)

Go try it. Even if you don't think it's THE best burger, I am certain you'll agree that it's way up there!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Health Care in Singapore--Part V

(Click the links to read Parts I, II, III and IV.)

This will (most likely) be my last installment in the Health Care series. Of course, there is more to say and I've only scratched the surface, both of my own experiences and of the entire topic, but yesterday was my "last" appointment in this prenatal/labor&delivery/postpartum saga so I think it is a good time to end this series.

I don't know if this last post is a informative piece. . . I think it would be more apropos to call it a tribute to a very good doctor.

A Doctor Who Remembers My Name

Searching for health care in a new country is kind of scary. There are so many questions and everything is so unfamiliar. And, it's not like you're looking to get your car serviced. You're dealing with the most precious possessions you have--your life and health, and the life and health of those you love. When you do find a skilled doctor who seems to genuinely care, it's a huge blessing.

Dr. Lee
(my apologies to Annabelle who was awoken from a nap for this snapshot)

I don't know how Dr. Lee does it, but she knows who I am. She knows my name, my husband's name, my kids' names. She remembers and asks about things I've mentioned at previous appointments. Things like how my sister-in-law enjoyed her visit and how Josh's teaching is going. And the most impressive. . . she remembered that I ran into her in passing two months ago.

I would expect to remember her details. . . after all, I only have one doctor. But, she has hundreds of patients; that fact that she knows me is much more impressive. So, in addition to her medical expertise, I was greatly impressed with her people skills. . . skills that made me feel like a real person and not a number in a chart.

She's a great doctor and if you're planning to have a baby here in Singapore, I'd highly recommend her!