Time w- Bro' on the "Air-Conditioned Island"

Trip Start Jul 13, 2009
Trip End Jul 20, 2010

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shazam, Chicago...Shazam,Korea...Shazam, Singapore....Ahhh Family!!!   
 It felt like three lightning bolts.  One strike from Costa Rica to Chicago, then another from Chicago to Korea, and another to Singapore.  We were so happy when we arrived to see my brother Romy, his wife Evelyn, and our cute little niece Alena (2 1/2) .  Romy wasn't kidding when he said, "We'll see if Alena will accept you".  She is so strong willed, independent, and vocal.  We love it!!  She wants to do things her way and by herself.  Hmmmm sounds a little like her Auntie Caroline.  And Mike and I found out soon enough that she has a pair of lungs, first to burst out in song, second to use that high pitched scream when she doesn't get what she wants.  And if someone helps her to do something, watch out, she can crack glass!  It's music to Mike and my ears.  Her sweet charming smile with those chubby cheeks make everything she does acceptable, and she knows it!  She is so smart too.  She loves to watch what is happening around her and she falls into this deep thoughtful silence with that cheeky smile again. 
Romy and Evelyn got their parent system ON!  Their nanny, Rose, has Alena's bag packed for Daycare (Daycare and a Nanny?...don't ask we wouldn't understand... we're American). 
It's an organized system...Breakfast, Rose has lunch bags on the table for all, Romy pulls the car around from the garage.  Next Evelyn, dressed to the nines, grabs Alena in one arm, the newspaper in the other and glides out the door leaving traces of her perfume evaporaing in the living room's atmosphere.  All this happens while Mike and I are sitting at the kitchen table sipping our hot tea in our pajamas wondering if we should explore Little India, Arab Street, Chinatown, the Airshow, or shop at Orchard St.  Ahhh the sweet smell of Sabbatical!

The book, "A Fortunte Teller Told Me"  describes how Singapore is an "Air Conditioned Island".  There are underground walkways connecting mall after mall.  Imagine the Magnificent Mile in Chicago connecting all its shops underground.  So when Mike and I were looking to cross a busy intersection, we couldn't J-walk because it was illegal, so we had to follow signs for an underpass. This underpass twisted and turned and disoriented our sense of direction when we surfaced back up to the streets. As a result we ended up walking in circles above ground then underground, and again...above then under,  and back to where we started again.  We had a great visit to Ngee Ann's food court.  I've been there with my sister a few years back.  I knew Mike would love it because of it's authentic dishes.  I loved it for that reason AND it was so clean!  We walked by the fruit juice stand and got a whiff of Durian...the smelliest fruit in the world.  It is considered rude to eat durian on public transport.  On our last days in Singapore Romy, Evelyn and Alena took us for a walk around the main attractions. We had a traditional breakfast with sock-tea and toast with coconut jam.  Lots of laughs with Alena and Mike, they are both so goofy together. Next, off to Vietnam!  Our time with them was so precious.  We can't wait to return in May.
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