Singapore Schlep Nov 2015

It’s been a week since our Singapore trip. It was good beans, as usual, though a bit more than usual this time around since we stayed at a hotel in Clark Quay instead of on my cousin, Evan’s, living room floor where we usually park our tushes when we’re in the country. I love staying at my cousin’s, but getting spoiled at a fancy hotel is nice for a change – especially when it’s on someone else’s dime, which, thanks to Joff’s job it was. (Thank you, Deezer.)

This was our third time in Singapore this year and I’m glad we at least made a bit of an effort to not just do what we usually do when we’re there, ie. chicken rice and hawkers out the wazoo, Orchard shopping jaunts, and Tiong Bahru/Lavander twee coffee shop runs. Since we were staying in Clark Quay, we mostly hung out/ate in Chinatown, which we discovered was just a short five-minute walk away.

Some highlights:

– The Szechuan restaurant my friends Anton and Faith took us to on our first night. Joff and I liked it so much that we returned twice in the next three days. I miss it SO MUCH.

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– The dessert place we ate at after the Szechuan place!  We had this amazing shaved ice dessert called Chendol Snow Ice: it was a glorious mess of coconut flavored shaved ice topped with pandan flavored jellies that look like worms (the aforementioned ‘chendol’), red bean, coffee jelly, and the best thing since sliced bread in my humble opinion: GULA MELAKA (a dark brown syrup made from palm sugar).
– I bought a camera! My first one in a really long time. It’s a FujiFilm X-M1 and I am in love with it. It’s frighteningly easy to use and makes everything look really pretty.
– Neon Lights Festival! The reason we were in Singapore in the first place. We had boatloads of fun watching bands we were vaguely and not-so vaguely familiar with, and were also humbly reminded that we are getting too old for music festivals.

Festival faves:
– Gengahr! These dudes are awesome. If you’re not familiar with them, please give them a listen. I think an appropriate descriptor for their music would be ‘compulsively listenable.’ Every time I go out for a walk, I find myself going back to their album “A Dream Outside.” My current favorite tracks are Dizzy Ghosts, Tired Eyes, and She’s a Witch. Their music makes me feel like I’m 23 again waiting for the boy I like to text me back. I think it might be because they remind me vaguely of Menomena.
– Rachel Yamagata. I never really listened to any of her stuff until a few days before the festival and I really dug it. She was even better live and also surprisingly funny.
– Sun Kil Moon – Mark Kozelek sang Moon River and grabbed at audience members’ phones; it was strange but fun, much like Kozelek himself.
– RATATAT! Wasn’t a fan before seeing them at the festival, but boy were they good! Super fun and energetic set with amazing visuals.

Here are some photos from the trip:

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Told ya it makes everything pretty
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Gengahr!
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Rachel Yamagata
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A delicious plate of char siew