Wednesday, June 29, 2016

On Their Way!

Mike and the boys are on their way!  Yippee! And they had enough time to make it through security at JFK, which is a good start. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In Which There Are Many Beautiful Flowers

 It was hot even by Singapore standards today, but I ventured out to the Orchid Garden anyhow, as time is growing a bit short!  It was worth the trip and the sweat -- lots of very beautiful plants (maintained by a constantly working team of horticulturists).

Beforehand, I had the pleasure of getting together with my former student for a lunch of laksa (a sweet curry noodle soup, one of the national dishes) and a discussion of the Brexit (as he's British -- and still holding out a little hope that the EU exit won't end up actually happening).

Har Par Wow

I cannot even describe the awesomeness of Haw Par Villa.  It's surreal, a little run down, and chock full of photo opportunities -- all the things you want in a tourist attraction.  :)  (Also, it's free.)  It's a theme park built by the founder of Tiger Balm ("a larger than life figure who loved money, women, and himself", according to the information sign), and it's basically sculptures illustrating different (mostly Chinese) stories and mythology.

I went there thinking that it wouldn't be a good place for the kids (there's a section called the 10 Gates of Hell which is definitely not for kids, what with the graphic illustrations of various punishments), but given that it's filled with tigers and some dragons, I think we'll have to bring the boys.  :)

Even beyond the Courts of Hell exhibit, the "virtues and vices" section does not pull any punches -- those who aren't virtuous often meet bad ends (for example, the boy who abandoned his friend when they encounter a bear in the woods ends up getting eaten himself -- and the sculptures show his getting his leg chewed off!)  One of the reviews said something about it giving generations of Singaporean children nightmares after they went there on school trips, and it's possible they weren't joking.  :)  If we do make it back, we might not spend much time in that section.

Note on the signs that they take cheating on examinations pretty seriously in the Chinese version of Hell!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Boys Weekend

 Mike took the boys to the (grown-ups) Ninja Warrior tournament yesterday, but they weren't too excited by it (no Geoff Britten this time!), so they left a little early.  But it appears they had a fun afternoon at playgrounds and along the Erie Canal!  (Perhaps Mike can fill in the details.)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sky Party

Last weekend, one of the staff here had an engagement party up on the roof of an Orchard Road hotel.  It was awesome!  The rain held off, so we were able to enjoy the fantastic views (and of course, good company as well.)