So, now that I'm in Singapore I'm kind of lost on what to do. This place seems like one big shopping mall. It is very nice, clean, and modern but my first impression is that it lacks local culture. It may be from my location since I'm staying in the business/shopping/hotel area. The city has a Chinatown and Little India sections. I'll probably check them out today and I have a feeling I'll get to see a bit more of what I'd hoped too.
I did have an excellent meal last night at East Ocean which is a Teochew style restaurant. What exactly is Teochew style you ask? Well I had to ask too and it's a form of Chinese cooking that differs from the more Cantonese style Chinese found in the US. The menu was gigantic and had all kinds of strange and bizarre items like duck tounges, goose feet, shark fin, fish stomachs, etc. The Teochew tradition is to start the meal with Oolong Tea and also drinking it in between courses. I had a cucumber salad to begin, then Strawberry Pork, and finally curry-ginger chicken. All were exceptionally good! On the table as well was a great chili paste condiment that was very spicy but awesome! After dinner I was also brought a small complementary desert of awesome little pastries called mooncakes. They tasted liked nothing I've ever has before. I asked what they were made out of and was told they contained lotus paste and custard. I got the feeling they do not get many western diners. I was the only one but the place was very busy, lots of big family groups. I think the place was popular for birthdays and other family celebrations.
It seems the local culture has been largely lost in commercialism that is so consuming here. Aside from the vast amount of Asian people, you would be hard pressed to not think you were in a western city here at first glance. The first restaurant I tried to go in last night was a california based steakhouse. I didn't know till I got the menu and then I left.
I'm really ready to just get to Indo now...but, the journey is as important, if not more than the destination! So, with an open mind, I will welcome the experience.
Oh yeah, one super awesome thing, I've yet to have to pay extra to carry my surfboards on the plane! I was expecting to have to pony up big dough to carry around three boards with me but Cathay Pacific apparently allows them as long as you don't check any other luggage. As a comparison, Delta charges $300.00...per board!!!!!!!! I'm flying Singapore Airlines next to Jakarta, hopefully they will be as surfer friendly!