Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Christmas in Singapore
We took advantage of the 4-day Christmas weekend to escape Mumbai and India altogether. We needed a break, and this need was further intensified since there’s been a rather– um– charged atmosphere around here since Thanksgiving.
So, late on Christmas Eve, after breaking all my Christmas rules and opening the prettily-wrapped presents that were under our Charlie-Brown Christmas tree, we headed to the airport to catch a flight to Singapore, the mecca of all things modern, clean, and orderly in this region. We ended up having a great time.
We ate good food, enjoying a different sort of cuisine at virtually every meal. Christmas dinner was an indulgent smorgasbord of tapas (featuring dishes with both beef and pork, to increase the un-India-ness of it) with a very nice bottle of white wine. It was at a charming-looking restaurant, and my husband obliged me by flashing a toothpaste-commercial-worthy grin.
We spent a full day at the zoo, which both of us agreed puts to shame almost every other zoo we’ve been to. In one area, we got to be in very close contact with some butterflies, ring-tailed lemurs, sloths, bats, a tree kangaroo, mouse deer, and various birds and lizards.
And there were white tigers, which made me pretty happy (not quite such close contact with them, though).
We wandered around town, enjoying being able to get out and walk around without dodging rickshaws, loiterers, street dogs, and gaping holes in the sidewalks. The air was clean, the scenery was pretty, and we even managed to wander into the city’s most famous hotel for a taste of their signature drink, the Singapore Sling, which we enjoyed in the lobby bar next to a real, honest-to-goodness 20-foot noble fir tree that had been shipped over from Oregon. That tree really smelled like Christmas – it was soooo nice.