Monday, November 29, 2004

A tip for home-away-from-home shoppers

Everyone closest and dearest to me know I love to shop. Shoes and bags are my especial weaknesses- just ask Jude. Whether I can afford to shop is another question, but having the will is never a problem. We're talking marathon, 6-hour straight, need-a-herbal-foot-bath-at-the-end-of-the-day kind of shopping here... So when faced with a relatively relaxed Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas just a month away, and family exactly 9399 miles (or 15124 km) away, what does a girl do? Online shopping of course...

Now everyone thinks of Amazon.com when they think shopping online which is natural since they're probably incomparable when it comes to books, CDs, DVDs, etc. But the thing that kills me is the shipping- we're talking an almost 20% hitch in price because of the delivery charge. They make up for it with huge discounts, but only on books that are popular. For those of us overseas who want to send books home, I recommend Acma Books. A group of English graduates from the National University of Singapore set up Singapore's first online book store about 4 years ago and I've been using them ever since. You may not find the great discounts that Amazon gives you but you save a ton on shipping. And the website's pretty cool too.

Oh, and I was way over the moon to discover that my favorite cake shop in Singapore not only has a website, they do local deliveries as well! The Patissier makes beautiful and absolutely drool-worthy cakes. My all-time favorite is their passion fruit meringue- just thinking of it gives me a sugar rush... They charge a S$10 delivery fee but that's negligible considering how difficult it is to order things like cakes and hampers and get them delivered from way out here. Trust us- it's a lifesaver.

As for our friends right here who fortunately don't have to worry about international shipping, I don't have to tell you about the tons of wonderful sites out there on which to spend those Christmas dollars. Jude & I just ordered stuff from Ann Arbor's own Zingerman's, a veritable institution in this town. They've got great food items (we recommend the sour cream coffe cake and lemon poppy seed cake) so if you've got foodie friends or family, trust us, this is THE place.

On a more altruistic note, check out this website from Robib, Cambodia. Buy their hand woven silk scarves and the proceeds don't only pay the weavers, but the profits also go to the local assistance programs. And they're really nice scarves too! Since we're on the topic of clothing, I have to give a shout out to my friend Sheryl who runs two clothing websites with gorgeous clothes and accessories. Bohemian Closet and Bohemeluxe specialize in vintage clothing and jewelry so go visit her- she's got really pretty stuff!

For those less coutre-inclined, check this store out- isn't everything so cute??!! Ok, so their pricing policy is clearly not realistic by any grad students standards, but... isn't everything so cute??!! Also, I know people out there tearing their hair out for that special someone- c'mon... admit it! If I were a girl waiting for a gift from a would-be beau, this would be nice. She's got pretty designs and they're all hand-made to boot. They might not be the most affordable things around, but you pay for the uniqueness of it I guess. If your girl prefers something edgier, our friend Shing has her own design studio. She thinks of herself more as an artist actually. She did our wedding rings (she calls them union rings) but I don't think she ships overseas though. And ladies, don't fret, Flax and MOMA should solve your problems for that man in your life. Even if he doesn't do the chores, he still deserves that one gift a year...

Most importantly, I finally found a site that puts together all the neat things we can get for kids. Oliebollen has everything from books to clothes to things for their rooms. Their tagline, "essentials for perfectly childish living" says it all. If I were a mum or an aunt with a healthy bank account...

So there, no one said shopping was for the faint-hearted. Just for the holiday season, I'll put all these sites up on the sidebar so people can access them easily. Happy shopping and watch that credit limit!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Our Thanksgiving wish...

On this snowy Thanksgiving, we want to give thanks for our family whose love for us transcends the four oceans and expensive phonecalls; our friends in all their quirky, faithful and wonderful glory; for good health (or whatever it is our feeble attempts at staying healthy have afforded us); for the opportunity to be here doing what many people only dream about (and save up all their lives for...), and most importantly, for the blessing of having each other along this crazy journey we've discovered people call Life.

Also, in this season of not just gratitude, but also of giving and generosity, we offer a wish to be that someone or do something that others can be thankful for.

"How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me."
- W. H. Auden, "The More Loving One"

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Desert island movies

Ok, this is war! A bunch of classmates and I had a heated but not unpleasant conversation a couple of days ago about desert island movies- not GREAT movies, but our FAVORITE movies. These are movies you'd watch over and over again and therefore deserve to be carted along to a far-flung island in the event of that happening. In other words, even though I think Silence of the Lambs is a great film, I don't think I can stomach (pun fully intended) the prospect of being stuck on an island with the spectre of Hannibal Lecter looming over me... So anyway, the challenge is to come up with the best list of 30 and winner gets her meal of choice. We haven't figured out what the booby-prize for the worst list should be, but I'm thinking a marathon viewing of Steven Seagal flicks... I've tried to be really honest and only thought of films I've watched so I wish I could take Being John Malkovich with me, but alas, I never got round to watching the whole thing.

The thing is, there're just more good movies out there than I have the luxury of watching, like more P. T. Anderson stuff, Woody Allen's early films and a whole bunch of older movies like One Flies Over the Cuckoo's Nest. There're also more movies I love that just couldn't fit in this list- The Ice Storm, Raise the Red Lantern, etc. I guess my criteria for the films I did choose is that they have to be movies which I respond to not just intellectually, but aesthetically and emotionally as well. I mean, if I'm going to be stuck on a desert island, the last thing I want to be doing is dissecting the metaphors of Trois Coleurs. Now Four Weddings and a Funeral on the other hand...

So girls, here goes and remember, I like Japanese food...

1) Amelie (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain)
2) American Beauty
3) The Big Lebowski- This isn't exactly my favorite Coen brothers movie, but for reasons that continue to elude me, my desert island person loves this and I guess I need to bring a movie we can watch together...
4) Dead Poet's Society- The only reason I started reading Walt Whitman.
5) Edward Scissorhands
6) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
7) Fargo
8) Fight Club
9) Four Weddings and a Funeral- Hugh Grant at his floppiest and most delicious. Note to significant other- I want the Auden poem read at my funeral... Also, best ever declaration of love.
10) The Hours- I love this movie. LOVE.
11) The Hudsucker Proxy
12) I Heart Huckabees
13) Jerry Maguire
14) Léon a.k.a. The Professional
15) LOTR: The Two Towers- But only if you made me choose. If not, I'll get the LOTR: Extended Version and cart the whole darn thing with me.
16) The Matrix
17) Mighty Aphrodite
18) Monsters, Inc.- Between my two favorite Pixar films so far, this won out in the end. As much as I think the studio has truly outdone itself in terms of animation and storyline with The Incredibles, I watched Monsters, Inc. with my little sister and that was great.
19) My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)- This is the kind of world I wish for my children- no bad guys, no fighting between the two kids and no scary monsters. Just scurrying dustballs. As Roger Ebert says, "This is a world where if you meet a strange towering creature in the forest, you curl up on its tummy and have a nap."
20) Oh Brother Where Art Thou?
21) The Piano
22) The Postman (Il Postino)- What's even better than the movie is the breathtaking soundtrack- a recital of Pablo Neruda's poems by some very famous people. The Material Girl is surprisingly good and Sting- well, this is a public site so I shan't say more... Listen to the snippets.
23) Requiem for a Dream- Ok, so I can't really watch this over and over again without my stomach squirming and wretching my guts out. But if you ever need a movie to remind you how blessed you are by showing you how low the human spirit can descend, this would do. Painful stuff.
24) The Shawshank Redemption
25) Some Kind of Wonderful- In my view, best '80s movie, at least of its genre.
26) The Sweet Hereafter- I finally understood what the Pied Piper of Hamelin means.
27) Tombstone of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka)- If there's anything I ask of you, it will be to please watch this film. Nothing you've ever seen before or after Pixar will prepare you for how powerful animation can be.



28) Untamed Heart- Every line in this movie is calculated to make you cry, and I fall for it every single time. We're talking buckets here...
29) Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin)
30) You've Got Mail

So there you go- after three days of hair-tearing agony, one plaintive international cry for help, hours of surfing the web, a smirk of disapproval from my husband, and one trip to Blockbuster's, this list has got to win me at least dessert if not the full meal...

Friday, November 19, 2004

Feeling Blue?

Need some relief from post-election blues? I found this off Apophenia, Danah Boyd's blog. And it's a light-hearted jab at all you depressed people out there :)

[Click the image]


jude

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Do you hear what I hear?

I've never really liked this song. I love what it stands for though. It was a big deal in 1984- celebrities then didn't ubiquitously adopt "world causes" like they do today- save the rain forests, anti-landmine campaigns, stop industrial waste pollution, dolphin-free tuna, etc. There wasn't a need to wear a social conscience on your sleeve as part of the "I'm-a-famous-person-now-so-I-need-to-represent-something" package. And so when some of the biggest names in the music industry came together to record a song for charity, people actually sat up, listened and bought. "Do They Know it's Christmas" went on to become a U.K., U.S. and international hit, and together with Live Aid- a series of concerts all over the world, it raised more than US$70 million for Africa.



The thing is, these days, it's eveywhere! You hear it incessantly for 2 whole months- from every radio station, every corner of the mall; you even half expect to hear it when you open your presents on Christmas morning. We get it! You guys were great! You saved all these starving children in Ethiopia! But spare us that song!!

So it was interesting that when I heard that some of today's biggest stars have recorded a remake, I was actually a little outraged at their audacity. The song's a Christmas institution- ok, so it's really annoying- but it's an institution no less. It's like trying to re-upholster an embarassingly ugly couch which you've kind of gotten used to over the years... I love most of the people on the new version- Chris Martin/ Coldplay and Travis are great of course- but I'm not sure how it will go down with the generation of listeners so devoted to George Michael, Bananarama et al. The next thing you know, they'll be remaking "We Are The World" with Justin Timberlake in place of Lionel Ritchie.

I wanted to download the new version on the sly just to listen, but my enlightened husband reminded me, it's a charity single, pay for it. And so for those of you who are 1) too lazy to go to the stores to buy the single; or 2) lucky enough to own an IPod (or any mp3 player I guess), here's the official link. People are starving out there as we stuff oursevles over Thanksgiving and Christmas- do a little something.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

My favouritest place in the whole wide world!

Oh my God! Serene's last post brought it all back- people who know me well know that one day I would like to own a house by the coast of South West Australia. And I know just exactly where- it's a magical little place called Meelup beach between Dunsborough and Cape Naturaliste. I brought my mom there once and she literally jumped into the water fully clothed. The closest I can come to describing the place to those who have not been there is that it is very much like the last scene in Contact where Jodie Foster meets the Alien in a dreamlike beach.

SouthWest Australia has just about everything- great surfing beaches at the famous Margeret River, good food and wineries, karri forests and best of all, Cape Leeuwin, the exact point where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean!



Half a world away and one dreams of being between the capes again. (A shout out to my old friends Bill Dunstone and James Koh- wherever you guys are- thank you for telling me about the wonders of the South while I was in Perth.)

Jude

30 things I wish for...

It's never too early to make a wish-list for Christmas although I doubt Santa (in any incarnation) will take this on. But still, a girl can hope can't she?
1) The 20GB I-Pod for Jude. The U2 special edition with 400 U2 songs pre-loaded would be even better...
2) That my best friends and I will as close in 2043 as we were in 1993.
3) Play jazz piano.
4) Run a marathon.
5) Good health and perpetual happiness for everyone I love (ok, I guess I wish that for people I don't really like too...)
6) Cable TV.
7) Time to watch cable TV.
8) That the 51% of America who voted for Bush will at some point in the next 4 years realize what a massive mistake they've made.
9) Change a busted tyre by myself.
10) Read all of Shakespeare's works, histories included.
11) Own a house on any beach along South-west Australia.
12) Make the people I love as happy as they make me.
13) Nice hair.
14) Grow old gracefully.
15) That in my lifetime, Singapore will enjoy a greater degree of real democracy, constructive freedom of expression and critical awareness.
16) A vintage wardrobe for regular days.
17) A J.Crew wardrobe for extraordinary days.
18) Read all the books I own.
19) Come to terms with the size of my waist and the width of my hips.
20) That my parents and sisters know I love them dearly even though I can't tell them that everyday.
21) See Italy.
22) That Jude will recover from his crush on Renee Zellweger and realize how deluded he's been.
23) That Jude will acknowledge my crush on Ed Harris as legitimate and harmless.
24) Own a bookshop like this some day.
25) Raise children who are healthy, funny & wise.
26) Self-control.
27) That governments will care about people, not ideologies.
28) Watch U2 live.
29) A personal library of good children's literature.
30) To be as happy at 75 as I am today.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Go blue!

Today, Jude and I finally participated in one of the most sacred traditions of this fine university, the rite of passage all U-M students are fabled to have experienced at least once during their sojourn here; apparently no U-M education is complete without attending this ritual of sorts, where strangers become brothers (or sisters...), where kinship is no longer defined by blood, and where the humble dollar-hotdog can only be gotten at the royal price of $6!... Yup, we went to a U-M football game today.

It wasn't intentional really. My wonderful advisor had a couple of extra tickets and offered them to me on Thursday; since Jude and I have never been to a football game and this was going to be U-M's last home game, we were more then happy to take the tickets. The thing is, I had no idea what this game involves, so I do what all good graduate students do when they encounter something they don't know (or so the professors here believe)- research. I did a Google and ta-dah! a website professes to be able to tell me all I need to know about this quintessentially American sport. Sadly, it lost me even before starting on the rules- I couldn't even understand how the field is set-up...

But still, it was a good experience all round I guess- spent half the time clicking away and the other half pretending to understand the game by cheering when everyone else cheered, and gesticulating wildly even though I didn't have a clue what or why I was gesticulating wildly. You get a hang of what's going on after a while- it doesn't take a nuclear physicist to realize that the point of basically ANY ball game is to get the ball from one end of the field to the other. What Jude and I found annoying is that American football is so choppy. I mean, why have these time-outs when all they do is convene and figure out how to run the next few yards? (Which is another one of my pet peeves about America- like hello?? The rest of the world speaks in metric- what's with the yards, feet, stone, pint? And they're not even proportionately related to each other...)

Anyway, like I was saying, it's difficult to engage in a game that keeps stopping every few minutes. What was more fun about being at the stadium was the atmosphere of being with 111,346 other people in one compound. It was quite exhilarating actually, and you pretty much get caught up in the spirit of everything- it is very infectious. And so I find out that the whole marching band-cheerleading-mascot deal really exists (and not just a figment of my John Hughes-inspired notion of what an American education experience is all about), that food costs more before than after a game, that 45-year olds can shout (and curse) as well as any 18-year old, and that I do not own a piece of clothing that is vaguely maize or blue to represent the college colors. Oh yes, I also discovered that looking for friends amidst 111,346 people is like playing a very cruel version of "Where's Wally?", except without the striped sweater...

So yes, the deed is done and I don't have to worry about fulfilling any obligation to watch a football game again for the next 4 years. We're probably not going back to another game; it's not that we don't like it, but to have from a country that practically revers soccer, and for someone like Jude who used to play rugby, football kinda seems awfully... slow. Besides, $6 for a hotdog is just plain wrong...


Saturday, November 06, 2004

Picking up/ at the pieces...

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."
-Janis Joplin

One of the remarkable things about being in a university like this is the great clout it has to attract visitors and speakers from all over to this little town somewhat removed from the cultural centers of this country. Arthur Miller was here last year, Kofi Annan came in 1999, the Brown sisters (from Brown vs. Board of Education) were guests at our Martin Luther King Symposium, etc. So it wasn't a great surprise to me when Noam Chomsky came to U-M last week to speak at the Davis, Markert, Nickerson Lecture on Academic and Intellectual Freedom. This lecture series was established 14 years ago to commemorate three U-M professors who were suspended in 1954 for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities during the McCarthy era. Chomsky's lecture didn't address intellectual freedom per se, but more the whole notion of freedom in general, particularly the ability to use this freedom justly, honestly, and humanely. I thought it was rather uncanny that I watched the video today as America- at least 49% of America- are still grappling with the reality that they will continue to be led by a man who believes in America's freedom to exercise the right to pre-emptive action in the name of self defense, while maintaining that this right is not universalizable, but the sole perogative of this "enlightened state".

I think that Chomsky's over-arching argument was that the U.S. is probably one of the only placest in the world where freedom is a real and exercisable right, and yet it's in this same world that people so often squander/ exploit/ abuse this rare gift. In Singapore, people think of freedom as standing on a box in the middle of a park spouting whatever it is that seems anti-government and provocative; spraying graffiti is freedom; drinking your own pee as an expression of art is freedom. But it can and should be so much more.

Someone in the audience asked Chomsky how it is that information on the U.S.'s many "legitimate but illegal" acts were not made public even though that could have been easily done through institutions of higher education and/ or the media; Chomsky's answer was that the issue is not one of opportunity but of will. The large proportion of America truly believe that just by her sheer position as a nuclear powerhouse-cum-sole superpower, this country deserves to be exempt from international law.

This is more distressing under today's circumstances. The U.S. is led by a man who believes that through faith in the divine, or whatever moral values it is that won him this elections, he has access to the Truth, that all he does is legitimate because this Truth has guided his actions. Believing that you have an insight to some ultimate Answer is wilful and myopic- whether this Answer was bestowed to you through religion, patriotism, nationalism, etc.- any kind of ideology. It is comforting in a profoundly dangerous way because it puts all the complex little pieces of this world into neat categories, and purports to be THE world as it ought to be. It oversimplifies. Karl Marx said that "Religion is the opiate of the masses." No, ANY kind of ideology is a drug, communism not exempt. It paints the world in black and white, Truth and the Un-truth, In and Out. It is unforgiving, selfish and it offends.

I believe I'm religious- not evangelically so- but yes. But I also believe that people can separate their religious and spiritual commitments from social and political reality. I'm Christian, and I believe that stem-cell research can be useful; I would like to think that I have strong family values, and I believe that homosexuals have a right to marry and raise children too; I think of myself as moral, and I also think that abortion may be necessary under certain circumstances. But in the world of 51% of America, my beliefs make me dissolute, un-Christian and fundamentally immoral. And here I thought I was just human.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

The rabbit hole

So America has a president. This is our first elections in the U.S. and it was quite a heady experience to get caught up in the the whirlwind of it all. We stayed up much of last night following the results and it was excruciating... Shuffling between watching TV, looking at different news web-sites and refreshing the pages all the time waiting for states to turn blue- I felt almost half-American. I think the thing about being in America during this period is that it brought home a very simple truth to me. Regardless of how the election has turned out, Americans have a choice, and they know, with some amount of certainty that their vote will count and that they do have a say in who leads them. Jude & I could conceivably go through our lives never having voted once (I think my parents have only ever voted once...) and even if we did, everyone knows who gets which slice of the pie right from the start, and that having an election would merely be an elaborate song-and-dance routine for some semblance of legitimacy.

I don't particularly think Bush has a great mandate actually. Sure he's got the majority or the electoral and popular vote, but he's the incumbent; if America has truly spoken, as he claims she has in his victory speech this afternoon, he should have won more convincingly. America did speak, through their votes; and what their votes say is that this is now a profoundly divided country. If Bush only considers the 51% of the population who voted for him as America, then what is the other 49%? By fighting such a divisive campaign, rallying the "who's in" against the "who's not", Bush (and one suspects Kerry would have had too) has effectively alienated half the people he now has to lead for the next 4 years. And that, as they say in Texas, "ain't gonna be easy, mister. He's fortunate that Kerry was gracious in defeat. I suspect if the reverse had been true, Bush would have sent his lawyers straight to the Supreme Court at the expense of this country's need to get on with its life.

I think everyone in Ann Arbor was a little moody today. Class seemed a little more subdued than usual, professors were a little restrained, even the weather's colder and drearier today than it's been for a while. As for Jude & I, I won't say we're depressed, but yes, a vague sinking feeling in the pit of your gut. Just kind of blue all day I guess (pun fully intended). I know it may not affect me in a deep personal way, but I know how much a change in leadership means to my friends here, and to America's future as a whole. This country cannot be led by a man who believes that issues of personal faith can and should inform governmental policy. One may admire him for his religious conviction, but as Kerry said in one of the debates, you cannot legislate something based on an article of faith. Not in a country which prides itself to be a melting-pot at home and a global leader abroad.

Listening to NPR all day was good. There was a whole ton of great shows that featured guest commentators, writers, columnists from all over the country and it was engaging because people were very sensible and rational in their analysis of the results- none of that exploitative muckraking or accusatory arguments that tend to follow election controversies. Many of them were disappointed, and it was actually moving to hear them speak, to be in a country where people feel so strongly about politics that you could almost hear the grief in their voices. A woman from Tennessee called in and confessed how petrified she now is for the next 4 years, that she doesn't know if she wants to remain in a country whose president opposes therapeutic stem-cell research on the one hand, but is at the same time willing to heedlessly sacrifice thousands of American lives to fight a baseless war.

Despite what many people think, I don't believe Bush is stupid; perhaps simple, or of average intelligence. But what is distressing is that he masks stubborness and obstinancy behind a rhetoric of conviction. That he responds to and governs from his gut first before his brain. That's fine if you're the owner of a baseball club and needed to only make decision about which player to recruit; but if you're the leader of the only superpower left in the world with an entire artillery of nuclear weapons at your disposal, that is very very dangerous indeed.

On a lighter note, Jude once half-jokingly said that we'll have to move to Canada if Bush wins, and now that he has, that half-joke doesn't seem so funny anymore. We both interviewed at Mcgill University in Montreal 2 years ago and we would have gone in a flash if not for Jude's green card needing us to be here. It's my absolute favorite North American city and the prospect of spending Christmas there this year makes me very happy. And Jude said something really quite funny last night considering the circumstances: looking at the distribution of the electoral votes, it seems that the only sane places to be in America right now are states which either 1) have access to the ocean (e.g. California, New York) or 2) have fresh seafood (e.g. Boston, Washington) or 3) border Canada (e.g. Michigan, Wisconsin). And of course, there's always Hawaii...

"You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." - Morpheus, "The Matrix"

Monday, November 01, 2004

Boo and Birthday

I love kids. I honestly do. They're adorable, they smell nice (most of the time at least...), they gurgle, giggle & gasp at all the right moments, and they pretty much love you unconditionally. But when they come into contact with candy- or the prospect of candy- they turn into maniacs! I swear, it's like a Pavlovian reaction to sugar of any form and they descend upon you like locusts- cute, fluffy locusts- but locusts nonethless. For a half-hour, I was like the greatest, favoritest lady on the block with every conceivable kid (and that odd adult) grabbing at me for Tootsie Rolls, Hershey Kisses, M&Ms and White Rabbit sweets (Can you believe they have that here?! Jude found them at the Chinese grocery store. Some of the kids from China were really quite thrilled.) I think there're going to be some very sick kids today. Parents too.

But this Halloween was fun- it's the first time we had trick-or-treaters come by our house. There weren't that many kids living around our old apartment so it was quiet last year. Check out the costumes these parents prepared for their children- they either had a whole ton of time, money or imagination. But there was one poor boy whose mum I suspect really couldn't care less- he came in a piece of white cloth with two holes cut out for eyes, which is fine until you realized it made him look like a Klan man. Wait... maybe that was the point- now THAT's scary... Jude & I were really quite amazed at what a big deal Halloween is here, especially with the kids. In Singapore, Halloween is just that night when clubs hold huge vampire-fest parties where grown men & women go to in various states of gothic undress; while over here, adults like Jude & I spend $20 on candy only to see it run right out in less than an hour...

On another note, we went to a Malaysian retaurant yesterday to celebrate my birthday. Jude had already brought me out for Italian on Tuesday so last night was more just to hang out with the gang. It's called Penang and it was a pretty nice place. None of that tropical-palm-tree-coconut-bowls decor. There were some pieces of wayang kulit and ikat here and there although their choice in music left much to be desired. There was the token "exotic" music of Anya and Enigma (how they are South-east Asian deludes me...) but also Moby and Sarah MacLachlan which prompted someone to comment,"I didn't know Moby was Singaporean." Then it occurred to me, I don't remember ever yearning to hear "Dayung Sampan" and "Rasa Sayang" so desperately.

Anyways, Jude & I were "this" close to tears when we opened up the menu, for two different reasons actually: seeing words in Malay again after so long was very very comforting, even if it was just things like "roti" and "goreng". Then those tears turned into sheer disbelief when we looked at the prices. Get this: ONE Roti Prata for $3.50, Murtabak for $5, ONE piece of Keropok for $1, four sticks of satay for $7, and this takes the cake- ice-kacang for $5! And I'm talking US dollars people... And you thought paying S$10 for prawn-mee was exhorbitant. But on the whole, it was nice- I think our friends enjoyed the "oriental" experience and we satiated out craving for SEAsian food. In the spirit of true Singaporeanism, we would have smuggled their sambal belachan out if only we had the right container...


wayang kulit