04 December 2011

Singaporean Sunday with Friends

There is never any shortage of activities to undertake in Singapore be it athletic, cultural or just plain fun.  One thing we do know is that as expats in Singapore we want to explore every inch of this beautiful country.

Of course it is that much more enjoyable in the company of friends.  So to share our Sunday experience let's begin with breakfast.

Now John is a brekky specialist whether it's crispy bacon with eggs and hash browns or as simple as toast and jam but today's breakfast is a delightful Spanish omelette consisting of panfried potatoes, capsicum, onions, peas and eggs.  Joining us for breakfast are Marc & Lindsay from our neighbouring condo.  Both are South African born, NZ citizens living as expats in Singapore, having a jolly good time just like us.

Stomach full we are ready to be cultured today and take off for the stunningly refurbished National Museum of Singapore to view a collection of Impressionists artworks.  However, not before Marc & Lindsay devour a five layered chocolate mousse (each layer has different quantities of cocoa), John and I fight over the chocolate cheesecake and Trini demolishes her own red velvet cupcake, along with a round of cappuccinos and tea.

The Impressionists exhibition from D'Orsay Museum, France presents 140 artworks from artists the likes of Gaugain, Van Gogh & Monet.  Personally the icing on the cake for this exhibition is seeing Van Gogh's stunning Starry Nights painting, which I have only ever experienced in print format and let me tell you, it is a superb painting.

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh [1888-89]

Halfway through the exhibition, we took a rest in the interactive space where Trini along with John, Marc & Lindsay created their own work of art featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater from Pixar's Cars movie, a purple Brachiosaurus, 2 pink aeroplanes, Camilla & Charles lookalikes, a gigantic yellow flower and a pink heart. 

The modern artists with the completed artwork [2011]

From here we moved onto the Museum's permanent exhibitions being the:
  • Fashion Gallery depicting Singapore's fashion style between 1950 and 1970.
  • William Farquhar's Collection of Natural History Drawings.  William commissioned locals to illustrate the diverse flora and fauna of the Malay Peninsula in the 1800s and amassed a spectacular collection of 477 drawings which have over time and through Mr GK Goh's efforts found their way back to Singapore.  The complete set has been donated by Mr Goh to the Museum.
  • Food Gallery representing 10 iconic dishes, Singapore's street food culture and its diverse and cross-cultural origins.
  • Photography Gallery portraying 100 years of Singaporean life through family portraits and albums of old photographs.
William Farquhar's Durian (aka King of Fruits). Tastes like a rich custard
but has a phenomenonally strong odour that many find offensive.

Watching roti pratha being made in the Food Gallery got Marc's taste buds running a muck and a visit to a roti specialist at Parkway Parade was underway.  By now the typical monsoon season is at hand with tropical rain aplenty but that did not deter us from hopping on a train and then a bus to get to the Mall for some roti (forget the taxis they were nowhere to be found).

In the Mall's foodcourt, John and Marc order cheese roti, egg roti and plain roti. Totalling 12 rotis we left not a morsel in sight.  By this stage it's 7pm and Trini has passed out.  Good ol' daddy works off the roti by carrying Trini and all of her 17kg by heading back to the bus stop because the taxi stand is chockas and booking one is impossible.

Since it's still raining and the bus stops near Marc & Lindsay's condo but not ours, we do a pitstop at their place for a Rooibos tea which is a popular South African tea.  A delightful flavour that to me was a cross between herbal and normal tea, it has no caffeine in it, it's filled with antioxidants and has low tannin levels.  Eventually we brave the weather and make our way home with our own box of Rooibos tea courtesy of our friends.

A long and busy Sunday, we now satisfactorily sit back on our lounge suite with a glass of Red Gum Vale Shiraz Cabernet.

So if you live in Singapore and you feel like being cultured, do check out the Museum's travelling exhibitions.  You never know what might be on display.