Singapore by night

When I was in the Bugis Street Market the other day I picked up a souveneir magnet in the style of a Survivor: Singapore logo with the motto "Outeat, Outlast, Outshop". Shopping seems to be a beloved hobby for many of the people here, with the crowds on Orchard Road on Christmas day something that has to be seen to be believed. Many people wear genuine designer clothes and bags. Crowded stores-wise, we had a particularly oppressive experience inside the dark nightclub-esque Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store that left us shaken outside like the morning after a bad pill trip. 

In general, the malls are amazing. When we had to cross a side street off Orchard Road via an underpass, my travel tour manager and I found ourselves in a labyrinthine four level basement of stores, with fast fading hope of ever reaching the other side of the street that had seemed just 25 metres away. Add the number of subterrainian levels to the numerous above ground outlets and you can easily see why Singapore would be a shopper's paradise, and a place I'd feel quite happy to dwell in.

Being a melting pot of cultures Singapore also offers a large variety of cuisines to try at cheap prices. We had dinner in the Gluttons Bay Market that sits alongside Marina Bay, where I had my first dalliance with pineapple fried rice, before strolling about and taking snaps of the city skyline and the high-end Marina Bay Sands shopping complex (including a floating Louis Vuitton store and nightclub).

Singapore by day

On Temple Tuesday, which coincided with Christmas Day for the common folk, we visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum in Chinatown. This enormous temple, as you can guess by the name, houses a tooth relic of Buddha that is said to have been found in Myanmar in the 1980s.

Being my first time inside a Buddhist temple, I was very impressed by the hundreds of Buddha statuettes lining the walls of the main gallery and the beautiful silk artwork hangings. The tooth relic itself was kept in a room tiled with gold on the fourth storey. Understandably no photography was allowed in this area, but as you can imagine it was very striking.

The rest of the day was spent walking downtown, then catching the metro to wrangle with the crowds on the main shopping strip Orchard Rd.


An afternoon at Singapore Zoo

My first full day in Singapore and we crossed off one of our major to-dos here with a trip to the zoo. After an immense trek through the enormous range of habitats and wildlife, which resulted in some very sore feet, I can only say that in one word the zoo is EPIC.

Everything is quite open, with little monkeys in some of the trees right up next to the footpath, a orangutan walk where they swing about in the trees above you, and a biodome kind of enclosure with lemurs, sloths, butterflies and hilariously cute mouse deer running about, amongst other things. I have to admit the baboon enclosure did make me quite nervous as the wall seemed quite small for the adults squabbling about in the water below!

A shout-out to my mate Douc Langur (who was unfortunately too busy for me to grab a photo of).

Dwarf caiman. So cute!


Flipping the frizz: my Bio-Ionic permanent hair straightening results

After much hmm-ing, ahh-ing and researching I recently decided to take the big leap and and get my hair permanently straightened. With an upcoming holiday in the tropics the thought of having to deal with my leonine hair on a daily basis in the humidity was too awful to bear, so I booked an appointment at Venus Secret Hair & Beauty in New Farm for their Bio-Ionic treatment.

Upon arrival this evening the lovely hairdresser Maggie talked me through each step of the process, explaining what each treatment would do to my hair and the expected result. I also had to complete a questionnaire basically to gauge what kind of chemicals my hair had been exposed to (dye, shampoos etc) before work began.

Much like Rome wasn't built in a day the process of perfecting my enormous fuzzball was fairly arduous clocking in at four hours. Here are the obligatory before and after shots (and I seriously can't believe how minging my natural brushed out hair looked):

The difference in the way my hair feels now is amazing, it's light and feels well nourished not to mention it's SO shiny. Of course there are rules for the first few days of the new 'do: no getting it wet, no tucking it behind my ears (causes kinkage) and definitely no tying my hair back. For a look that is guaranteed to dry straight and will require relatively little maintenance over the next year before the regrowth makes an appearance, I think $325 and some small rules are well worth the hours I'll save not wrangling with the straightening iron.

See here for more info on the salon I visited and the Bio-Ionic treatment.


Life in Instagram: November

I'm sharing my Instagram pics for last month a little earlier than expected for this simple reason:

I don't know how much time I have left with my phone behaving rather well in such a state so it's best I get official business out of the way ASAP. I think my internal reaction upon dropping my phone Thursday afternoon could be best summed up by this video:

Anyway, onto the rest of the month:

I got given a free ticket to Coldplay's spectacular show at Suncorp Stadium - for being the greatest friend in the world a person could have, obviously!
A gentleman caller

I did some healthy cooking, this being a large frittata. I still think cooking is boring.
The melancholy coconut. You would be melancholy too, if you knew your brains were going to be scooped out and eaten.

Bless her face but did she really require a whole magazine?

Saturday walks to buy chicken with my brother

My forehead and I went to the bay one Sunday

Got myself a new keyboard for $50. Thanks, Gumtree!
My beloved car became too unwell to drive - first a flat tyre then the battery and engine dying completely - hence I'm blogging at close to 2am in dread of having to catch two trains to work at 6:30am tomorrow

November was a month of ups and downs, unfortunately more downs for me than I liked. Tomorrow I will be officially resigning from work which is a daunting and exciting prospect after two and a half years of following the same routine. I feel like it's (cliche as it is to say) closing one chapter of my life and moving onto the next. This time next month (next year!!) I'll be somewhere in Malaysia on the lam. First things first though; to bed, work and getting a tiny dose of zzz's before training like a pleb in the morning.