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Asia Tour 2009 We are no where near Kansas!

Monday 6/1 – See what Siddhartha started?

SINGAPORE | Thursday, 4 June 2009 | Views [490] | Comments [2]

More-stuffa’s

We hit our usual spot at CMK for breakfast and wondered around Mustafa’s – a gigantic six storey 24/7 shopping mall three blocks from Carol’s. We picked up a new router for her wireless DSL (called Broadband here). In the same place you can buy any kind of soap, sundry, toy, doo-dad or food item you will ever need, but to obtain it you have to endure the meter-wide aisles and clusters of mom’s, children and sweaty Singapore guys. We found peace and joy at jewelry cases stocked with 23 karat gold bobbles and bangles. Some background: we have developed a deep affection for the Hindu god Lord Genesha. Maybe it is his notorious gluttony, cute elephant head or just his chubby legs and round belly, but we adore him and are looking for his likeness in gold. Pat is hedging her bets against the Devil by collecting icons cast in solid gold from as many varying religious faiths as she can find. For Pat’s collection we bought: Genesha, the Sikh symbol, and the name of God in Arabic (Allah). I still don’t think it will protect us against Dick Chaney.

Our next adventure was to explore the various temples here off Serangoon Road and (one train stop away) Little India.

 

Sri-ly cool!

The first temple we visited was the Hindu Sri Sriknivasa Perumal Temple. It appears to be dedicated to Lord Krishna. Blinded by the vibrant colors and the detailed carved reliefs we nearly tripped over the line of little children receiving lunch. All lined up like a row of flowers in a flower bed dressed in pinks, blues, greens and purples. Each sat in front of a large banana leaf on the pavement watching large spoonfuls of jasmine rice and curry gravy being delivered from steaming buckets. “If we had arrived 10 minutes earlier or later,” Pat said. “We would have missed the whole thing. We almost passed this to go down the road. We just have to do things the moment we feel it!” 

Sikh and ye shall find:

If you want to see how similar each of the major religions are, just spend a day on Serangoon Road in Singapore. Our next temple was a Chinese style Buddhist temple called the Leon San Temple. It is small but very opulent. What is it about gold and religion? You see it everywhere there is a deity being worshipped, well almost. Across the road is another Chinese style Buddhist temple, they would not let us take a picture inside, but it sits right next to an Indian Buddhist temple and the variances are interesting. The lions outside of the Chinese temple are molded cement dog-lions and the exterior is  typical Chinese architecture. The Indian temple called the Sakya Muni has brightly painted lions that are more like paper mache figures. Inside Sakya Muni seems very ordinary: food and flower offerings on the alter, pictures of various Buddhist icons all around and then…look up. There sits the largest – maybe three floors tall – brightly colored Siddhartha reaching-the-stage-of-enlightenment statue; or as he was then named “Sakya Muni.” His thumb is longer than Carol is tall. She’s about 5’ 9.”

Continuing down the road we met with a Sikh temple. We could not go in if we had tobacco, alcohol, milk or eggs and we had to remove our shoes, wash our feet and cover our heads – Oh and we could not be on our period. All these precautions had to be taken in order to go inside what resembled a YMCA hall. Nothing was in there except chairs and a bulletin board. Seems a lot like a protestant sect of Christianity to me – no images of the spiritual leader they gather to worship. (I wonder if they have bingo night?) NO, we did not go in, even though we satisfied all the restrictions. (Ok, I was holding a few cherry cigars.) Just peeking through the door was enough to satisfy our curiosity. No offense meant toward the beautiful Sikh faith and the kind people we know who practice it, but we have seen folding chairs before. 

Big fun in Little India

Just one stop away is Little India. It’s south of Carol’s place on Serangoon Road. If you stop a minute and take in the air, you could be in New Delhi. Spices float around each corner and colors are tempera-paint bright. Event the poorest women have solid gold on them somewhere and wear clean bright saris. Flower necklace stalls add flavor to the soup of scents. Faithful worshippers place the ring of flowers on a statue of their favorite deity. I decided to put one on myself J.

Nonya cuisine

It’s a cross between Chinese, Malaysian and Thai. Well, sort of. It’s unique to Singapore; spicy, saucy, and delicate; a strange combination of contrasts. I enjoyed our dinner of Nonya cuisine at the Blue Ginger in China Town. It’s good but not outrageously delicious. Pat was disappointed, no yummy sounds came out of her mouth. I liked the mackerel with tofu rounds in a spicy gravy and the vegetable curry was nice, but – well, we are looking forward to Thailand! What can I say? 

P.S.

Carol and I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. discussing ways to stave off the ravages of age – or maybe just to accept them and take the best care of ourselves that we can.

 

Comments

1

did ya'll figure out anyway to get around the age thing? Dawn like you need to,b. love sherry

  laredosherry Jun 5, 2009 2:28 PM

2

Ha ha - no Acceptance is the key!

  dawn_n_pat Jun 5, 2009 7:57 PM

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