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  1. #101
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    Kimchi Ramen Noodles. This one was really off the hook. I can't wait to get back to Fernvale Hawkers Center to try the Kimchi Pancake at this stall. Fernvale also has an outlet of Muchi Pancake. My favorite is the Charcoal Pancake stuffed with Black Sesame. Macha with Coconut is not bad either.


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    Thye Hua Kwan Temple. This Chinese temple houses Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian deities to worship and its purpose it to support inter racial and inter religious dialogues. Just rode by this place on my way to Sengkang Riverside Park after lunch. The longest PCN bridge (290m) in Singapore spans the river between two sides of the park. Another cool aspect of biking around this place is all the temples you just happen across.


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    End of the day at a Chicken Rice stall. The cook was chopping up the last portions of the last bird. Cheng San Market and Cooked Food Centre OR Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 Blk 527 is not too far from my home. Maybe a few miles, and it is on the way home from several of my northern routes. It has 50 food stalls and 100 market stalls. And there is a good egg seller there. Super fresh eggs at a great price, so I've stop in from time to time. Have not eaten there (except for a You Tao) but there is a sugarcane juice stall I will grab a drink t when they are open.
    Last edited by Ottime; 11-22-2022 at 04:12 AM.

  2. #102
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    My wife was attending the Singapore Writers Festival downtown, so we decided to take an adventure there for some lunch and GBTB before her event. We existed the TEL new stop at Maxwell and were headed to Amoy Street Food Centre for lunch. This sweet caught my eye and is very SG. Old shop houses and construction cranes.

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    Shutters. I just liked how these looked, all opened to the same angle.

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    Amoy Street was closed for "spring" cleaning, so we detoured to Lay Pa Sat instead. Along the way, we passed Thian Hock Keng Temple. Singapore's oldest Chinese temple built in 1839. In the 19th century this temple was coastal ( the coast is now nearly a kilometer away, thanks to all that sand import).

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    Downtown and the CBD is such an eclectic mix of temples, shophouse and sky scrapers. Just one block over from Telok Ayer St is Stanley St, and the average building height goes from 3 to 40.


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    Making the turn at Boon Tat. This corner is the last of low rise before we fully enter the CBD.

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    After lunch we visited the Flower Dome. Christmas started in SG around November 2nd. The Flower Dome display is full on Christmas and it was super packed. My kid faking being cold in the fake ice cave, of course surrounded by real flowers. As I was walking around this day I heard someone say "it almost looks fake" referring to all the flowers. Of course they are real, but its fully a curated experience. So, not natural.
    Last edited by Ottime; 11-24-2022 at 03:41 AM.

  3. #103
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    Got totogethaer on Sunday with some school friends for a day at Changi Beach Park. Another coastal part with bike paths, playgrounds. pavilions, and sand shore. Balancing on a rock is what we do for fun here.


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    Fortune Popiah is by far the best fucking popiah I've had on island. Whenever I find myself anywhere were near Bendemeer Food Centre (Blk 29), I stop in and grab one of these beauties (as long as the stall is open). At $2 sgd it is an amazing snack. They make their own crepe wrappers, which is a big part of the quality. They also do not over steam their white carrot (daikon root) and have great texture with the peanuts, and something juts a little sweet mixed in. Yum. I don't see what a tourist would ever find themselves here, but it is worth a visit.
    Last edited by Ottime; 11-24-2022 at 03:47 AM.

  4. #104
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    I don't know how to edit names in Strava, but this is an Eastern Loop. All of it is on PCN, expect for the first mile and the last two miles. Most of the PCN (about 65%) is dedicated bike trails off the road, along rivers, through jungle, and in parks. It was really quite a nice ride. The rest of the PCN is wide sidewalks along roads, or a bike path just removed from the road by a few meters. These areas are not a pleasant, but still make for decent riding. The longest stretch of this is on the east coast, between the airport and the ocean. It is long, flat and straight but there is literally no one around, you you can bike at top speed for several miles - as long as your lungs, legs and sweaty body hold out.

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    I started the ride from my place on Upper Thomson Road and took the road about a mile to Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park and then followed the PCN south along the Kallang River (SG's longest river) to where it dumps into Marina Bay. Its my regular ride coming to/from the downtown area and CBD, so I ride it often. It also access the districts of Bishan, Tao Payoh and Kallang from my house. Coming into Marina Bay, the skyline is always a view to behold.


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    The Cloud Forest Dome, Flower Dome and Super Trees of Gardens By The Bay.

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    The Benjamin Sheares Bridges sends the ECP (East Coast Parkway) over Marina Bay. Underneath the bridge is a popular area for school kids having outings, kids learning to bike, rollerbladers, skateboarders, folks working out and practicing yoga due to the immense amount of shade it provides and the regular breeze coming across the sea and bay. Oh, and a smooth paved surface.

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    From Marina Bay, I headed east along PCN that wrapped through forest (not quite jungle) and eventually dumped me into East Coast Park. ECP is huge, or rather long - over 15km long. The PCN here splits into dedicated bike path and a separate pedestrian path through most for he park. So you can get some decent speed and flow going on a weekday. Its easy making good time, and through most of the park, you have a view of the ocean just off to your right.

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    Ocean might not be the best word. Sea? Singapore Strait I think is its proper name. Ship Lane would work.

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    Honestly, there are so many ships juts offshore to the south. At times the entire horizon can be blocked by all the ships anchored just offshore. Today was not super crowded, but this pano shot shows how many boats are out there.


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    East Coast Lagoon Food Village is a hawker center about smack middle of the park. It is a great place to stop for a hydrating beverage. Or lunch on a different outing. I get here too early in the day on a ride like this to think about lunch and most stalls are just getting started. There are a lot of satay and BBQ seafood stalls here. Beer as well. And a lot of the regular - Carrot Cake, Popiah, Hokkien Prawn Mee, Kway Toew. Its a nice place to eat, with an ocean, eh strait, view.

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    There are not a lot of skate parks around, but there are a few. The one by Orchard is always busy. This one was empty today. I also like the newer HDB block in the background right. They are starting to work some features int the architecture of the HDB.

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    I came around a corner and noticed a few sailboats out on the water. This is around 11am on a Tuesday. There is an Outward Bound camp near this area, so it may partly be this group. But for sure, plenty of boats.

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    I liked this angle - sailboats and ships. A lot of both of those things. Most of the sailboats were single person boats with a few large enough for two. As I watched them, I saw more than a few collisions. It looked hectic out there, with coaches in small motor driven boats.



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    Looking back toward the CBD about 5-6 miles in the distance.


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    At the far end of the park, you canned up toward Changi Airport and hit the Jurassic Mile. I basically got the the part of it, just to check it out. Its basically a stretch of bike path that goes through a fake dinosaur zoo. It's weird to say the least. But now I've checked it out.
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    Last edited by Ottime; 11-24-2022 at 07:26 AM.

  5. #105
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    Soon after the boats, you leave the coast and forest and get dump onto a PCN that runs parallel to Tanah Merah Coast Road for about 14km. It is a long ass stretch on not awesome beauty and limited shade. But you are a few meters off the road, and there is no one around. And you are going around the airport, so occasionally see planes. But mostly construction vehicles, as I think they are expanding the shoreline to the east here. I saw a few construction workers on break and passed maybe 5 other cyclists the entire time I was out on this stretch. So like I said, you get to go as fast as you want, or can, with not interruption. So it is kind of cool. And them you finally dump back out to the coast. This is a bath house you come across after about a kilometer or two. It has showers and cold drinks.

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    Way out here on the bike path, still a few miles from civilization, is an entire bike tool kit - just in case something needs tweaking. Wish they had more of these around. That would be pretty sweet.

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    I believe this stretch is all part of Changi Beach Park, but it is separated from the section I was at with the family. Its still pretty cool, a little more forest and coast, and less beach like. These trees looked like they had needles - but I doubt it. Need to research this, as they are an odd looking tropical plant for sure.


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    Like I said, you are heading around the airport. As you enter the northern stretch of Changi Beach Park, where the beach actually is, you go right under one of the landing flight paths. If you are into planes, you can hang out here and watch then come in to finish their flights.


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    Coming inland finishing this section of the ride. The stretch has a lot of sandy beaches and grass. Also pavilions endplay structures.

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    I ate some Nasi Lemak with chicken wing and fish fillet at Changi Village Food Centre. It was busy at 12:30 on a Tuesday. Nasi Lemak is pretty good stuff. Coconut Rice, peanuts, ikon billis, samba, cucumber and meat of choice. Sambal and Ikon Billis are some good shit I will miss back home. The former I can make, but the latter might be hard to come by - dried small anchovies. Salty and super good for you. Anyway, almost every NEW Hawker Center has a water refill station. If you find yourself in SG, you will want to hydrate. I drank about 6 liters this day, and barely needed to piss. You should have a water bottle and refill at one of these stations. Just poke around until you find it.
    Last edited by Ottime; 11-24-2022 at 07:49 AM.

  6. #106
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    After Changi you begin to head west. There was a west wind this day, so a lot of this stretch was into a headwind. Fun. This stretch was short (less than a kilometer) but pretty sweet. Living green cliffside to my left and steep drop off to my right (there was of course a fence for safety). The area directly around Changi feels quite a bit different than most of Singapore. Almost like you are in a different country. Like a tropical Cape Cod, but hilly.


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    After a few miles you find yourself at Pasir Ris Beach Park. I took a loop along the eastern part fo the park. A view of the Loyang Jetty.



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    The MMA Pride - an offshore support vessel.


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    This building design is not unique in Singapore. I've seen no less than 10 of these. You can drive your car up to each level to visit the stores and shops. A lot of the businesses in these places either work on vehicles or work/produce things that need to be carried by trucks. But land if very limited, so why not build up and build a car ramp.

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    Back in the west side of Pasir Ris. A portion of the park is a boardwalk through the mangroves. The mounds are built by mud crabs. The hollows house them, and other animals. The mud here is loaded with bacteria that form the backbone of the food chain - and make the zone pretty damn stinky.


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    These Monitor Lizards are so damn camera shy. They will stay perfectly still, until you stop and reach for your camera. Then they begin to, very quickly, shuffle away. This guy was on the smaller size - about two feet long.


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    The boardwalk wraps from dry land, through bogs to full on waterways.


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    The boardwalk makes about a kilometer loop, loaded with interruptive signs. I was moving quickly, so did not stop to read most of them. Will head back here another day to poke around a bit more.

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    The tide was out pretty low this afternoon, drying out much of the are beneath he boardwalk. These plants would look super cool swimming in higher water. I plan to check the tides and get back here some day at high tide.
    Last edited by Ottime; 11-24-2022 at 08:22 AM.

  7. #107
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    After leaving Pasir Rid, there is a stretch through an area being landfilled for more construction and then over to Punggol. This is a view of the barrage protecting the Serangoon River from salt water intrusion from the Punggol Promenade. This area is super nice to bike. Shaded and along the water.


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    I shifted course and headed south, as I wanted to check out Punggol One Food Centre. It is newly opened and I had never been. Another modern center, operated by the same group that operates Fernvale. Very crisp, on the second story of a modern building with a view of the LRT. They even have a lot fo the same vendors.

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    I have no idea what this is. Really. The stall is is in all Chinese characters. I've seen a long line at one of these stalls at a different center, it was cheap ($2) and so I gave it a try. My best guess was a yam/rice cake with maybe pork and for sure some sambal. A good quick calorie boost.

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    This I do know. Matcha Gelatinous Rice Balls in Peanut Soup. Hot, sweet and $2. A bit different, but again, quick calories. I was soon back out on my ride. saw plenty of good lunch options at this place, and likely will be back.


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    Sengkang Bridge. That longest PCN bridge mentioned early - 210m span. Connects Pungool to Seletar.



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    Heritage Tree Park. This guy is really impressive irl.

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    Low tide at the Yishun Dam, crossing from Seletar to Yishun. It is labeled as PCN, but it’s far from a bike path. Rough riding over the damn. A low tide the level of Lower Seletar Reservoir was about 6 meters (or more) above sea level, so this one is keeping SG from losing fresh water. Looking out toward the Johor Strait, there is a mix of industry, shipping and fishing village.

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    The last remaining traditional fishing villages in Singapore, Jenel Jetty Fishing Village. Just a 100 years ago, this was a rural jungle escape, with views of the strait and jungle. It is now surrounded by floating garbage, automobile traffic and refineries. For sure another place to get back to and explore.

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    Popped into one more Food Centre at Yishan Park to grab some Munchi Pancakes for dessert. Brought them home for me and the kid. Charcoal Pancake stuffed with Black Sesame. A second stuffed with Coconut and a Third with Oreo Cheese. Oddly, that last one was pretty tasty, but I do love me some Black Sesame. These pancakes and the You Tiao are what are keeping me from losing more weight. I dropped 10-15 pounds my first month here, but have put back on at least five recently. Even with all this biking, the food is just too good.

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    Someone in my condo go a nice new car. This is the first Lotus I've seen there, but we do have at least three Lamborghini - a red one, a yellow one and a black one. Guess which ne is the fastest.
    Last edited by Ottime; 11-28-2022 at 07:16 PM.

  8. #108
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    I’ve got to mention that posting to this forum is such a challenge. I load pics and they work fine, but then I come back online and it just lists them as Attachment #####. Been around here for some time and it’s crazy that it’s harder to post up pics than it was 15 years ago. You’d think tech would work better, but go figure.

    Anyway. Off to Penang we went. This place is really fucking amazing. We came
    For the long Thanksgiving weekend and I think we might return here before our SG tenure is up. Just an hour plus flight and both airports are super easy entree and exit.


    The history (at least up until SG independence) and cultural mix of Penang and SG are quite similar, but Penang has way more grit. In both meanings of the word. In short, this place feels organic and SG feels curated. Which you prefer may depend on your perspective. I could reside in either as they have different upsides.

  9. #109
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    Trail armor with glass is wild.

    The boats you have pictured are optimist dinghy. Optimists have been the boat of choice to text young children racing.

    The other boats are lasers the Olympic single handed race boat.

    Looks like a yacht club racing program. Could be cool for your son, maybe?

    Keep it coming. What a great experience. I'd like to hear more of your families perspective if that's appropriate.



    Sent from my SM-S908U1 using Tapatalk
    No matter where you go, there you are. - BB

  10. #110
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    Perspective. Willing to share. But on what? Living abroad, SG government, culture, biking, sand imports, soft authoritarianism…

    In short, this is all totally worth doing. At times, it has felt extremely difficult. Packing up and moving abroad, settling in, getting used to all the things that are different. In part, it is even harder feeling being in a place is forest world, any yet, so different. Some have suggested it is the Asian-ness of SG, but I think its more of the high tech world, where the tech usually does not work as intended that is the hardest part. Everything is done on our phones and through apps, yet every app seems to crash or fail in some way - and there is almost no way to talk to a human. The other huge challenge is dealing with our financed in in the US. We have switched to SG phones and only one of my banking institutions has a way of working with me without me calling them directly. I use my face to get access to my Citi Bank app, but then they want to send an OTP to my US phone number, which no longer exits - as if my face is easier to hack than a phone. So these challenges suck, but are small hiccups.

    SG is not super friendly. It is a bit of a rat race, and folks tend to be focussed on rushing from one place to another, and don't take a moment to even say "pardon" to the person they bump into. I have had a few moments to chat with some people, but it is not common. I have made some connections with the people I but from - an egg seller, a produce market worker, a drink stall owner - and these small conversations are important to me - but, then again, I'm a customer, and they are good merchants. Occasionally I find myself in an organic conversation with a local, but I had as many in Penang in 3 days as I've had in SG in 3 months. I'm sure things would be a bit different if I was younger, single, going out to clubs, etc - but I crave meeting locals. I've made a lot of connections through the expat and school communities, but that is not the same as meeting locals. OTOH, I buy mostly used stuff on Carousell (like CL) and most of the people I've bought from have been pretty awesome. None have led to a "friendship" but a few great conversations were had.

    Things are tougher for my wife who works all day at the American School. I've been making mini connections during the day, as well as biking all over the island and seeing so many parts of it. Even my mini interactions while at the market or hawkers centers gives me a chance to meet people, and feel out the culture a bit. She is inside a school (where she works her ass off) that is insulated from the rest of the country and tries to exude American culture - this it feels more like 1950s America than modern day. Maybe more on that later. What she values most in being here is our opportunity to travel around the region. We just got back from Penang (see below) and are headed to VietNam in 3 weeks, so that is all in the positive column for sure. She has made friends with colleagues, and enjoys working with lots of amazing educators.

    Overall the culture here is interesting to observe. There are differences in the generations for sure. The old uncles/aunties, the adults young adults and kids. This place is changing so damn quickly, its hard to pin down what the culture is really like. On our flight home from Penang, we flew over Tekong Island, where you can see the coastal reclamation in process, and it is insane looking from above. I do think this is tied to the culture here, as it fuels the pace of change (BTW, its not being "reclaimed", as it was never there)

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    For Thanksgiving weekend, instead of skiing, we headed off to Penang and Georgetown.


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    We stayed at the Eastern & Oriental - E&O as called by the locals. It was pricey, but we had a free night, so gave it a try. Built in 1888, it is opulent. The breakfast buffet was insane and I put on a few pounds. Both western nd eastern options. Made to order omlets, eggs, crepes, prata, those, char kway teow, Hokkien prawn bee, waffles and more. Add to that a huge buffet of British breakfast, Nasi Lemak, fruit, cheeses, breads, curries, pancakes, French toast, juices, cereals, smoked duck, and more. It was insane. And made to order coffees. It was nice but if we return, we plan to stay elsewhere. 23LoveLane is our first choice. Much smaller, in an old shophouse and right inside the World Heritage Site.


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    The old town area of Georgetown is quite nice. Most of my shots show the places that are well kept up, but it is for sure a mixed area, with restored and very worn structures. The fire house, luckily, is well kept.



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    Green is for vegetarian.

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    A typical street with a mix of restored and other building in a mix of conditions. Penang has a similar history to Singapore up until independence. British colonial period, a mixed culture of ethnic Chinese, Malaysian and Indians. Mixed religion - Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Taoist, Christian, etc. The big difference is that Penang feels natural, or organic, and SG feels curated or sanitized. Noth have their pros and cons.

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    One of the pros for Penang is that street are is not only legal, but encouraged.

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    Freshly painted and ready for you to move in. The old town district is such a miss mash of cascades and culture.


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    We stopped into a Paranakan mansion to take a quick look. We decided not to go inside (it was crowded and pricey and my wife had other plans), but it was a former residence of a wealthy merchant and it was way fancier than our expense hotel room at the E&O - over the top opulence. In chelate 1800s there was a to of money to be made in Georgetown and the best trader merchants could accumulate a ton of wealth.

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    Street art is a new part of Georgetown. The Tourist Board commissioned Ernest Zacharevic to paint 6 murals in the historic district. I've heard different reasons for this, but in the end it sparked an amazing street art scene that has since taken off. Zacharevic's work is different than typical graffiti. But I did like this piece in an alleyway from a different artist. So refreshing after the fairly cookie cutter, and highly refined, public art in SG.


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    Another pro for Georgetown - good beer is much more affordable.
    Last edited by Ottime; 11-28-2022 at 09:17 PM.

  11. #111
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    The Fountain Mansion near the north water front and old fort. Another beautifully restored mansion. There are several around Georgetown.

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    If you find this guy, he is trying to tell you that there is a great craft beer place just across the street. Go enjoy.

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    One thing that appealed to me as we walked around was discovering little places like this artist alley. There was also a super nice Vietnamese coffee joint tucked in back there.

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    Another one I just liked. I think I prefer the bright colors and free style. Also enjoy the mixed with the bikes.

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    Out on Tan Jetty. The Malaysians built jetty out over the waterfront and they house not only dock and shops, but actual homes with entire neighborhoods living out over the water.

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    Looking north toward Chew Jetty, which is much wider and really does look like several blocks square out over the water


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    Back over land, this street had a flying bike.

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    Boy on Chair is fairly famous and is one of the OG Zacharevic. Interestingly, he was recently bared from entering Malaysia by the federal government and I believe he is currently in SG. Apparently the "chair" has also seen better days.


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    Wrought iron work is fairly common. This is not one of the commissioned pieces, but rather just a private door way.

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    A commission piece of wrought iron work,


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    Another alleyway. This dragon head was animated, swinging side to side and occasionally letting out a roar.

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    Just a random street of shop houses. Most of the historic district is 2 or three stories in height, allowing a lot of light into the narrow streets and alleys.

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    Dragon grabbing pearl. Much of the art works with the existing structure.

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    And where there is not existing infrastructure it is added by the artist so that much of the work is multi media.


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    Woman swinging on chair. I enjoyed how a lot of the art work encouraged you to interact.
    Last edited by Ottime; 12-03-2022 at 09:15 PM.

  12. #112
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    Awesome that you got to Penang. It's a nice getaway from SG and I agree that the grit and authenticity is a welcome relief from the whitewashed feeling of SG.

    Also interesting to read your take on the culture of SG. I spent a lot of time there and kept going back long after the shine wore off for me. On one hand, it's really incredible that Singapore was able to create a melting pot of so many different cultures and religions in a region marred by a history of imperialism and ethnic violence. On the other hand, they had to create a very big brother surveillance state and outlaw political dissidence and free speech to get there.

    Most of the people I hung out with were other expats from Europe or Aus/NZ with a few local work friends as well. It's fun to explore the food and history and to hang with people, but the monotony of working late hours for the heck of it and then going to eat before going out for expensive drinks every night kinda wore me down. A lot of the corporate work culture was staying late to show face and deference to authority without actually getting stuff done. The first managing director that we had hired in SG was a local who operated a very inefficient and toxic office.

    I was part of the hiring committee that chose the SG local and I recommended we hire him, but after visiting him in SG a few months later I couldn't stand the way he treated his employees. I recommended we fire him after my first two week trip. It took two years to get everyone else on board with firing him, and by then we had lost some really good employees. I feel like I wasted so much time in SG trying to fix things without actually being able to fix the problem. Eventually we hired a British expat and actually started to make money in the region.

    Anyway, glad you are getting to experience all of this with your family. All the back and forth led to my relationship back in the US breaking down. SG is a very lonely place to be while dealing with that.

  13. #113
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    That is all very spot on. I do get a sense with the younger generation, they are starting to see a need for a change in both the surveillance (or rather leniency of rules) and the work culture. I was chatting with one 30/40 something dude and his wife who work own their juice stall in a hawker center. They work long hours, but as they see it, they are not caught up in someone else professional culture. They spoke about how the boss expects you to be there all day, regardless of what work was getting done. Instead, they make a bit less money, and work when there is business. They close down the stall once things slow down, and they have all the prep done and its cleaned up. They don't open on days if something comes up in their lives. Like a family emergency, or need for a vacation. They do try to let their customers know if they will be closed, but if they need to close on short notice, there is no boss shaming them for taking a sick day, or spending time with their family. The woman said things are slowly changing as the younger generation is less willing to accept the rat race - but it will take generations according to her.

    What you describe is exactly what a friend of mine described as the work culture here. He called the place "vapid". He was her for a few years. He is Taiwanese, so it for sure is not the Asian aspect of the culture that bothered him, although is his firmly a New Yorker these days. He just felt like every relationship he had, was work related. He was expected in early and out late every day (he is in finance), and the only release valve was overpriced drinks after work. Sound familiar?

    We are stoked to be her for the year, but in part, because it elevates our love for what we consider home. For me, it is not just Santa Cruz, but a growing appreciation for American culture, of all things. If any thing, I"ve become more patriotic (maybe that is not the right word). As nice as it is to be in a place that is essentially so safe, and all the people are housed, I miss a refrigerator that actually works, fresh produce and, gulp, inexpensive cars. As well as the snow and surf. My kid is dying seeing that our home mountain actually opened a few weeks before Thanksgiving for the first time in his life (Vail bough the place when he was 2, and have stuck with a scheduled opening until this year). As well as MTB on duff instead of glass and ceramic. And man, I get so fucking dirty every time I ride here.

    Anyway

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    We decided to head up Penang Hill on the second day. My kid was feeling a little sick on day one, so we decided on round trip on the Railway. Had they been feeling better, we might have opted to climb one of the many hiking trails instead, and used the lift to get us down the hill.


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    The Funicular climbs 1200' up a slope ranging from 10-28 degrees in about 4.5 minutes. Its quite a ride. We opted for the basic ticket, but I'd suggest paying just a little bit more for the Fast Lane Ticket. From the bottom station, it does not save you much time, but if you decide to descend in the afternoon, like we did, it is worth cutting out the hour long wait for a car.

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    We ended up purchasing tickets to Habitat, which is basically a series of walkways, canopy spans, and elevated lookouts in the nature preserve at the top of the hill. The views were nice.

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    We almost instantly noticed the difference between this jungle and the jungles of SG. Almost every large tree was once harvested in SG, so much of the jungle is 2nd growth with smaller trees and less vegetation. It is sparser. And everywhere you look you find some sort of rubbish, whether it be ruins, old building materials, or just a shit ton of plastic. Looking around this area felt much more naturally preserved.


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    Even the ants were bigger - tho I'm not sure that is a good thing. We have these flowers all over in SG, but mostly in cultivated areas, like in the gardens around condos or hotels.

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    The top of Penang Hill is just high enough to change the tropical climate. It feels cool up at the top for sure. When I was told that was the case, and looked up the average daily highs, I thought, well, that is not so cool. But after living just of the equator for a few months, it was almost chilly up there. Like I could have finally worn the jeans I brought with me. And it is cool enough for some conifers to thrive.


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    Nothing like a Hoth Ski Resort shirt to run around in while in the tropics. Atop the Curtis Crest - this circular walk is set at the top of Penang Hill, and is just above the canopy, offering vistas in every direction.

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    Pitcher Plants are carnivores. These specialized leaves attract insects who then slip into the cavity and digestive juices do the rest. We did not stick our fingers inside.

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    Black Giant Squirrel. Largest squirrel on earth. I honestly thought this was a monkey for a while. They are huge. This guy, and his (assuming its gender here) two companions were nearly three feet long.

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    They have bench swings set up in a few spots along the walk. Not like in Bali where you'd need to pay to swing (although we did pay an entrance fee to the conservation park), and wait in line to sit for two minutes. There were very few people around, so you could enjoy some quite time and attempt a family selfie... we are terrible at that it seems.

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    Flowers are all over the place. Or berries. Really not sure what this specimen was.

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    These are for sure flowers and another species you see all over SG in cultivated gardens.


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    The local monkey species is different than the macaques we have in SG. This guy was just chilling munching on some bamboo like grass.I kept inching closer to get the shot.

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    Meanwhile my kid inched closer from another direction. I just rather enjoy this shot. Two monkeys.


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    Atop a false peak, near the funicular top station lies a rather ornate Hindu temple - Sri Aruloli Thirumurugan


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    In the interior is quite rich in design features and color.


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    Often I feel like I am in the wrong apartment building or hotel. I tried to get my wife to get close to the Lambo, but she was too shy. This night there was a fake Oscars Night event taking place and there wherefore than a few pricey cars in the lot. But this bright green one by the front door sure stood out.

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    After a long day, the family decided to hunker down and I went out for cheap beer, cheap food and to watch Senegal win a game. My wife studied in Senegal about 12 years ago, and we have always rooted for them. This night they one. And I met a bunch of locals at this bar. Chatted mostly with a husband and wife. She grew up in Penang and he is an expat from Europe. Also chatted with a group of dudes who all grew up on the island, tho some now live in KL. It was quite a bit different than most of my time in SG - people just wanted to talk to you and ask questions about your life, and share about theirs. It was a great night out.
    Last edited by Ottime; 12-02-2022 at 07:38 PM.

  14. #114
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    Name:  5B023C0F-579C-495F-BAFD-917BADCCDBFB.jpeg
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    For our final day of the trip my kid wanted to hit up Escape Penang, a amusement park. I don't tend to like amusement parks, tho I do take my kid from time to time. This one was actually pretty cool, as it was super low tech. We tried the "skiing" - and my kid did way better than me. Strap on Lucky Bums wood skis with a plastic base, and you slide down plastic. I could, for the life of me, not get and edge in, and ended up straight lining, gaining speed, with the tips all over the place. Scary as fuck. My kid was actually almost able to turn and control their speed. The park has a bunch of water slides (including the longest unthaw world at 1111 meters), zip lines, ropes course, and a shit tom of other attractions like coconut tree climbing - all set in the jungle. My favorite was the Tubby Racer. Basically you sit in a tube with hard plastic bottom, connect to a front tube weighted with a full tank of water, create a train of up to five tubes and then race down the jungle mountainside in a luge like track lined with plastic carpeting. It is loud, low tech, and like nothing else I've ever done. My second favorite part of this park is with was not only abut 99% filled withMalaysians, but about 70% adults. It is totally a place for adult kids.


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    My wife stayed behind to catch up on some grading and visited the Blue Mansion to take a break.

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    From what I gather, this place was refurbished for the film Indochine. It was since turned into a limited hotel. It was also featured in Crazy Rich Asians. Regardless, it is an ornate and beautiful structure - I can confirm that from looking from the outside.

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    These tiles were used because the stand up to the humidity - again, from what I gathered second hand - they absorb/release moisture such that they do not become a wet and/or slick surface.


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    If you want to shop, there are a ton of boutiques in Penang with regionally designed fashion.


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    Dinner was good at this Peranakan place. It is a bit more refined than a food stall or basic place. Presentation was a big part fo it. Food was quite good, but I was super impressed with the mixed fruit juice mocktails. Ranging from 4-7 RM, super tasty and super cheap. FYI, $1usd is about 4.4 RM.

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    The sambal and condiment platter was superb.
    Last edited by Ottime; 12-03-2022 at 09:34 PM.

  15. #115
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    Pretty sure this guy is from some Star Wars piece, just have not yet identified.


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    I rather enjoyed the over all look of this entire corner, with bits and pieces from different artist.



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    And this work was just to the side of it. Currently in SG, down on the F1 track they are working on a graffiti installation. They are starting with perfectly fresh white containers - brand spanking new. They have a plan for the graffiti in mock ups, it gets sketched out on the containers, and then painted in. The aim is to have it look like true street art when they stack the containers - but it feels so very different than walking the streets of Penang. Both places are worth a visit, but if I was traveling through the area, I'd get more time to explore and eat in Penang, than I would SG, even tho SG is a much larger place. My only caveat is if you wanted to bike a lot, SG for sure have much better options for asphalt miles without cars. Then again, I did not really explore much out of Georgetown and the surrounding areas.


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    Signs are everywhere - just like SG. This is pretty common theme in men's bathrooms. Basicaly - don't be a dickhead.
    Last edited by Ottime; 12-03-2022 at 09:41 PM.

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Cruzing
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    At Tiong Bahru Food Centre waiting out a storm. Came here for lunch on my way to the Foodie Market down the street. It’s the best place on the island to get western cheese and meat. Like breakfast sausage that does not taste like hotdogs and cheddar that does not taste like American Cheese.

    Anyway, the rain caught me and I’ve been thinking on the work culture here and the thing they certainly do very well is taking time to eat lunch. These centers are hoping from 11am to 2pm. Chock full and long lines at the more popular stalls. Not only do they take a break from work to eat lunch, but they will take an hour or more to leave the office and have non work conversations over a shared meal. While I found my last corporate job (and non Corp job for that matter) in the states to be super time efficient - get your work done and then go home, I rarely had a non working lunch - and I worked innthe food, and specifically “lunch” industry.

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    And the food options are just so much fun. Rojak - or mixed. This is the fruit salad type one - pineapple, jicama, you Tiao, cucumber, apples, pears, crushed peanut, shredded green mango and palm sugar chili dressing. It’s funny, there is a pretty good burger place at this center and reasonable prices (S$6), but I can’t get myself to go that way. Too many other things to try.

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    Like Lor Mee with fried shark nuggets- and that saves me a buck. Unless a SG dollar is not a buck.
    Last edited by Ottime; 12-01-2022 at 07:11 AM.

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