Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, Feb. 11, 2011

AN INSIDER'S LOOK: Then Sandy and I spent most of the day with Keith Teo, who is above, at right, with Sandy and me. He presented a seminar on "Living and Working in Singapore." He presented a wealth of information about the people and places in Singapore and Southeast Asia. We heard about meanings of names in Chinese, Malay, Indian and Singapore cultures. He covered the history of Singapore and social protocols and taboos. He also went over a geographical overview of the area. He also told us of the one-size fit all term Singaporeans have had for years for Westerners (because we all really do kind of look alike). The term is ANG MO and is translated "red hair". The term is part of a Singapore based blog. That term is also preserved in a place name in the middle of the island nation: Ang Mo Kio. That Wikipedia entry raises questions about the name and its origin.

SO, YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE? For lunch, we went to the House of Sundanese Food. Sandy and I were surprised when we got there. The schedule had a typo for the restaurant's name, calling it the "House of Sudanese Food". Our thoughts were on Khartoum when we headed there. However, this menu had nothing to do with east Africa. Rather, the missing "n" meant the menu sprang from people based in an area of west Java in Indonesia. No problem with the switch.
One thing we ordered: Ikan Nila Goreng. It's the Sundanese "DANCING FISH" (right). It's deep fried and presented in a vertical position, unlike the flat presentation that we're used to. It looks like it has just swum through the vat of boiling oils. It's OK to eat the bones, but we avoided that. We also had some Rendang Daging Sunda, a bowl of gravy lathered in a very spicy sauce. And we had Ayam Bumbu Rujak, a chicken dish with a tasty sauce, and Kangkong Cha, a pile of mixed vegetables simmering in a gravy made of coconut mile and lemak.
All was very tasty.

PROPERLY DOCUMENTED: We showed up at the Ministry of Manpower again, this time to pick up my laminated Dependant's Pass. The head shot on one side is passable, only a little mug-shottish. The reverse has my thumb print. When the man took my print earlier in the week, the impression was very weak. He simply added some skin moisturizer to the tip of the thumb. That raised the edges, whorls and swoops. The clerk told me that air conditioning often dries out the skin, making it tougher to grab a print. It evidently worked like a charm. With this, I probably don't need to carry the passport around. Not sure if I'll be able to keep it as a souvenir.
For a bureaucratic office, the place has a great view. From the fourth floor, people waiting for the wheels to turn can enjoy a great panorama that sweeps from the new casino on the left to the house of parliament on the right. The river lies below. For incoming workers, it gives a very nice first impression. Wish all government offices were so well appointed.

1 comment:

  1. Sundanese will not be on my itinerary when visiting Singapore - that fish looks to scary to eat!