Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Farewell to Singapore

I am at my departure gate at Changi Airport in Singapore, leaving for the USA. For those of you in Singapore: see you later! For those of you in the USA: see you soon!

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Looking Up!" Rohaizad & My Farewell Party

Last night was our farewell party/concert at Mayuni Omar Music Cafe in the Arab Quarters, right by the Grand Sultan Mosque.

Yea for Stephanie van den Driesen, who performed seven of my songs! She is such a great young performer and I am lucky to have her perform my songs before she is swept on to international fame!

Here she is performing "Lived-In Face":

Performing "Up in Canada":

Performing "My Lawn" with Jimmy the Weed Guy:

Performing "Above and Beyond":

We also performed "Too Much and Not Enough", "Lift Your Eyes" and "One Thing". A huge vocal and dramatic work-out for Stephanie.

A thousand thanks to Mayuni Omar Music Cafe! I reserved the place a month ago and told them that we would probably have 10 or 15 people. Surprise! The place was packed! But the staff did a great job and served everyone with a smile.

I am so blessed with such wonderful friends here in Singapore. I'll miss all of them so much and look forward to visiting in the future!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Scenes on the Street

The little side street we live on, Perumal, is a constant source of excitement.

During March and April it was torn up with construction. 24 hours a day, plowing and hammering! It was such a relief when it was paved a few weeks back.

Just when my mental stability was returning, I heard the sound of a jack hammer, looked out the window and saw they were tearing up the new pavement. Hasta luego, sanity!

Last weekend the stars aligned and brought us a festival at the Indian temple at one end of the street along with a huge Chinese festival at the other end, complete with a huge stage with Hokkien singers belting into the night.

Fortunately, Rohaizad and I went out to a dinner party, so we escaped the insanity. But when we came home, we had to dodge puke puddles to get into our door. Euu!

One of my favorite aspects of this apartment is the transvestite prostitutes who eat breakfast at the food stall across the street in the mornings after work.

If you've never been woken up by the laughter of transvestite prostitutes in the morning, you are missing a unique experience, or at least a noisy experience.

This morning I went out running at 5:30 while it was still dark. I walked around the corner right into a gaggle of trannies. Yikes! They seemed so excited to see a white guy and I was so flustered ... well, that got my heart-rate up even before I started exercising.

That was almost as exciting as the time a prostitute in Chinatown tickled me in McDonalds. Someday I'll tell you that story, but for now I'll just let you know that, NO, I hadn't hired her.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jo Stafford

One of my favorite singers just died.

I love Jo Stafford's voice and have several of her albums, but am ashamed to admit that I didn't even know she was still alive! My favorite of her songs is "No Other Love."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Conquering Bukit Timah

Since my days in Singapore are numbered, I've made a list of things I want to do before I leave. One thing is to climb up Bukit Timah.

Bukit Timah is the highest point in Singapore. So tall that it took me 25 minutes to get to the top!

Here's what I saw on the way...

A vine climbing a tree:

A cave:

The summit!

A mere hectare in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve contains more tree species than all of North America. Take that, North America! Here are some of the trees:

A boring part of the trail:

A stream:

Back to civilization:

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Rohaizad and I went back to Pulau Ubin (a little island just north of Singapore) today with six friends. The last time we were there was Christmas 2007.

Looking south toward Singapore with the posts of a vanished kelang (fishing village) in the water. And an angry Rohaizad, too.

The view of the shoreline from the restaurant where we ate.

Rohaizad and I are incapable of passing a mirror without photographing ourselves in it.


On the way home we treated ourselves to two freshly made waffles: kaya and peanut. Nothing beats Singapore food!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some Pictures I Like

Barrack Obama:

Tim Russert interviewing former president George Washington:

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Weekend in Kuala Lumpur

Rohaizad and I took the bus to Kuala Lumpur on Saturday morning.

Everytime I drive out of the country, I am amazed at the differences between Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore looks like the world's hugest college campus with miles and miles of dorms. Then you cross the border and enter into rolling hills covered with jungles and palm oil plantations as far as the eye can see. So lovely!

Anyways, we went to Kuala Lumpur mostly to see the play Air Con, written and directed by Rohaizad's friends.

It is so refreshing to see graffiti! I don't know what it says, but it is a sight for sore eyes after being in squeaky-clean Singapore.

And our first stop was at the goring pisang (fried banana) stand, with some breadfruit thrown in too. Droolicious.

After the play, we hung out with Rohaizad's cool artist friends in Bangsar until three a.m. Yet we managed to wake up the next morning and stagger over to the park.

The reason we went to the park was because they were doing a free Butoh in the Park performance, and what Sunday morning is complete without some drooling and staggering around? I enjoyed this Butoh performance much more than I thought I would. It was relaxing and pleasant outside and the performers were fun to watch.

Then we ate lunch and hopped on the bus home. Before leaving Kuala Lumpur I snapped a shot of this building. I think it is beautiful in an unextraordinary way.

It will probably be my last trip to KL for a while, and I will miss that place. It is one of my favorite cities in the world!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

Here are some detailed photos of the temple next door to our apartment building.

Every morning they pound away on their percussion instruments. I'm sure this music is beautiful to the worshipers, but living in Singapore where we are constantly bombarded with car horns, jack hammers and other assaults on the ear, I don't find it so worshipful.

It's a pretty awesome building!