Saturday, August 30, 2008

2008 Maryland State Fair

It was a cold, rainy work-day so the crowds were thin, but that didn't stop us from going to the State Fair yesterday. The electricity even went out. Oh well, the fair is ALWAYS fun!

Here I am buying tickets to enter the fair:

Yum, overpriced, lukewarm food is always so delicious when you eat it at the State Fair! Crab cake, corn-on-the-cob & home fries:

Cute chicks:

This pig looks scary because he was sitting in the dark when the power went out:

Rohaizad and the hind end of some cows:

Baby pigs (why can't they stay cute forever?):


Sheep ... BAAAAAA:

The dark, dark vegetable pavilion:


Friday, August 22, 2008

Wuzzup in B'more

Us in front of a tall ship at the Inner Harbor:

Rohaizad standing beneath his descriptive sign:

If any of you wonder why I left Micronesia, this sign in the public buses might explain it to you. The piece of advice second from the bottom, to be exact:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Maxin' 'n' Relaxin' in' the Mid-West

Yesterday evening Rohaizad and I hopped on bicycles and circumnavigated Reeds Lake.

This is us on the wide shores of Reeds Lake:

This morning we ambled over to the farm for some fruit pickin'. We hopped on this wagon which conveyed us out to the orchards:

We picked apples and peaches. Here's Rohaizad with our peach harvest:

Unfortunately, our 45 minute excursion to the farm shrunk Rohaizad.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sailing and Other Vacation Activities

Yesterday I went sailing on my brother and his wife's boat with Rohaizad and my Mom. Here we are on board the vessel:

Captain Rohaizad takes the wheel (look how much the boat is tipping!!!):

Out in Lake Michigan:

Returning at sunset through the channel into Lake Macatawa:

Rohaizad shopping at the farmer's market this morning:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

In Michigan Again

Poor Rohaizad. He's been in the USA for 15 hours and I have him flying off to Michigan for a vacation. Here is the view somewhere over Ohio:

Landing in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

This morning we visited my alma mater, Calvin College. We snuck into my old dorm, which is named after the great Calvinist pioneer Idzerd Van Dellen. Here's the door to my dorm room:

We also visited the Calvin College bookstore which carries my book, "The Long and Short of Music"! Buy, buy, buy!

And now we are in front of my Mom's house where we are staying and eating waaay too much fresh, delicious produce and home-made pastries. Poor us:

Monday, August 11, 2008

International Weekend in New York and New Haven

This weekend was a Micronesian reunion in New York City.

I arrived by bus on Friday and met Jen from Australia. We went to a Cuban bar and spent a few hour catching up.

Around 7:30, our Canadian friend, Janhabi showed up. We went out to a Chinese restaurant, then to a French wine bar.

At about 3:00 am we said goodbye to Australian Jen who was flying off with her Canadian friend, Melissa.

Janhabi and I went to her Argentinian friend Alejandro's apartment and slept for a few hour.

After a late brunch on Saturday, the three of us went to PS1. Here are some photos of the place...

Creepy bunny exhibit:

Me, blending in:

While strolling through the place, we walked into one room and a video started playing showing the Singapore Complaints Choir.

Then Janhabi and I took the train to New Haven. After she showed me around town and Yale, we ate at an Indian restaurant and then met up for tea with my Singaporean friend Tian Hui who is just beginning his studies at Yale.

On Sunday morning I took the train back to New York City to catch my bus back to Baltimore.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I Heart Baltimore

Things I saw around Baltimore today.

Body in a field:

Shouting out the woes:

Mayfield Theatre is falling down:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Things I Miss About Singapore

I should really focus on North America now that I'm here, but indulge me with one last memory of Singapore.

On my final day in Southeast Asia, Rohaizad indulged me with a morning run around MacRitchie Reservoir. Rohaizad waited for me at the food kiosk and worked on his computer.

It took me about an hour and five minutes to get around the lake. Then we ate a snack of chicken bao.

Then a breakfast of roti prata and teh terik ... yum.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Final 24 Hours

I am back in the US, comfortably settled into my house. It is so quiet here. Where's all the traffic and construction noise? Ahh, that's all back in Singapore. All I hear is the gentle hum of my computer and a bird chirping outdoors.

Thanks to Rohaizad, I had a great final day in Singapore. He indulged me in all the things I wanted to do and see. One thing was Haw Par Villa, formerly known as Tiger Balm Gardens.

It was built in the 1930's and was once hugely popular, as this old postcard demonstrates:

But now it has been eclipsed by more exciting entertainment options in Singapore. On the day we were there, only two other people were in the entire park.

Haw Par Villa is best known for its huge diaramas depicting scenes of hell. It seems redundant to build such a thing in Singapore, but there it is. Unfortunately, hell closes at 6:00pm which is about the time we arrived.

Fortunately, there are still several acres of huge, freaky-looking, painted concrete sculptures.

Wandering through paths surrounded by so many eerie statues as dusk fell was an unsettling experience. Here are a small selection out of the myriad to choose from.

Chicken people:

Giant faces:

Giant gorillas:

Spooky fella:


Many of these diaramas included explanations of what people were saying and doing. The point was to teach the viewer a moral lesson against gambling, drinking and so forth. Rohaizad enjoyed seeing how the men all wore suit coats in the 1930's despite the heat of the tropics.

A car accident:

Rohaizad and I at pagoda: