Thursday, June 16, 2011

The sensory journey begins!

 When arriving in a new place, all the new sights, sounds and smells send you into a compelte sensory overload. Of course, the 24 hour travel day which plagued me intermittently throughout the first day made taking everything in a little more of a challenge...
I still managed to soak in some of the citites basic trends, like its amazing balance between nature and architecture.  The most expansive trees line the streets and neighborhoods and the buildings are all colorful, there are no gray, drab apartment complexes in this city.

After a day at the pool in the sun (:)) my generous hosts took me for a walk around their neighborhood.  They knew I was keen on the food scene and they showed me what they call 'haw kee centers'. (Something I mistakenly thought was spelt 'hockey center'...Canadian...) These places are just like our food courts, except that they are open to the sky and crammed with pan-asian specialties.
Laksa, curries, ramen, pho, you name it, they prepare it.  I was very hungry at the time but knew we were going elsewhere for dinner. It was incredibly difficult to walk through and resist the temptation to order a plethora of delicious smelling and looking dishes.
We came upon a stand that offers these strange crushed ice things. They have bowls of crushed ice over which they pour fresh fruit like lychee or dragon fruit. It's like bubble tea but in a bowl and with can imagine my excitement!
Luckily we had time for a quick drink. I ordered their Soursop juice. Which was explained as a slightly sour but sweet fruit juice.
Mine came in a cup with a spoon and a straw. I was very excited: my first encounter with a Singaporian specialty drink that was like an upgraded bubble tea. I stirred and took a was like an explosion of flavour, a mix between lemonade, lychee and dragon fruit...
At the bottom of the drink can be found the actual fruit, smashed to allow for maximal juicing.  I know the picture looks quite like a jelly-fish and maybe not the most appetizing.  Let me tell you that it was the tastiest, most refreshing thing. I polished off the entire beverage and am already craving another.
It is always very warm and humid here and drinks like this are essential.
It's been one day and I am already in love with the culture, the people and the overhwelming presence of all asian cuisine.
More to follow shortly.. Stay tuned:)

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