GTFO Episode 2: Singapore So Far

Tara and I are doing a fun little video podcast about our travels and here’s the brand new episode which covers the last week or so in Singapore:

2 Comments so far

  1. SMurphy (unregistered) on June 8th, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    Hey Guys,

    Sounds like you are making your way through Singapore in a decent fashion.

    I just wanted to comment on a few things that came up in the podcast…

    Coffee… I feel for you on this. Good coffee can be found here, you just have to know where to go. You also need to decide on the type of coffee you are after. If you are going to Starbucks, you are going to get your bog standard North American style coffee. Only it’s a bit more watery than you might be accustomed to in the US. This is true also of places such as The Coffee Connoisseur (tcc), the Coffee Club or The Coffee Bean.

    If you want to drink what the locals drink, you are looking for Kopi. This is prepared in a different way from what you might be used to. The beans are ground, then roasted with a number of aromatics, etc. Then these grounds are put into a cloth filter (sometimes called The Sock) and hot water is poured over them. Repeat.

    It creates a very strong, dark coffee which is typically served with Sweetened Condensed Milk (Kopi). If you want it served black you have to ask for Kopi-O-kosong (for a stronger version of the same ask for Kopi-O-kosong-gau).

    I like the sweetened condensed milk but sometimes want it to be a little less sweet. In that case, ask for Kopi-xiu-dai (pronounced siew-tai).

    Parks and the heat. There is no way around it… Singapore is hot during the day. You will just have to suck it up. Sorry. The good news is, you will become used to it over time. Take some solace in knowing that even the locals hate it when it gets really hot.

    If you are looking to see monkeys, just come to my house. We get them coming into our kitchen from time to time (really). If you go to the MacRitchie reservoir you will likely see some monkeys on your way to the Tree Top Walk. It’s a longish walk so take your time and stay hydrated.

    You should also try walking through the Southern Ridges. It’s a very nice walk with some cool bridges and connectors (Henderson Waves, Hort Park, etc. all very cool).

    I would also recommend a trip to the Zoo and Night Safari. Sounds cheesy but it’s not.

    Regarding the drug thing… there are drugs available here. The death penalty applies only to traffickers importing into the country. There are punishments for those caught in possession but it’s not the death penalty.

    Food wise… yes. Stick to the Hawker Stalls and you will get good food cheap. Look for the places with the longest lines and you will find the best of the best. If the Hawker Stalls make you nervous, try going to a Food Court in a mall. They are similar to hawker stalls but just a little more expensive.

    There are great restaurants and stalls all around the island, but if you are looking to save money… stick to the Hawkers.

    If you are looking for something to try… Roti Prata. Get one stuffed with egg and cheese. You will thank me.

    I have to admit you gave me a chuckle on the forced manners bit. Of course there are not laws that dictate manners or even giving your seat to someone who needs it. It’s weirder than that. What there is is an ongoing government campaign and public discussion in the media about graciousness. Singapore is hyper aware of its public image and is always battling its baser instincts (look up Kiasu) to ensure that visitors see the city in the best light possible.

    If you need any help finding things, drop me an email. I’d be happy to make some suggestions.


  2. Sean Bonner (seanbonner) on June 8th, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

    Thanks! Yes this is actually my 5th time here and Tara’s second, so we’re getting the lay of the land pretty well. The videos are kind of just quick documentations for friends out in the world rather than the definitive voice on something. That said, sounds like you know Sg pretty well, if you’d like to contribute some of that stuff to this site we’d love to have you as an author!

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