Singapore River Cruise – A Visual Treat

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The river cruise is a delightful way to not only see Singapore in all its evening glory, but also know about the country’s history.

A lot of questions which we had on our minds, like the colonial architecture, and the presence of commercial buildings on only one side of the river – all were answered thanks to their well-put-together presentation.

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The cruise lasts for about 35 minutes, and tells you everything you want to know through an interesting A/V presentation.

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It was intriguing to know why the early Chinese settlers chose only one side of the river to camp at – it’s the prosperous side according to Chinese tradition, we were told. Therefore, you find all these skyscrapers on only that special side. And guess what, the offices in those buildings are in the business of money, literally. All those offices are, wait for it, banks from all over the world!

 

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The charming Fullerton Hotel too gets a special mention.  Built in 1928, this iconic building was once home to Singapore’s General Post Office, as well as Singapore Club. Now it’s a stunning 400-room heritage hotel and a visual treat to be experienced while on the cruise.

 

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From history to culture to modern trends, everything was explained in an interesting manner, and that calls for extra points.
The cruise, at SGD 25 per head was a lot of fun, especially seeing the Singapore Merlion up close. Don’t miss it!
(All photos are from my personal album)
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Life Lessons from Uncle Charlie

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Uncle Charlie of Two and a Half Men.  If a fan of this show, you may agree that it’s difficult not to love that swashbuckling, whisky gulping man with a heart of gold. And though the new cast is doing a good job, the show is just not the same without him. And as I watch reruns of old episodes every other evening (it’s one of the best ways to unwind after a workday), I have to come to realize that irrespective of what the character is all about, there are quite a few life lessons to be learnt from Uncle Charlie. For instance, is this gold or what:We all want the shining red apple, but sometimes we got to settle for what’s on the lower branch, or in some cases we take what’s lying on the ground.”

So here are a few life lessons from Uncle Charlie that I think we can all use.

Lesson #1: It is important to enjoy time alone.

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Lesson #2: When in trouble, always call Mom.  

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Lesson #3: Napping equals recharging and we all could use some.

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Lesson #4: You should live life on your own terms.

Charlie: “I don’t have to face anything I don’t want to face, and I don’t have to feel anything I don’t want to feel, and that includes Mom’s vodka knockers.”

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Charlie: “When the phone rings at Uncle Charlie’s house, we don’t just willy-nilly pick up the receiver and answer it. No. What we do is check the caller ID, and only pick up if we want to talk to that person.”

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Lesson #5:  Everyone can be your friend. That includes your pizza delivery guy, your housekeeper and your stalker.

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Lesson #6:  As the older sibling, it is your responsibility to teach stuff to your younger brother.

Charlie: “Listen, you’ve got to do me a favor.”

Alan: “That’s what I live for.”

Charlie: “Sarcasm is for winners, Alan.”

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Lesson #7: It’s good to know exactly what you want from people.

Berta: “Alright, I ordered your pizza. I’m going home.”

Charlie: “Thanks, Berta. “I ordered your pizza, I’m going home.” Two of the three things you want in a woman.”

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And finally, another gem from the man:

Charlie: “No woman ever came home from a date complaining that all she did was talk about herself.”

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The Letter Writing Life

Recently, I had a visitor who found this basket of letters of mine quite intriguing. According to him, it’s a rare sight these days, a bunch of handwritten letters with colorful stamps from all over the world. In a day and age when it takes seconds to communicate with people in any corner of the world, these letters from my penpals travel far and wide to make my day.

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I also enjoy creating mail art, and it’s a fun thing to do on lazy afternoons. My penpals and I love exchanging little handmade (or store bought) items like cards and bookmarks. For me this is a delightful hobby, and it brings together two of my favorite things in the world – words and colors.

 

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Same old airmail envelopes? Nah, let’s make them drool worthy. That’s what my super creative penpals believe in, and I have picked up a thing or two along the way.

 

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I love penpalling a lot. And when it comes to writing, I believe it can be a wonderful creative outlet. It’s relaxing and enjoyable too.
Chef Gusteau says in the movie Ratatouille: “Anyone can cook.” I believe that anyone can write too. Do you?

Walking Around Singapore

Don’t you love it when you are exploring new places, and suddenly you come across a beautiful piece of architecture? Someplace not mentioned in your guide book or the handy travel phone your hotel had so thoughtfully provided?  That’s how we felt when we came across the Tan Si Chong Chu Temple in Singapore. 

While on a leisurely walk around the Clarke Quay area, we found this quaint Chinese temple, quite by accident. As we were walking around, exploring the areas close to our hotel, the traditional red exterior first drew our attention. The buildings around  it house hotels and offices, hence we were quite intrigued by it. 

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Once inside, we were pleasantly surprised to have discovered such a beautiful temple. Called the Tan Si Chong Chu Temple, this 140 year old temple is a hidden gem. 

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The various shrines, the detailed Chinese architecture, and the stillness in the air – all added up to make our discovery indeed very special. 

 

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Looks like this delightful temple is somehow off the radar, which also accounts for the serene atmosphere all around. I don’t have a decent photo of it, but there’s a wishing well inside too. So throw in a coin and expect good things to happen 🙂 

 

photos: from my personal album