The only times it’s okay for an Indian to look for an Indian restaurant to eat at when s/he is outside India:
- If you are vegetarian and are visiting a country where the staple food is meat. At least an Indian restaurant will offer you more options than two kinds of salad
- If you need comfort food – nothing like hot tea and a masala dosa or onion bhajias or chole to make you feel better
- If you’ve had a stomach upset eating something exotic and need curd rice or khichdi to calm your system
- If you need to prove to the people you are travelling/working with that there’s more to Indian food than chicken tikka masala (because that’s not even proper Indian to begin with), butter chicken, biryani and naan. There’s so much more!
Happy birthday to W, who hates when food mixes on his plate, and advance wishes to AMD, who can cook anything.
I recently visited Singapore for the third time in 4 years. I love that city-state!
I wasn’t inclined to post while I was there, which is why this one is late.
People ask what I like about Singapore. Here’s part of my list:
- The food is amazing – the options are endless, the taste is phenomenal, you are (almost 100%) sure of hygiene, and the lower-end of the budget is easily catered to
- Public transport is great – connectivity between modes of transport is almost seamless, the price is relatively low, the modes of transport and the stops/stations are quite clean, many are air-conditioned, the bus stops have signs telling you which one you’re approaching, signs that are visible from the top-deck of the bus
- People are happy to offer help to tourists. And they give correct directions
- The museums are amazing
- So are the parks
- Entrance fees to most museums and parks do not cost the earth. In fact, if you are a citizen or Permanent Resident, I believe they’re free.
- It’s green outside! You can see birds and trees and flowers in the city, breathe air that is washed by rain and caressed by sun.
- It’s easy to find something to drink when you need to re-hydrate
- The airport is big, but not too big.
- You can go from east to west in approximately two hours, riding the east-west MRT line. Next time, I’ll go north.
- There is no little respect for rules and laws
- They cleaned up a river! It took them 10 years, but they did it.
- It rains regularly there. It’s the kind of rain that cools the day down. It can be torrential, I’m sure. Luckily, all I’ve experienced so far has been the mild sort. The biggest worry after a shower is what to do with your damp umbrella. But of course, they have little baggies you can put it in so you don’t drip everywhere
- Seniors are actively involved in public life, volunteering or in paid roles.
- They have their own brand of English, lah
- The people are ingenious and innovative. Buying a cup of coffee, but want your hands free for your phone and bags, etc.? No worries – please use this special sling to carry your cup in
- The taxi drivers use GPS/Google Maps to find their way
- At the zebra crossing, there’s a countdown and a flashing green man to let you know how quickly you need to get across. Some crossings allow those with special needs/seniors to use their concession cards to tap for additional time.
- Restaurants don’t close their kitchens at 8 pm.
- Daiso’s cheaper in Singapore (when compared with Dubai)!
- There’s kaya. And laksa.
Do I really need more reasons?