Monday, February 6, 2012

Last Few Days in Singapore

01/02, Thursday
It's hard to believe we have been here six weeks, since December 19th.
Time, events, food, friends, and family have gone too quickly. We will look back on these days with lots of good memories. It's good to have the blog to help us recall all we have done and seen.

Today made a return visit to the Asian Civilizations Museum which we had been to last year. It's on Robinson Quay next to the Singapore River. In fact, one of the exhibits deals with the's importance for many centuries as a trade center for empires and the Malay/China/Thai tribes. With one short period of decline in the 17th century (when Malacca, Malasia was preeminent), this was a vital area of prosperity and culture. When Raffles "discovered" Singapore and its possibilities for English trade, he restored its position once again.

A political decision in 1977 to clean the River of pollution by 1987 transformed the banks along the River into a commercial and tourist mecca. There is no longer any trade or shipping here, just restaurants, hotels, shops, and museums. Shipping is now done in the harbor and container storage area far removed from the River itself.

There was a traveling exhibit about a shipwreck, which was very interesting since I am currently reading "Shadow Divers " which is about the divers investigating a mystery U boat sunk during WW 11. Lots of interesting artifacts, including hundreds of hand painted dishes.

Then there was an enormous gallery on China, which was great but quite overwhelming. It seems to be thought of as a civilization rather than a nation starting with Confucius over 2700 years ago. The influence of trade played such a salient role. The mention of the silk route reminded me of the year long exhibit on the Asia's Silk Route at the Chicago Art Institute.

02/03, Friday
Emma has today off for parent teacher conferences. We plan to do some shopping at Parkway Parade this afternoon and relax at home tonight. We had hoped our Doctor would prescribe an extra course of antibiotics to knock out our coughs, but his office was closed.

Rebecca made pot stickers for dinner tonight, and Sandy created one of her "crazy" dinners for the girls while they watched TV cartoons. This is a rare treat to which Emma cheered "You're the best Grammy ever!"

John and Yuko return tomorrow evening. Emma and Nicky will be happy to see them. They will have plenty of stories and photos about their time in New Zealand. It will interesting to hear about the future of the North Island property.

Sunday Feb. 5
John and Yuko got back early last night. They had a nice time and great weather. They met with several builders and will now wait to get some plans back. They enjoyed the beautiful beach and were surprised at the growth on their land. It has been six years since we all were there. Very exciting for them to plan a "get away" place.

We had a nice lazy day and John and Yuko were getting over the five hour time difference and the seven hour plane ride. We played some tennis, relaxed at the pool and walked to a unique Japanese restaurant for a very good early dinner.

We need to gear up and pack up since we leave Tuesday evening and arrive in Venice Wednesday morning. Plan on going to the doctor again tomorrow. We definitely are better but Dick still has a cough. It is going to be a shock to our systems to hit the cold weather. Just checked and Castligone Del Lago just got two inches of snow. Don't think we will be bike riding!

02/06, Monday
Tennis, as usual...scotch doubles...followed by swimming. Walked several blocks to Everything with Fries for a disappointing lamb burger. Then, picked up Emma at school where she had an extracurricular golf lesson.

The girls surprised me with a wonderful chocolate birthday cake filled with cherries. What a treat! Then, out to dinner with John and Yuko at a local steamboat Chinese restaurant. Kind of likes Shabu Shabu place. Yuko is very knowledgeable about the choices of ingredients, all of which were tasty and healthy. We had a bean curd skin, deep fried, in a spicy soup that I really liked.

02/07, Tuesday
Today we leave Singapore heading for Italy. It's a long stretch, totaling about 24 hours, with stops in Doha, Rome, Venice; then by train to Chiusi; then by car tour new apartment in Sanfucchio. That's if all goes on time.

This morning we played a marathon scotch doubles, the women won easily 16-14-9. I did not win one of my own serves, but still had 9 games to my credit.

Some final packing and washing. Shipped a box of summer clothes off to Matt that will arrive in Chicago in two months. Watched Emma play some basketball at school. John came home early to see us off to Changi airport at 6:45pm, departure at 9:05pm, 80F.

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