Sunday, December 16, 2012

Awestruck in Borneo

 We just completed a 5-day trip to the Indonesian portion of Borneo, in the large province of Kalimantan.  This was an unforgettable trip, as we were transported physically and mentally to a remote and amazing place, Tanjung Puting National Park on the southern coast where a sizable population of orangutans is thriving.  We stayed in a rustic camp environment and visited this lush rainforest via the Sekonyer River that snakes through this part of the park.  We were awed by the orangutans, as well as gibbons, proboscis monkeys, macaques, monitor lizards, butterflies, all accompanied by the incredible sounds of the tropical jungle environment.

I'll probably post more about this trip, as I want to gush endlessly about what we experienced, but I must get on a flight to the US tomorrow morning, so it will have to wait (I can hear you holding your breath! Ha!)

In the meantime, please visit if you are so inclined.
Proboscis Monkey

A curious macaque

Pangkalan Buun

Feeding time


On the river

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bar Bar Black Sheep

Yes, that's the name of a neighborhood hangout we discovered a while back.  It kind of has the feel of a British pub, and serves very good Thai and Indian food, if that makes any sense.  Usually filled with expats, but Singaporeans seem to like it as well.  The good news is that it is within walking distance from our condo, and they are fine with pooches on the patio.  We try to get a table on the outside so Lucy can lie down in her favorite spot and block the sidewalk.  Folks don't seem to mind...  For those of you in Singapore, Bar Bar Black Sheep is located at 362 Tanjong Katong and there is one at Robertson Quay as well.  Cheers!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chinatown Tailor

Had a small adventure this week on Pagoda Street in Chinatown.  I needed something to wear for a quasi-fancy performance at the American Club  -  a gig with the American Women's Association Choir here in Singapore.  Normally, I'd just grab a black pair of pants and a black blouse, but these gals tend to dress to the nines for events like this, so I figured I better make an effort.  I was thinking about something simple - a long Chinese-style dress with a mandarin collar and short sleeves.  So I headed to Chinatown, wandered around a bit, worked up my courage and walked into a shop called, "Silk of the Orient".  The owner and head tailor's is Feroz Akbar and he's apparently been in the business for 30 years.  We discussed what I wanted, surrounded by colorful silks, wools, cashmere, a large cutting table and accompanied by the soundtrack of a mesmerizing Moslem prayer recording.   I selected a gorgeous black Shantung silk, Mr. Akbar's assistant measured me and we were off and running.  The whole transaction lasted not more than 10 minutes.  It was ready two days later, so I returned to Pagoda Street, tried on the dress (it's beautiful) and could barely sit in it, let alone imagine playing the piano in it.  That Chinese style, after all, is meant to be slim-fitting.  But, not to worry - they let out the seams a bit in the hip area, so I'm good to go.