So, apparently every year between the end of May and sometime in July there exists "the Great Singapore Sale." All stores have a sale for that period of time. I have never heard of something like this, but it's great - lots of people are shopping (they tell me it's more than normal, though there are SO many malls, they have to support someone!), and the economy is moving.
Today (one-day-only, 10 to 4), I had the Great Singapore Tour. I got picked up at 10 by a wonderful woman named Yvonne, and I got taken around. I had heard but had seen no proof that we're near the beach. Jill was even noticing that on GoogleMaps, but that wasn't proof enough for me. We are! We're really close to the water. I will have to explore that on foot in the next few days.
They took me to an area that has buses only on weekends and most restaurants and pubs are only open on weekends. Apparently on weekends people also set up tents near the beach. You can stay for up to five days for free. It's sort of a weird place to camp, but I guess that Singapore is small, so choices are limited. There were SO many ships in the sea nearby, so I'm not sure about swimming, but it's so close, I might have to try. We then went to the mall (obviously).
Then we drove down by the water and saw Matt's building. Where there's a harbo(u)r here, they're actually building land and making it into a fresh water reservoir. Apparently the whole CBD and southern part of the island is artificial land anyways. We saw that in Cape Town and the west side of Manhattan - pretty cool that they can do that. We then went to a mall (clearly).
We went to Chinatown and saw an Indian Temple and saw lots of little shops. We went to Little India and saw a "wet market." It was filled with fruits and vegetables (most of which I have never seen before!), meat and fish. We also went to Mustafa's. They seriously have everything. First I saw electronics...okay...then TONS of gold jewelry...then groceries? including Honey Nut Cheerios - and everything else - then beauty products, including alcohol-less perfume for Muslims! How cool! They have sports equipment, shoes, clothes, seriously everything. I will be going back there (for days!!).
She showed me some ex-pat areas of Singapore - sort of looked like California - big, beautiful houses, small hills and greenness. We then went to a mall to see an ex-pat grocery store (in a mall).
Then we went to Suntec City, where Matt and I went on Saturday night. Apparently it has the biggest fountain in the world. I think that another country could grab that title quickly - it wasn't that big. We of course went in the mall and had lunch. You can eat for SO cheap here. I'm tempted to just order something without knowing at all what it is. I only did that with one dish today (Indian food) - it was some green vegetable that could be okra, bean or something else. In this mall, I was cold for my first time since I got to Singapore.
We then went to Esplanade, which looks a lot like Epcot Center. It's theaters, but of course, it's a mall also (I have NEVER seen so many malls!). There's even a library in it.
Yvonne and the driver then took me back to Bedok, where we live, and she showed me a third supermarket which I hadn't seen before, and she also showed me a shopping center closer to our apartment. It's full of food stalls, a wet market and tons of little shops. It's like a little shuk (for you people who know Israel), and I am very happy about it. I went back to buy soya milk, and it was cheap. I love cheap, in case you don't know me so well.
While I was doing all of this, Matt was working. He is enjoying work, enjoying the people that he works with, and he even has been complimented by his boss. What he writes actually gets read, and though he leaves for work at 6:30 am, he's doing okay.
In case you were wondering, I pulled the heads off of 20 prawns. Some goop came out of it. It was really gross for the first few dudes, but then I got used to it. Scary that you can get used to pulling the heads off of (dead) animals. I don't think I'll be doing that again soon.
The soup was really good, though.