Monday, July 18, 2005

Weekend with my honey

Jeff didn't have to work at all this weekend which meant I got to spend two full days with my husband! That may not sound like a big deal, but given all the hours he puts in, it is.

On Saturday, Jeff surprised us both by being up and showered by 9am. I had this idea that we should go to Ming Village, a kiln which supposedly makes antique reproductions of Chinese ceramics. After taking the MRT to the west side of the island and finding the correct bus to get us to Ming Village, we discovered the blasted place was gone! The building looked like it was going to be demolished with no signs posted saying they moved or were temporarily relocated. So we stayed on the bus and took in the west side, which was a mix of industrial shipyards and HDB estates.

We finally ended up in the Jurong East hawker center, where I read and ate fried oysters and Jeff drank some Tigers while he played with his new Canon camera.

I'm reading Anthony Bourdain's book A Cook's Tour and have been inspired to eat everything. Which led me to order a fried banana-shaped fish cake (pictured above). "You order this? You sure?" from the vendor lady should have tipped me off. Fishballs and fishcakes are made of minced fish paste, shaped into little balls and cakes, then deep fried or boiled. It's quite tasty when you order it as soup with noodles and vegetables, but never have I sat down to just a log of fish cake, cut-up with scissors and put into a bowl. Lordy, I don't know what I was thinking. Fortunately, Jeff is like Mikey — he liked it.

Later that night we went to a fancy farewell dinner for one of Jeff's colleagues. The first wave of people are finishing up their work on the project and leaving to take the long way home to the States. Rebecca was going back to SanFran by way of Thailand and China.

On Sunday, we pulled another early one and joined Bharat for breakfast at Nosh. Bharat is another of Jeff's coworkers returning to the States, but I think we'll be seeing him again soon. After breakfast, Jeff and I went to the Clarke Quay Flea Market, which is a lowkey and small collection of vendors selling secondhand collectibles like old coins, stamps, etc. After that we walked to Chinatown and wandered through some antique furniture stores, just happy to look at cool Chinese wedding cabinets and chests. We'd of course love to bring home some of this beautiful furniture, but by the time you ship it and pay taxes and duties, the final price is nearly twice what you originally paid! Although, I'm told that once you buy a container, you pay buy volume not weight, which means you can stuff and nest items inside each other. That might be something....

We finished up our afternoon with tea and char siew pau at Tea Chapter, which is my favorite way to take afternoon tea.

Afterwards I attempted to pick out a little Yixing clay teapot for myself but the variety of choices bewildered me. Aside from the traditional little teapot shape, these pots can be small works of art, with shapes ranging from fanciful animals to strikingly modern pieces. And then I'm told you need to decide on your tea cup size BEFORE you pick out the pot. I need more time to think about this.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.