I Heart Singapore

Oh. Singapore. You are the Germany/Las Vegas/Disneyland of SE Asia. At every turn I am impressed.

We started the day visiting a technological university that was a little too sterile for my students’ taste. After a Chinese lunch, we visited La Salle, an art university. The campus is outstanding and the buildings a work of art. It was fun to see how much the school inspired my students. They could see themselves there and got really excited about the programs offered. Hopefully this visit will motivate them to work harder in class and to start building their portfolios.

After the school tour we went to Orchards Road to do some shopping. That place is like Las Vegas on steroids! The streets look normal and upscale with stores like Gucci, Coach, and Prada, but there are thousands of stores under the street, and you travel through underpasses to cross. I got lost a few times, but each time I stumbled across an even cooler store (like UNIQLO) and splurged a bit.

Then after dinner (Chinese again) I rocked the bazaar Bugis. A little shopping and a pedi…

Tomorrow we’re going to a waterpark. I mean… Really. This is a pretty sweet job I’ve got. Enjoy the pictures!

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Welcome to Bandung

Welcome to Bandung–the Paris of Indonesia–known for it’s romanticism, great food and shopping. This city is incredibly popular among Indonesians, and we now know why. We spent only 36 hours exploring, but fell in love the first five minutes we were there.

Don’t get me wrong, there was and always will be certain elements in every city that will shock or disturb you here. The theme of offense for us was the blatant animal cruelty we witnessed: broken and manipulated tail feathers on doves (the tail shaped like a fan) and monkeys riding mini motorcycles, dragged in a wide circle by a chain wrapped around their neck, as a ploy to get money for the “entertainment” while you wait at a four way stop.

Anyway, back to why we like Bandung. We checked into the Hummingbird Guesthouse and fell in love with it’s kid-friendly outdoor living space and posh rooms. This little guesthouse is behind their main attraction, their artisan eatery. The food was out of this world, with options that ranged from escargot to prawn caesar salad with capers. This is not your average Indonesian take on what international food should taste like. This was the real deal for $6. No. Joke. We declared our dinner as the first of many, and quite literally ate across the city. Our only breaks were to ice skate (a first for Eliana) and shop.

Today we rounded out the trip with a lovely hike (it was nice to see monkeys walking around in the wild) and a history lesson about the WWII tunnels in the hills of Bandung. During our walk through the Dutch caves we found some paper confetti, to which we all shouted “On on!” to commemorate a past hash event that must have taken place in the tunnels. (How cool would that be?!)

Bandung. We get it now! And we will be back.

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Ubud is Magical

We spent the day in Ubud buying art, and eating amazing food (specifically roasted Balinese beef, ox tail soup, and tofu and tempe empanadas). We started the day with a visit to the Bali Bird Park, which was impressive. Then we rounded out the day with a kecek dance. YouTube it for the full effect, or better yet, get your ass to Bali and see it first hand. It’s worth it.

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