30 October 2011


For those who may not know, Singapore is a group of islands situated in between Malaysia and Indonesia. Singapore lies one degree north of the equator, which, according to antipode.com, is the Western Hemisphere’s equivalent of Paul and me living in Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park.

Since we are mere miles of the hottest imaginary line to circle the Earth, we do not get to experience temperatures below 75 degrees (24 C). Most days the weather is somewhere in the 80s. We have two seasons – Wet and Dry – and lately the Wet has been ever present.

One of the best things about Bali was the breeze. Even though the temperatures were at or above typical Singaporean temps, the lower humidity and the constant breeze made the weather much more pleasant.

Though the rain often cools the temperatures here, when the sun comes out after the rain, the humidity rolls in and instantly makes a body feel sticky. Luckily, there are lots of things to do when the weather is less than ideal.

This has been a great week for finding Singapore’s little treasures. I feel like I have spent half the week in coffee shops, which I love. Oriole is a great cafĂ© downtown that offers great food, artistic coffees and lots of opportunities for people watching through the windowed walls.

Yesterday I began my morning with a little housework before the housekeeper arrived (yes, I am one of those women). Later on when I was ready for breakfast, I was unable to make anything because our wonderful housekeeper (who I appreciate so much) was using a key kitchen item – our super converter. No problem.

I felt that was the perfect opportunity to take a mid-morning stroll and run an errand or two in the process. I needed to stop at the ATM and, by the grace of Howard Schultz, there was a Starbucks right across the street and a designated crosswalk with a little green man leading the way.

A small round table for four was the only available table inside or outside on the patio, so I grasped the opportunity and had a seat. After enjoying a surprisingly good soy, whole-wheat banana muffin (really good), I sipped my grande chai frappucino with soy milk while reading a couple chapters in one of my pastor’s books.

I was definitely distracted by the numbers of people coming in and going out, fighting over seats and tables (literally having words) and generally making noise. I had enough, however, when a couple came over and commandeered my table. I had just finished a chapter and I knew I had to start walking home soon, so again, I seized the opportunity, packed up my things and began my walk back home.

In the afternoon, I met a friend at another Starbucks downtown. This Starbucks, like the one on the East Coast, was all ready for Christmas. The boards were red, the holiday lattes were on display – the only thing missing was the Gingerbread Latte, which is not available in Singapore. What made this Starbucks even more special was the giant Christmas tree standing proudly outside the patio.

That’s right – trees are popping up all over the major shopping areas. Takashimaya, a very popular higher-end department store, boasts a two-story tree in the main lobby and it’s not even Halloween.

Coffee shops, boutiques like those on Haji Lane and little places to hide from the humidity and the rain are all little treasures in my eyes. 

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