28 October 2011


This week I had the opportunity to explore two areas of downtownish Singapore. While I am quite familiar with Little India, it was a joy to join the block party celebrating the countdown to Hindu holiday Deepavali (Diwali everywhere else).

Tuesday night, Paul and I headed into Little India after 9 to see just what this “Festival of Lights” was all about. We were immediately greeted by lighted signs above the main roads through Little India.

I was looking forward to the New Year’s Eve-type celebration and expected to see streets as packed as Orchard Road on the weekend. The crowds were not as numerous on the streets as I was expecting but we did run into tight crowds as we fought our way through some of the Deepavali tents that housed all sorts of vendors. Jewelry, statues of Hindu gods, carpets and clothing were popular items; snacks and desserts were also on display.

A few vendors were eager to make deals so they resorted to yelling through loudspeakers to ensure their products were sold. One tent sounded like an auction house.

We encountered a seemingly endless crowd as we approached the area where a stage was erected. 

The men were going wild for the two acts that were on as Paul and I walked past. I could not see who was on stage, nor did I have any idea, but I did make a joke about the first guy being Michael Jackson because all I could see were backup dancers in black pants and jackets that were lined with shiny silver. The second lady was wearing a short, strapless dress. I would describe her as performing a stripper, hip hop, Indian singer but I cannot verify her ethnicity since I did not see her face.

Paul hated every minute. He hated the crowds, he hated the smells, he hated the music, he hated the heat, he hated being anywhere except on the couch under the aircon watching Frasier. At least one of us likes to be cultural and blog about our various experiences.

Since Wednesday was a national holiday, Julia, Liana, Lucinda and I headed downtown for a coffee/lunch/shopping adventure. A new friend, Cassie, also joined us. Cassie went to Michigan but we still hang out with her.

We went to Oriole, one of our favorite hangouts where the Cubano sandwiches melt in one’s mouth like butter on hot bread, and then headed to Blue Mountain Coffee for another dose of caffeine. The truth is, it was pouring outside and we really just needed an excuse to stay indoors.

Once the rain cleared, we made our way to Haji Lane, a boutique shopping area in a Middle Eastern sector. The street was perfect – cute shops all in a line, decorated exteriors, window shades of varying colors and very few cars so we could walk up and down the narrow street.

We laughed out loud when we saw the Fat Lady cake shop. 

I decided to buy some cupcakes which turned out to look a lot better than they tasted. We perused the shops along the street and did some great window shopping. Liana found a great accessory, as seen below.

There are hundreds of little treasures like Haji Lane just waiting to be discovered and I cannot wait to find them.

1 comment:

Liana W said...

I was wanting to ask you liked those cupcakes. Too bad they were not great.....but it was worth the trip so I could look like the Pringles man!