Visited Singapore’s Deepavali Bazaar (2015): Glad the Haze or should I say Smog has Cleared for Deepavali

Was thinking that I was going to miss the Deepavali bazaar due to the thick haze enveloping Singapore. Thankful for the change with the monsoon and the winds is in a more favourable direction. Less of the smog from the Indonesian fires (for those who are visiting Singapore and don’t know – deliberate fires to clear land mainly for the palm oil plantations).

Saw quite a lot during this visit to Little India, so may have to spilt this into various posts.

There are actually two bazaars. One just beside the new heritage centre.

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I must say that I am quite impressed by how spacious and orderly it all is. I was expecting it to be cramped and claustrophobic but experienced just the opposite.

The second bazaar area, which is the main one and much larger, is just across Mustafa centre. They are both worth a look for unique decorations, new kurtas and punjabi suits for Deepavali. We saw short sleeved men’s kurtas at a stall here for just $5.

The street lights are impressive as always. Apt as it’s the festival of lights.

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At the area behind the bazaar as some fun option like a bouncy castle (with coconut trees) and rides for the kids.

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Only in multicultural Singapore do we borrow from each other and come up with new creations like Indian style lanterns (in previous years I’ve already seen Indian style ang pow packets).

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There were quite a number of Henna stalls and women holding out their arms as they walked (careful for the henna to dry and not get smudged).

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Took pictures of punjabi suits that I found rather pretty.

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I prefer home made goodies although those who are busy will just buy them ready made – the taste is world’s apart.

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Just be very careful when you cross the street. Best to cross at the traffic light.

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Been Meaning to Visit a Real Jewish Deli: Sacha & Sons

Ever since watching an engaging documentary called Deli Man on Jewish Delis, I have been more than keen to try out an authentic place in Singapore. Namely the one at Mandarin Gallery.

I went with sky high expectations (you would too, after watching the show) so I was a little bit disappointed not to be blown away like the people were in the documentary (although that was based on a years old deli in New York). The food was great but I guess I expected more for the prices. Also as usual in Singapore, the dining space was crammed and you needed to leave you mobile number for them to call you when a table was ready. It didn’t take too long – about 20 minutes I think.

The cream cheese topping on the bagel was very generous but then again prices were steep  – $8 for a bagel. My partner expected much bigger portions for his sandwich (aka American style like those in the documentary where you have a hard time even putting your mouth around the sandwich).

Perhaps it would be a more pleasant experience if we had come here on a weekday and wouldn’t have to sit in such close quarters to the other guests (meaning it was hard to have a conversation). Service was generally polite though.

I wouldn’t mind visiting again to try other items on the menu. As you can tell from the receipt, the visit was some time ago in July.

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Here’s a review by blogger Ms Skinnyfat which was a good read. I think she knows her New York Delis a lot better than me. And another one by Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow with an interesting breakdown about what to order.

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Work in Progress

I get troubled when things are not perfect. I need to start looking at life as work in progress. Always under construction with room for improvement, and I should not let anything hold me back.

I should’t wait to be totally ready to get things started. I think no one is ever totally ready.

I should just start the drafts and work on continuous improvement and tweaks here and there.

Just a pep talk to myself. But it helps a great deal to have a audience by you while you try to crystallise your thoughts. So thank you for sticking by this diary, regular, loyal readers and a warm welcome to the new folks who just dropped by.

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I Would Definitely Return to Angelina for the Hot Chocolate

Or perhaps iced chocolate the next time.

The hot chocolate reminded me of what we had in Paris. The use real chocolate and it’s rich enough to fill you up without any other dessert. Two can share one pot too. In terms of comfort though the place wasn’t as comfortable as a high tea place with sofas. It was rather cramped seating here too. Not somewhere you can sit for a long and bask in the luxury of time.

I wasn’t as impressed by the lemon tart. Good but not spectacular. The marshmallows were a nice touch though. The same went with the cheesecake.

Wish we could have had more of the freshly whipped cream to go with the hot chocolate.

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Blisteringly Hot Day at Changi Beach Before We Were Enveloped by the Haze Months Later

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Somehow you can’t relax when the heat gets to you, but when I look at my photos in the air-conditioned comfort of my home I long to be transported back there again – there where the sun makes the water glisten.

It’s hard to get a parking lot as the place is packed with hordes of people headed to Pulau Ubin – the queues are crazy. Just a sign of how huge our population is, and how our infrastructure is bursting under the weight of overpopulation. I long for the 2.4 million we had back in 1980 (In 1970 it was just 2 million). 5.5 million is just too crazy. We are constantly looking for places to escape – that is places other then our homes, that are thankfully not too packed with people. People who live in sparsely populated countries don’t know how good they have it, in this regard, but I guess they have their own problems too.

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Changi Airport: Another Great Place to Escape to on Saturday or Sunday

Another place that can be a place of escape on the weekends is Changi Airport. The Kopi Tiam area is perpetually packed with people due to some discount scheme but the airport is huge with 3 terminals of dining places so there are other options. I can see why this place is so popular. Every time I am away, the first thing I hear from people in another country is high praise for our airport. Most of them have been to Singapore but only on transit and they tend to measure Singapore by our wonderful airport. Makes me proud.

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Millennia Walk: Not Crowded on the Weekend

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It’s hard to find a place to sit and have a chat that’s not crowded on the weekends. The coffee joints tend to be filled up with students hogging seats. The Joe & Dough at Millennia Walk was surprisingly empty. My partner finds empty malls dismal, but I am drawn to them. Its mostly because what used to be Parco (the Japanese shopping mall wing with a number of Japanese restaurants) is still under renovation. Well at least when I was last there a couple of months ago.

We come here mostly to look at the Lazy Boy chairs distributed by Harvey Norman. Just like is suggested in the show Friends, the chairs are so comfortable but very bulky. Hoping for a discount one day so we can get one.

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Toss & Turn: Healthy Option at Vivo City

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There’s now a healthy option at Vivo City that is not too expensive. Wraps and salads and by the Cedele chain. I tend to go for the chicken wraps which were pretty tasty. Have eaten at this joint twice now.

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So Much Backlog

This is the problem with not blogging soon after you experience something. Memory fades and you get overwhelmed by the mountain of pictures you have now accumulated. To look at it positively, at least I won’t be running out of material very soon.

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My Haze Contrast Photos

In the first set taken at Parkland Green during the haze (psi in the 80’s) vs a relatively pollution free day some months ago (psi in the 20’s I think?), the contrast seems great.

Actually in the second set the psi was much worse (on the roads), even hazardous at about 187. I could feel the discomfort in my throat even with the protection of the car aircondition filters. It feels like being in a room with 10 smokers. You can see how visibility is reduced by the smog. 

Lest we forget what our pre haze blue sky days look like, I thought a side by side comparison was much needed. I’m definitely going to appreciate the skies even more when hopefully monsoon season comes and clears the haze away by December. But please let us experience this earlier in November.  
 

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