Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kampong Glam Historical District

I jumped on another double decker bus today and jumped off in an interesting historical area of Singapore called Kampong Glam. The corner stones of the district are the Sultan Palace and the Masjid Sultan Mosque. The Malay Heritage Centre is also located in this area as well as a number of very colorful little shops all along numerous streets, the most famous of which is Arab street. There are silk, rug, dress, and non alcoholic perfume mini stores as well as lots of eateries specializing in local flavors.

I overheard a tour guide telling a group of tourists  that when the Sultan decided to locate here he had to have a Mosque and a residence for his entourage built next to his palace. Another interesting detail learned is that the Mosque was built with donations from believers from all economic levels. The poor donated old bottles that were crushed and used to create the black circle around the base of the dome.

As I was walking around soaking in the sites I went down a small alley and came across the Blu Jaz Club. It was the middle of the morning so it was not open. A good natured lady that was working there saw me and assumed I was hungry. (She was right!) She leaned over and petted me and then went inside the kitchen door. A few minutes later she came back out with a great smelling bowl of fish chowder for me. I licked her hand in appreciation and then chowed down. The spicy soup was great and warmed my tummy. I hated to leave but knew I needed to head back home.

On my way back to the bus stop it started to pour down rain. I ran into a covered shopping "mall" called Bugis Street. It is a three story building crammed full of tiny stores specializing in knock off clothes, watches, shoes and lots of other "junk". The place kept me out of the rain but it was packed with people, none of which cared if they bumped into me or stepped on my toes. I know as a cat I am a lot shorter and hard to see in crowds but my goodness attention folks! There was a sign that said, "I love Bugis Street" but my feeling is, "I HATE Bugis Street"!
I was so glad when it stopped raining. I dashed out of that place as fast as I could.
Kampong Glam was very interesting but I don't think I'll be going back to Bugis Street.

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