Thursday, June 27, 2013

St George's Church

I alighted from the bus (You don't get off a bus in Singapore. You alight...) across the street from the Botanical Gardens and walked up a very steep hill. It was very hot and I was exhausted when I finally got to the top. I spotted a unique looking, wide open, brick church and went inside to get some shade. As soon as I entered I sensed a wonderful feeling of peace.

I noticed a plaque that explained that the church was built as an Anglican troop church for the British soldiers that were stationed here in 1911. It became a civilian church in 1971 and continues to provide services.

The church has no air conditioning but air flows through openings high up in the walls and through covered alcoves on either side of the sanctuary. In addition there are numerous ceiling fans whirring above.

Another striking feature of this gorgeous place is the colorful stained glass window over the altar.
The current window was installed in 1955. The original one was removed and hidden just prior to the Japanese attack of WWII. Unfortunately it was never found again. The new window depicts Jesus holding a Bible and the badges of the eleven military units that tried to defend Singapore during the war.

After a cool and peaceful nap, it was time to go home. I am sure this church is a wonderful place to worship and have fellowship with believers in Jesus Christ.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Wholesale Center, Pasir Panjang, Singapore

The double decker bus I rode on a few days ago took me along the beautiful West Coast area of Singapore. There is a long, narrow park that meanders along the road on one side and Jurong Channel on the other. I jumped off in front of a collection of huge warehouses.

 As I walked towards the buildings I realized these warehouses were not just places to store old dirty stuff. The warehouses collectively are known as the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Center. As I approached the closest building I was met by a nervous Jack Russell terrier named Tan.

Tan was very hyper but offered to give me a quick tour through the buildings. There are four buildings and each are temporary storage for food stuffs. The first one stores refrigerated products. The second one holds fruits. The next one has vegetables and the last one maintains dry goods like rice, nuts, grains, dried fruit and dried fish.

As we walked around the buildings I found out why Tan was so nervous. We turned around a corner near a stack of crates of oranges and there stood the ugliest, meanest looking dog I had ever seen. Tan told me his name was Adolf, who thinks he owns the place. I am pretty feisty, but I did not want to deal with Adolf. Tan and I wisely scooted down an isle full of pineapples to avoid the "Demon Dog from Hell."

The other reason Tan was so hyper was all the forklift traffic. The drivers have a lot of work to do loading and unloading trucks. They start work at midnight, emptying trucks that are filled with product that is locally grown, as well as product flown into Singapore from all over the world. It is neatly stacked and then loaded back onto trucks bound for grocery stores and restaurants all over the island. The forklift operators don't have time to worry about looking out for silly dogs that might be in the way.

After the trucks all leave, non business people can purchase any goods not required by the retailers. What a great way to obtain really fresh produce right off the loading dock!          

It was time to run. I thanked Tan for the tour and as I left the Wholesale Center, I made sure to avoid crossing Adolph's path.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Little India II

A few adventures ago I had described my visit to Little India and mentioned I needed to return to see some more of this colorful area of Singapore. Well, I got my chance again and headed directly to the Tekka Center to see my fish monger friend.


 I was so pleased he remembered me. I was starving when I got there but the wonderful fish smell made me even hungrier. My buddy cut me a choice piece of fish and tossed it over. I love sushi! (I don't call it that though...I just call it raw fish.) I gobbled the meal down, purred at my friend in appreciation for his generosity, then bounded down the street to do some exploring.

It must have been shopping day because all the streets were packed with people. I had to be very careful to ensure I didn't get stepped on. I saw lots of henna shops and even thought of having a lovely design painted on my legs. I was upset when I realized the ink would not go on very well over my furry legs.

I noticed some of the shops had lovely little shrines dedicated to the shop keepers favorite god's. There were also lots of flower shops where the vendors were selling beautiful bouquets and weaved
flower strands.

Many of the buildings were painted bright colors and had ornate attachments. In front of one of the shops was a little fountain that some pigeons turned into a bird bath to cool off in.

Little India is also known for wonderful cuisine.  There are  lots of little restaurants but since I had just eaten I just stopped to breathe  in the great aromas.


It was time to get home so off I went on my bus ride. I made it home and took a long, well deserved nap.

Friday, June 7, 2013


I have been hearing a lot about ukuleles becoming popular in Singapore. Kids, young adults and old folks are all getting the urge to play these 4 string mini guitars. I understand they are easy for people to learn to play. I wanted to try one out but realized since I am a kitty I would be all paws and never be able to get the hang of it...or could I...?

Imagine my surprise when on one of my recent illicit bus excursions I ended up on Sentosa Island and stumbled on a ukulele concert called Ukulele Groove. The concert was held at a big fountain in front of a humongous Merlion (The symbol of Singapore). The place was packed so I had to take extra care to stay out of sight by hiding under the tables that had been set out for the Bar-B-Que dinners being served. Some little kids who didn't realize cats were not invited "accidentally" dropped some delicious sausages  for me to eat.

There were 4 groups that played classic rock so the audience knew all the words and sang along. At one point, one of the groups invited people to come up on stage to learn a couple of chords and play along with them. Everyone was having a great time and I hated to leave but it was getting late and I had to beat my parents (who would have loved the event) home.
A couple of weeks later I was snoozing in front of my favorite window facing the warm sun when my parents came barging in, acting all excited about something. I could not believe what they had done...! They bought my crazy father a ukulele from Ukulele Movement. What was he going to do with it? He doesn't know how to play anything except the radio! Well he plopped down in his favorite chair, took the instrument out of the carrying case, tuned it like a pro and then proceeded to plink horribly. He made the most unpleasant sounds come out of that poor defenseless uke. Mother went to the kitchen to get away from the noise and I hid under the bed hoping the screeching would stop. Luckily his fingers started to hurt so our ears were spared for the rest of the night.
I am sure he will learn to play melodically pretty soon. I just hope he doesn't start to sing too!
Maybe, while my parents are at work during the day, I'll try my paws at playing. I couldn't possibly be a worse player than my father.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bukit Batok Nature Park and the Lost Dogs

Located only a short bus ride from my home is a wonderful nature park called Bukit Batok. It is quiet and peaceful and full of birds and animals and has beautiful vistas at every turn. It is not very crowded and a great place for people to walk their dogs. (As everyone knows, cats don't get walked.)

When I arrived, I was met by a Colombo Crow named... Colombo. He was an old crow but very fit. He lives in this park and I now know why he is in such good physical shape. The park is not that big but there are a lot of brick walkways that lead you up some pretty steep hills.
Colombo offered to give me a tour of "his" park so I was happy to accept the generous offer. The pathways are very well maintained and meander through some very thick forest. We saw lots of pretty flowers as well as a Many Lined Sun Skink, a Monitor Lizard, and some Long Tailed Macaques (monkeys) who scampered away through the woods as soon as they were spotted.

We also saw some White-Crested Laughing Thrushes pecking at the ground. I could not stand the noise they made! They made a screeching sound followed by a very loud squawk that sounded like crazy people laughing. They were doing their best at ruining a  perfectly tranquil afternoon. Colombo took flight and I ran to get away from them.
We ended up at the top of a hill where there is a small monument dedicated to the Allied and Japanese soldiers that died here in WWII. We slowly sauntered back down the hill and came upon the remains of a rock quarry that is filled up with water, creating a beautiful, serene pond.

As we were resting at the waters edge, a couple of dogs came running up to us. They had harnesses on with leashes dragging behind them.

They appeared very agitated. I told them to calm down and to let us know what their problem was. They introduced themselves as Pepper and Henry from USA and they had escaped from their master. (By the way, did you know dogs have masters but cats have staffs.) They had playfully gotten away while being walked but were now very worried because they were lost.
Colombo told them not to worry. He knew their master was probably still in the park and just as worried as they were. He flew up high to get a better view and spotted a nervous looking lady who was obviously upset. He glided back down and then guided us directly to the lady who was so relieved to be back with her pets. Colombo and I left their reunion and continued on to the park exit.

I had a very fun day but it was time to go back home. I thanked Colombo for being such a great tour guide and for being so resourceful helping out those poor lost little dogs. His kind response was so typical of an old crow. As he flew off he replied, "The pleasure was all mine pretty kitty."