Monday, February 22, 2010

February 19th – The Singapore Hawker Centre

Another good audience today for the final lecture of this cruise – although for some reason, halfway through I started to muse on what it would be like if a mermaid and a lion were to mate. Tracy's look of astonishment quickly got me back on track! At the end of my lecture, one passenger told me that I reminded him of a Jesuit priest in my delivery of my sermon – is this a good thing?

We didn't get into Singapore until 6.30pm, so tonight we concentrated on the two definitive Singapore cultural experiences – shopping and eating.

We docked right next to an enormous shopping mall, so we had a quick nose around, before getting onto the more important activity – food. We took the efficient MRT (subway) to Newton, to go to the fabulous Newton Hawker Centre, an open-air centre with about 50 different delicious food stalls around the edge, and seating in the middle.

Having found the place selling the cheapest Tiger beer, we did a circuit of the various food stalls, ranging from Chinese noodles, bbqs or seafood, Indian curries, and Arab-style dishes too – the smells were gorgeous, and we were salivating like starving dogs after just a couple of minutes. I started with a lorry load of chicken satay, while Tracy had a "fried carrot cake", which appeared to be a kind of seafood omelette, without a carrot in sight.

As the Tigers flowed, we moved onto a Muslim Malay dish called Murtabak – spicy vegetables in a kind of batter/panacake, and a hot curry sauce to dip it in. Delicious, but it got so cumulatively spicy that many more Tigers needed to be consumed, to water it all down.