Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

iPod Touch digitizer replacement... oy

When I was in Singapore the humidity and possibly AC blasting like crazy got the better of my poor old iPod Touch 2nd Gen. I finally had a chance to go to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store today and the guy said it's out of warranty (that's what I figured) and Apple charges a standard fee of $200 for fixes. WHAT!!!!!!!!! That's what I'd heard, but pretty crazy since a new iPhone 4 costs the same price. :)

The guy kindly suggested there were "alternative solutions online", though he mentioned the iPod Touch 2nd Gen screen was a bit harder than others to remove.

I looked into it and it looks like you can buy some "prying tools" for about $4 on Ebay made specifically for iPod screen removal. Sweet. You have to do it carefully as there is some ribbon cable attached that you will rip if you do it too quickly.

After that you remove the screen and digitizer (that, apparently is what is busted in my iPod). You then attach the new one, snap it back together somehow and voila, new iPod.

This sounds a little nerve-wracking and they said you can crack the glass when you open it, but the replacement part comes with glass and the digitizer together which is pretty sweet.

Given that the replacement part is as cheap as about $15 online, and the tools are $5, I think I am going to at least try this out and see if I can get it to work. Pretty nuts but it's worth a shot.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Singapore/Malaysia Day 6: Videos: SkyBar club

An awesome night out at SkyBar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Great view of the Petronas Towers, good tunes, and a fiery beverage - Absinthe prepared Bohemian style.

Singapore/Malaysia Day 6: Laksa is gross / Off to Kuala Lumpur

November 26, 2010
Malaysia Day 6: Off to Kuala Lumpur

Breakfast was great this morning, I got to try dragonfruit for the first time! After the eyeball-curry extravaganza last night I wanted to stick with "safe" foods (at least for this morning). The dragonfruit sure looked crazy (it looked like a sliced Hershey's Cookies and Creme chocolate bar) but it was on the fruit table next to the kiwis, so I knew I was safe and it wasn't reindeer intestines or something.

Matt and I headed to work and got Kopi at the same place as yesterday, that stuff is so good. We had quite a busy day at work, took part in a goodbye photo for Tad (he rocks) who is sadly leaving next week and went down to the Hawker center below the office building for some good Indian Food. I got a freshly squeezed Mango/Grape/Orange juice and it rocked. We found a snack store which sells a lot of Australian/Britishy candy, so I was excited for that. There was Cadbury Dairy Milk, as well as Fruitips fruit pastilles in weird flavours (Mango, Litchi). Sweet.

After work we took the MRT train only 1 stop to the airport! Amazing!! It was so quick. We checked in and headed to go find some pre-flight dinner. We found "Chicken Laksa" - a sort of chicken variant of the famed Laksa soup. There were lots of Halal logos everywhere and although it often has pork or shellfish in it, it appeared I could finally try the Laksa. Or so we thought! As it turns out, Laksa smells like smelly socked feet.

A quick disclaimer: this *was* in the Chiangi airport low-cost terminal food court, but that shouldn't be a good excuse as to why the Laksa smelled like a punch to the face. The food at Crystal Jade in the other terminal is some of the best Chinese food I ever had. Ergo: Laksa is gross.

Matt spotted the potential gross-ness of my food choice and lined up at a fried chicken place called "Texas Chicken". As he was lined up, I asked him to secure me a backup plan in case the soup was terrible and tasted as bad as it smelled (it did). I just got a small combo of Chicken and Fries... and Matt said, "That's it?" with a very correct presumption that I would be eating the backup plan in its entirety. It turns out that was a great call. "This smells like Laksa!" would become our catch-phrase any time we walked by something rank. Sorry Singapore - we like that you like Laksa, but we can't handle it.

We arrived in KL pretty quickly. The flight was only 45 min and we got to the LCCT (Low-Cost Carrier Terminal), and walked off one of those funny staircases onto the tarmac. Our plan was to take the KLIA express train as-per Lonely Planet's instructions but we were not at the main terminal, so that was not an option. We asked around for some information and a Muslim couple gave us the details re: catching a 1hr bus instead. We headed for the bus and it was a super cheap option, only 9 RM - approx $3!! That kind of airport transfer bus would have been $30 in Toronto!! We spent about 1 hr on the bus, and it started raining for a few minutes on the way into the center of Kuala Lumpur.

We got to KL Sentral station and then headed to the Subway to go to KLCC. We got out at the Suria KLCC mall - most things were closed but it looked pretty awesome. We then walked to Trader's Hotel, and asked someone for directions: "Turn over there, go straight and... huhhh!" the man said as he flung his arm upwards. The "huhhh!" meant, "It's a schlep". We were carrying only our hand-luggage so that wasn't too bad but it was still quite warm outside. We ended up going a very strange, backwards way to the hotel, through some construction zone action and finally arrived there about 30 min later. We got into the hotel and it looked REALLY fancy and awesome. This was a good choice (thanks, TripAdvisor!) We'd researched this in advance and it was #2 on the recommended list of 100+ hotels in KL on TripAdvisor, and we were totally psyched.

Up we went to the 18th floor, checked into our sick room, and it was great. Thankfully everything we requested worked out - high floor number, 2 beds, PETRONAS TOWERS VIEW!!!! This was perfect. It was so sick. The hotel was really fancy and well set-up, there was a marble bathroom, a cool sliding glass door shower, a "chaise", a loungey couch thing, etc.

We headed up to the SkyBar which we'd heard was a popular spot... and it was only a change-from-shorts-to-long-pants and an elevator ride away from our room. And it turns out it WAS AMAZING!!!!!!! There was a pool in the middle of the room which was super slick (and a bit hazardous, if you think about it!) but lots of non-slip mats around the pool :) It gave a great ambiance and there were lounge couches everywhere, even in the window-wells with a view of the Petronas Towers. It was soooo baller. I got a fancy Mojito and a moment later a waiter came up to us and said, "Do you guys want a seat?" They led us to a couch with a great view, and there was certainly a lot of people-watching to be done as well. :)

There were tons of people there, as we were chillin', a whole bunch of people wandered by, dancing and having a great time. The music was AWESOME. Really great DJ, awesome ambiance and view of the KLCC and the pool really added to the mystique of the place. Very cool. Great club music, perfect for the setting. There was an astonishingly large amount of beautiful people there, and everyone was dressed up to the nines. No wonder they said no shorts allowed, and thank goodness Matt had an extra pair of jeans I could borrow! It was also very multicultural there, which was neat. I heard some British accents, and saw lots of Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, African people. Amazing! Everyone was really well dressed and it was such a cool and classy place. I was so glad we went.

The drinks were pretty expensive but fancy, and we wanted to prolong the night a bit because it was super fun there and the view and music were amazing. They had a 52% and a 68% Absinthe on the menu which sounded cool, you could get "French or Bohemian-style"?! I had no idea what that meant so I asked the waiter which one was the most popular. This turned out to be the equivalent of ordering a Bananas Foster dessert in California. The waiter prepared it "Bohemian Style" which involves a sugar cube lit on fire and then he repeatedly lit the drink in the cup on fire. It was very cool! I guess Absinthe has a weird rep from when it was bootlegged years and years ago and made a whole bunch of French poets crazy or something. But nowaways it's just a regular drink and I've even seen it at the LCBO in Canada. The lighting-on-fire-ness of the preparation was really cool and elicited some attention from people around us, "What is that?!" the guy beside us asked. That was funny.

After the excitement at the 32nd floor SkyBar, we had a quick wander outside in KLCC park. It was dark but I was driven to find a Campus Pizza-style pizza vendor selling late night Pizza and garlic-parmesan sauce. Matt reminded me that this was not Waterloo, Ontario, and we'd probably be better off getting some room service instead. We headed back to the room for 2:30am ish and checked the room service menu - it was so cheap! The most affordable room service I've ever seen. I ordered an excellent Fish and Chips meal for only $10, including taxes and service fees. Crazy. This included the regular 10% tax and 5% service fee, but there was no "late night $20 surcharge" like in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Maya Developers Conference. :)

The food was super good and we were asleep by about 3:45am. We knew exactly what time it was because there was a HUGE LED clock building right outside our window - like a huge alarm clock. We slept with the window shades open so we could admire the glorious view of Kuala Lumpur. A great start to an exciting weekend!

Urrggh, Chicken Laksa from the airport! We were told that this was one of the favourite dishes of Singapore. Maybe it was just because it was from the Low-Cost Terminal, but it smelled like socked feet!

SkyBar on top of the Traders' Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. View of the Petronas Towerrrrss!!

So siiiiiiiiick!!! KL!!!!!!!!!

Matt and Me at the SkyBar in KL

What a sick view!!

The party was REALLY bumpin' up there and we were wondering why it was so packed. Turns out it was a special event - "Africa Night". So awesome!!

Then we took a wander looking for Campus Pizza-like Pizza or something tasty for a late night. We found only an abandoned city park and no people. :) Oh yeah, and the sweet Petronas Towers.

We gave up on a food search and walked back to the hotel - and then realized that room service was really cheap!! Cabernet rockin' some Pad Thai.

I got a super good fish and chips meal for like $10!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Introducing Word Lens


Singapore/Malaysia Day 5: Fish Head Curry

November 25, 2010
Singapore Day 5: Fish Head Curry

I was up at 5am again this morning and was totally awake so I just got up and checked email and Facebook. I was so awake that it wasn't worth going back to sleep, so I got up and started taking photos of the Singapore skyline. I headed down to breakfast early and laughed for the 100th time at the overenthusiastic elevator in our hotel that said, "Door... ooopening!" every time the doors opened. Absolutely hilarious.

My time zone is still pretty off but it's working out well for getting into work at a good time. We headed to work and got some Kopi on the way - it is SO sweet. This is the Singaporean-style coffee, and it has a LOT of condensed milk in it. Super good. It also came with a hilarious plastic bag handle, which I laughed about for like the entire day. At work in the morning it was Roti Prata day, which was soooo good too. There was some nice spicy Fish Curry sauce and you poured that onto the flat naan-like pancakes, which you had just "chopped up" by using a pair of scissors! Funny. I had a great chat with Malcolm and we enjoyed the awesome breakfast food.

After the morning of work, we headed for lunch with Nigel to a place called Old Town, which is famous for their white coffee and "3-in-1" coffee (a to-go pack which contains instant coffee, milk, and sugar - you just add water). I got "Nasi lemak" which is a variant of Chicken Rice (which, I found out, is just chicken with rice!) It was really good and quite spicy, it came with lots of chili sauce and Nigel was impressed that I ate all of the sauce with the rice. It was a sort of fried chicken, with coconut rice and also with small dried anchovies and roasted peanuts on the side. I also got a very sweet Rose float, and tried my first Teh Tarek!! This is "pulled tea", and is very famous in Singapore. (From Wikipedia: "Its name is derived from the pouring process of "pulling" the drink during preparation. It is made from black tea and condensed milk.") It was very good, and was a bit like a Tea made out of coffee! It was very strongly brewed but sweet from the condensed milk. I loved it. It was SO good!! Nigel also got us some Kaya Butter toast to try - Nigel had brought us some Kaya to SF when he last came to visit, but it tasted different in the Singaporean style with butter on brown toast. Nigel said it was important that the toast was crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. It was great.

We got back for a busy afternoon at work and then... rain!!!!!! We finished off the day and went to go meet Charissa and Ian and I was SO jetlagged that I couldn't form a sentence. Everyone laughed, I must have sounded super crazy. WuiYi, Nigel, Matt and I walked to WuiYi's car and they kindly drove us to the restaurant. Matt and I were WAY super hyperactive due to the jetlag and lack of sleep, and we were acting super crazy in the car. I'm glad Nigel and WuiYi have a good sense of humour and are patient people :) We were NUTS!! We drove to an area near Orchard for Indian Food, and the place looked amazing.

We sat down at the restaurant and they had Banana Leaf placemats! I've never seen this before, and it was a great sign that we were about to try something very authentic. I saw an Indian couple on the way in, scooping up rice in their hands and dipping naan into their curry with their hands and it seemed oh-so authentic! Very cool. We got the rice first and they poured it right onto our placemats... awesome! Then out came the Naan and it was very interesting and SO good - I tried a "Chili Naan" which was unbelievably awesome, I've never tried any Naan like it ever before. So good!!!!!!!!! Then out came all the curries - Brinjul (Eggplant), Chicken Tikka, Chicken Curry, Mutton, and even Squid (Matt tried that one and said it was "very different"). I ordered a Lime juice (which was very good) and Matt got a coconut to drink! Haha!!

And then, the piece de resistance... Fish Head Curry (*ack!*). The curry itself was very good but incredibly spicy - I dipped my Naan in there and it was a spicy one. The Fish Head was literally in the bowl of curry and was pretty amazingly gross. Hah. I was enticed by Andy to try the cheek part, "it's the most tender part" - and it was quite good. The sauce with vegetables was nice and VERY spicy.

And then came the eyeballs. Ahh!!!!!!!! For some reason I was particularly grossed out but some people at the table were totally fearless!! Charissa ate one instantly, no problem, and Andy too!! Wow!!!!!! They were totally fearless and I was amazed. Ed even said that he enjoyed the eyeballs and there was a limit on them - one Fish Head curry, only 2 eyeballs! So he said if everyone else didn't want one, then he would have wanted one! Wow. This was definitely an experience to remember :) I "turned the colour of the lime juice" (turned green/yellow, haha) when Nigel suggested I eat one, but then Matt saved the day by saying, "I'll eat it!" He said it was Jello-y and it sounded soo grooosss!!! haha!! Wow. I hope I was good entertainment for the locals who were very comfortable with the idea of eyeballs, and I hope they were amused by how nervous I was, haha. :) Andy summed it up well, "It's all in your head" - I think that's probably why I was so worked up. It was truly amazing that the local Singapore folks ate the eyeballs with such ease! Also, Matt is crazy! Quite an evening, indeed.

After that we joked about the curry and started calling it "Eyeball curry" instead of "Fish Head curry". Our kind Singapore hosts drove us back to our hotel and we had a quick dessert of cheesecake and I did some laundry and wound-down for the night. I tried the TV for the first night but found only some random movies like "The House Bunny" - interesting choice for export from the US!

And off to bed, to dream of flying fish...

I woke up at 5am, so instead of going back to bed, I took photos of the Singapore skyline. :)

Quiet streets

The Merlion awakes!

More people up too early like me

The view from our balcony area

Cool building near our hotel with a Star of David on it

Kopi coffee with a HILARIOUS plastic bag handle, and Roti Prata for breakfast (mmm)

Friends at breakfast time

Chocolossus!!!!!! You are a champ.

The most Australian grin, ever. :)

Nigel excited for lunch

Me and a huge Rose float

Dinnertime at the Indian Restaurant which will now be famous for the "eyeball curry incident"

Excited for dinner

Lime Juice was a good choice!

Ian being super crazy!!

Me rockin' the banana-leaf placemats

"Wait, is this a napkin?"

Here comes the tasty curry!

Andy showing off all the different tasty curry options

Chicken Curries, and notice the rice directly on our banana-leaf placemats!

A squiddy/squid-ink curry

Nigel stirring the pot... of Fish Head Curry!!!!!!! Right after this, everyone started eating the eyeballs. Then I turned green. Then Matt ate an eyeball... and history was made.

Matt going for it!!!!!!

Matt not sure about the eyeball...

Matt contemplating his decision to eat an eyeball - "That's sortof the point of Fish Head curry!"

Singapore/Malaysia Day 4: Chinese Food and Orchard Road

November 24, 2010
Singapore Day 4: Chinese Food and Orchard Road

The jetlag woke me up again early, but this time only at 6:30 which was pretty sweet. I went down for breakfast and caught up on my journal. Across the road is a 24-hr bakery called Hanis Cafe and Bakery, but from the dining room at the hotel it looks like it says "Hanks". Upstairs at the building which houses Hanis Bakery is a Kaplan Learning Center, but from the view across the road I could sware they have a large-sized rectangular Toy Story 3 Colourscript on the wall. :) So Matt and I started joking that Pixar's (well, non-existent) Singapore office was across the road and we started calling the bakery "Tom Hanks" (get it, he's in Toy Story) instead of "Hanis." Yes, this is how a jet-lagged computer scientist's brain works. Don't ask me, I just work here. :)

And off to work! We are teaching a lot of classes here and the classes started today, which was awesome. After the morning of discussions/emails/work, we met up with Nigel and Chris and took off to Chiangi Airport for some amazing Chinese food. We got "Drunken" chicken, eggs in different styles, a fish & tofu with chili (which was AMAZING!!) and a Beef and Mushrooms dish (SO GOOD!!!!!!!) This was really great food and it's so funny it was at the airport! Not like SFO - where you might find a Starbucks if you're lucky and you will definitely find a $12 sandwich with brown lettuce and gross bread. :) So that was totally amazing!

We got back to work and found a Wall's Ice Cream guy outside of the office! Yes!! I was going to have my chance to try the Durian Ice Cream "Sandwich" that Matt had talked about! Instead of putting your ice cream in a cup or a cone, you can choose wafers (boring) or a sort of food colouring-infused Neopolitan Bread, which they fold in half and put your Ice Cream in between! The guy sliced a huge rectangle of Ice Cream and laughed at me when I excitedly ordered the Durian flavour. They had some "normal" kinds too like Coffee, Mint Chocolate, and... uh... Yam (?!) but I wanted to get Durian for sure. The first half was good, it was awesome to have Ice Cream on a hot day, and it was so weird that it was on a slice of white bread. So weird! But about halfway through, the Durian flavour started to get the upper-hand, and it started taking on a distinct flavour of Thanksgiving dinner, and Onions. Gross, and awesome!!

We got back inside to work and Charissa told us she was planning a dinner for us for tomorrow night. Matt is obsessed with the Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings (or "XLB" for short), so Charissa gave us a great recommendation for dinner. She recommended "Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao" in Ngee Ann City/Takashimaya Mall at Orchard Road.

After a great first day of teaching, we headed to Orchard Road after work. This is an INSANE shopping area, with lots of beautiful lights. But... it's a lot like Union Square in some ways - Tiffany's, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, etc. Our first impression was that there was a LOT of High End stuff only. We saw like 1,000 Coach and Louis Vuitton stores. There are only so many high-fashion handbags that we needed to purchase (haha) so we took off from the really fancy area and wandered around a bit. Eventually we found a Marks and Spencer and got some British candy. Then in the sea of pricey stuff... Uni Qlo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, Uni Qlo!!!!!!! This was the so-called "Asian Gap" that I loved in Japan last year and was trying to find at the Narita Airport. So awesome!! I was really excited to see it. We took a quick look but we were tired and they were closing up at about 10pm so we decided to head back to Dhoby Ghaut. The weather was a little cooler today, maybe even a bit less humid. (Still 26 C though!)

On the way home, I got a few juices for the hotel room (they had Ribena! So British!) We got back to the hotel rooms early and I called Mom for her Birthday with my iPod Touch, external microphone and Skype. Fancy!

After a long day of excitement and humidity and food, it was time for a good sleep. This time, to bed by 12! Good stuff.

Out for Chinese Food at Chiangi Airport, Terminal 3!

"Drunken Chicken" - it was good

Ice Cream "Sandwich" cart guy!! This was amazing. You could get an Ice Cream (literal) "Sandwich" - see the stack of food colouring-infused bread on top of the plastic bin? They cut a rectangular block of Ice Cream and then fold it up in the bread! Amazing.

Matt, Me, and a foggy lens

Re-touched to remove some of the fogginess. This is me eating a Durian Ice Cream "Sandwich" - literally a rectangular block of Durian-flavoured Ice Cream inside of a folded piece of bread. Oh, Singapore.

At this point through the Durian Ice Cream Sandwich, I was still happy to be eating Ice Cream on a warm, humid day. A moment later, the Durian turned on me and it started tasting less like Ice Cream and more like a Thanksgiving Turkey dinner with Onions. Gross. But I still ate it all. It rocked.

We took Charissa's recommendation and went to a Chinese Food restaurant specializing in Xiao Long Bao (Chinese Pork Soupy Dumplings) since Matt loved them.

I couldn't try the Xiao Long Bao (or "XLB" for short), but there was some amazing beef, veggie dumplings, and lots of other great stuff.

Wandering around Orchard Road

Matt liked the Christmas lights

More Christmas lights

"Live in harmony with one another"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Singapore/Malaysia Day 3: First day of work and Merlion Park

November 23, 2010
Singapore Day 3: First day of work and Merlion Park

We had some more great food on the plane last night and a super smooth arrival into Chiangi Airport in Singapore at around 12:30am (on Nov 23rd). Once we got on the plane in Tokyo, it was 1:30 or 2:00am SF time so I was pretty tired. I actually managed to get quite a lot of sleep - maybe 4 or 5 hrs! I was starting to get a headache but after the sleep I felt pretty great.

Chiangi Airport was super smooth and was surprisingly busy for 12:30am! We went to an ATM, got our baggage and it was quick quick. There was even a bowl of candy at Passport Control!! They were "Fox Mints" and they were really good :) The taxi stand was very organized and reminded me a bit of Japan. Our cab driver was very nice, and explained lots of details about Singapore. Also: it's HOT!!!!!!!! It was about 28 Celcius at 12:30am?!! Insane. It is pretty humid too - my hair is gonna be crazy.

We got into the hotel in about 20 min. It's funny - the cars here are right-side drive but the road signs are in km/h. Like Australia, I guess?! The highway was very clean, and there were lots of neatly trimmed trees along the highway. We drove by Marina Bay Sands, the crazy 3-tower casino/hotel with a ship on top of it. That's the one with the crazy infinity pool that I really want to take a photo of. We also drove past the Singapore Eye (a big ferris wheel). There were some nice-looking apartments with ocean views that the driver told us cost 2-5Million each. Crazy! There were LOTS of boats in the Harbour as we flew in, and we saw them from the taxi too. The driver told us that most of them are parked, and waiting for permits to come into the docks, or something like that. Interesting.

We arrived at the hotel and checked in. As we walked in the door, they said, "You must be Mr. Jutan and Mr. Parrott!" Haha, awesome. We got our stuff upstairs and checked into our rooms. In my room the lights were already on, the air conditioning was blasting, and there was some light classical music playing on the radio! Amazing. That was a very comfortable welcome after a suuuuuuper long amount of travel. I was very tired and gross, but had a nice shower and was asleep by 2am (Singapore time) - which was 10am body time. What day? Who knows!

I woke up at 5:30am, and was wide awake. I tried to sleep a little more but just got up and sent some emails at 6, and got up at 6:30. I unpacked all of my stuff, made a coffee, and found the hairdryer that I was trying to find the night before (well, 4 hours before) :) The apartment/hotel is a great setup with a fridge, kitchen equipment, a tea pot, cups, kettle, etc. Awesome!

The jet lag had me totally awake and ready for breakfast, but I didn't want to call Matt's room too early. So instead I unpacked all my clothes and bag completely, found a laundry hamper, and listened to the same Classical Music station from last night! Really fun. I looked at some emails and the MRT (Subway) Map, and figured out our route to work. Then I prepped the gifts we'd brought for the training people and folks who had helped plan our trip to Singapore. Then I headed down to meet Matt for breakfast.

The breakfast was fantastic. There were eggs, turkey sausages, little curry puffs, pastries, guava juice, and great coffee. I chatted with a girl who worked at the hotel while I was getting a coffee. "How is the jet lag? You just got here last night?" she said, surprised at how awake I looked. "You look very excited" she said, "I don't think you need coffee!" I laughed and said, "Haha, that's what they tell me at home." :)

After the breakfast with Matt, I headed back up to my room and got the gifts and notes ready, complete with Canadian flag pins. hehe. Then we were off to the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. Apparently the Little India station is a little closer, but we have one less transfer to make if we go to Dhoby Ghaut. It is HOT outside. We walked there and we were sweating like crazy.

We found the MRT station pretty quickly and bought a Translink-like fast card for the subway. It was pretty sweet and also seems to give you 50% off all the trips or so, which is a sweet deal. We then went from Dhoby Ghaut->City Hall->Tanah Marah station. The MRT was really organized and clean and doesn't smell horrible like the BART. To remember the station names, we gave them silly names like Tanah Marah = "Tuna Melt". We tried that "joke" on someone later in the day and they had absolutely no idea what we were talking about. We then took the final transfer station to Expo and found the office. We got in and people helped us find our desks. Our logins worked, there were dual-boot machines already set up for us, and our USA phone extensions were even re-routed already to Singapore! Very cool!! We got a tour around the studio and gave gifts to the people who had helped us out on the trip.

Then it was lunchtime so we took off for a nice lunch with Tommy. That was super fun and we learned about the buildings around the studio. We got some sandwiches and I got a salad with Turkey Bacon (that's a new one! Must be less pork here because of a large Muslim community - that's helpful for me too!) I also got an Apple Cinnamon Lassi which was super amazingly freakin' amazing.

We got back to work and took care of some emails and chatting with lots of people. There was a screening of Harry Potter 7 planned so we picked up tickets which was super great. We got hooked up with some info for our Kuala Lumpur trip (which is coming up this weekend). Then we took off to Bugis area to go to a movie theatre. There was a cool Art Deco building outside. We checked out the food court the basement of the Bugis mall and ended up getting a turkey hot dog upstairs. The movie was great - but the jetlag was starting to set in!

After the movie we headed back to the basement and looked for more food options. We ended up getting a few yaki tori chicken skewers and then headed to the City Hall area to take photos. As we were wandering, we noticed how many people were out late, walking around the subway station.

We got out at City Hall and there were tons of HUGE buildings. My lens was fogging up a lot from the change in temperature between the subway and the outside humidity. We walked across a bridge to Merlion Park and took a photo of the Singapore Mascot, the half-lion/half-fish Merlion. I thought his body looked like a Shrimp! It was super funny and awesome. A group of tourists wanted me to take their photo a few times, and I took lots of photos of my own too. The Marina Bay Sands casino/hotel looks INSANE! I love it. We gotta figure out how we can get a chance to swim in their infinity pool. :)

The Durian building was there too (nicknamed that because it looks like a Durian), and the Fullerton Hotel looked amazing. We then headed back to the mall but it was 10:30ish so things were starting to close. We got a couple pastries, and headed back to Dhoby Ghaut. We didn't really have dinner so we wandered by the only thing open on our way back (McDonald's) and I tried a McSpicy, with cold Milo as a drink! That was fun and I always like trying McDonald's in foreign countries - it's always so interesting to see how it's different. But McSpicy was about as weird as the Singapore menu got - it wasn't super unusual like that next-to-unpronounceable "Juicy Chicken Agatougarashi" in Japan last year. We headed back to the hotel. I put down my stuff and a moment later went to sleep.

Before these crowded streets photo of Matt

I really like this one of Matt with the Singapore skyline!

Darn! Had my white balance on the wrong value... looks too orangey. But I think it still works.

Fullerton Hotel, this place looked amazing

Merlion Park from afar

The glorious, amazing, wondrous, insanely absurd Marina Bay Sands casino and hotel

The "Durian Building"

This place looked gorgeous

Merlion Park

Monks and the city skyline

Marina Bay Sands, soooo awesome

Merlion from one side

Then I realized my white balance was off, and fixed it. Much better!

Another pic of our buddy the Merlion