Chinatown

Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Singapore, Singapore
Singapore is certainly a fascinating place on this planet. It’s strategic location cannot be underestimated. It is amazing how the British Empire, which was somewhat benevolent, was able to capitalize on the strategic locales around the world, whether it be Europe, Africa, India, Near East  or the Far East… as it is here in Singapore. Who would have thought that this somewhat undesired geographical location would be a seagate by which half the world’s shipping tonnage passes. Who would have thought all the petroleum for Japan would pass within sight of Singapore. When we were a Rosalind Yong’s penthouse overlooking the Straits of Malacca, we were overlooking this choke point of world commerce. 
We learned that there are pirates in the Strait – even while we visited here. Small boats of pirates would come up to large ships, board them and take over. They would take hostages.  Shipping companies would rather pay the ransom than to report the incidents. It’s interesting 
But today is Chinatown Day. Henry and Carol Chin along with Clarice and Lillie came by our hotel at 1 p. m. We set off for Chinatown. We are half-way expecting Clement Lim to come and visit, but have unclear meeting connections.
Chinatown is in the very center of Singapore among the high end high rises and big business towers. The ladies along with Darris went off to go shopping. Henry and I head another direction. Henry had some things he wanted to talk about so we wanted to find a “quiet” place to talk. Among the Chinese there is no “quiet” place to talk. When they’re together they all talk at the same time. Loudly. We found a public place where people sit down to eat. They buy food from the kiosks, shops, small restaurants and then sit, eat and socialize. Henry and I did the same. Henry bought some snacks and we sat down and talked for about an hour.
The streets are festooned with New Year's decorations.  NOT for January 1, but for Chinese New Year which is January 25.  This is the Year of the Rat.  There were many depictions of  rats in the abundant decorations.
Then we headed off to find the women and Darris. Before we did, we stopped at a dessert shop. I ordered a chocolate shaved ice pagoda-looking dessert. Henry ordered a coconut one.  Among the hundreds of people in the noisy eating place, we were taken to the back for two empty seats. We found the… waaaay in the back. We enjoyed our dessert. Along with chocolate, shaved ice, there were various beans and green beans of sorts. All topped off with squeezed Palm Sugar, which was a fun touch. They like beans in desserts—stringy beans and regular looking beans.
Then we walked about town and stopped by many little shops. Lots of stuff all over the place. Then we came back to the hotel. We had Lilly and Clarice with us. We all said our good-byes… tomorrow we leave for Hong Kong. Singapore has been great and Chinatown has been a high spot!
After parting some of our friends took a Grab, which is the Singapore equivalent to an Uber. 
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2020-07-14