September 03, 2010

Heads or Tails

One of my greatest blessings in moving here has been making new friends that are excited about their new lives and are ready and willing for any new adventure. We laugh because one of us will mention something we want to do and there's an immediate whipping out of calendars, a flurry of activity as we negotiate a day, and details nailed down all within about a 3 minute time span. Our activities vary from furniture warehouse tours to ziplining to culinary adventures and everything in between.

On the docket for this past week was a visit to a local wet market. A wet market is similar to a farmer's market. They are called "wet markets" because it is common for the floors to be wet as ice is thrown out as it starts to melt around fresh fish or has been hosed down after a long day of selling produce.

We set our sights on the Empress Market in order to work up to the mother of all wet markets in Little India, where apparently you can pick out which chicken you want from all the ones that are running around. It is going to take some time before I'm ready to watch a fun, happy-go-lucky chicken go from chasing its friends around to being a cutlet in a few short moments.

There was some hesitation on my part when I was told by a friend that a good wet market will turn any carnivore into a vegetarian. This did not sway my sense of adventure so off we went with a group of of which was a seasoned Empress Market shopper so she was officially our guide. Her husband also happens to be the head of security at the US Embassy which means I am one step closer to my lifelong dream of having a top security position that would require me wearing one of those cool ear buds with a hidden microphone. I haven't quite told her that since we are still getting to know each other, but I am already working it, trust me. Just call me Salt.

Our first stop was a fish stall where "Jackie Chan" works. Despite the dismal success of The Spy Next Door, he has not had to change careers to being a fishmonger. This guy has apparently been a stand in for Chan many times and he was not overly impressed with a bunch of American girls taking his picture while pretending we were more interested in all the dead fish.

I am happy to report that there were no live animals or fish of any kind from which to choose from with the exception of these:

Poor little slimy guys. They have no idea that everything that makes them original and unigue would soon be destroyed by the one infamous statement: They taste like chicken.

I did end up buying a red snapper from this lady. She was trying to convince me to buy this enormous fish and was being very insistent about it. I instead bought one about half that size and asked the fishmonger to cut it up for me.

I turned around to look at something else and when I picked up the bag with my fish I could see its tail......or fin.....or whatever the thing that steers the fish is called. I was afraid that if the tail was still attached, there was a very good chance the head was as well. I handed the fish back and told my new friend that they were going to have to go ahead and take the head and tail off my new fish. They looked at me like I was nuts because how in the world was I going to make a good fish head stew without the fish head? That's easy......I'm not, so off with his head!

So, to summarize up to this point.
1. I am not ready to pick my chicken cutlets by who has the best personality.
2. I am not ready to destroy the self-image of a frog by telling everyone that he tastes like another species.
3. I am not ready to start chopping off the heads and tails of any kind of animal.

The rest of the day included buying some amazing fruit and watching my sister navigate around a vegetable stand like the professional vegetarian that she is. Apparently I need to ask to taste various leafy vegetables with a look of concentration on my face as to impress the vegetable seller guy. Because he looks VERY impressed here........

Vanessa is wearing the yellowish shirt in the front. She lives in my apartment building and has the most perfect teeth ever! I need to be careful to not scare her away with my fascination over her teeth....we have had at LEAST 2 conversations about how amazing her smile is!

This is my gorgeous friend, Lisa. I stalked her at 4th grade orientation. She has mastered driving in Singapore like noone else I know which officially makes her a superstar, and our designated driver which I'm sure is going to get old very quickly. This is a girl that LOVES adventure and for that I am very grateful!!

My sister, Cyndi, was ecstatic that she was able to buy tofu for about 80 cents. Apparently that is a cause for celebration?

This is my friend, Tiffany. She is the first friend I made here because she walked into a room and I pegged her for being a Texan and I was right!! Come to find out, we have 3 mutual friends (thank you Facebook) and the impossible task of ever finding shoes in Singapore to fit our feet. My beautiful friend is holding a bouquet of orchids that she was able to buy for about $9 USD.

My loot in my eco-friendly bag. Because I'm green and all that.

After about a full 45 minutes of shopping it was time for a snack!! They had various food stalls and we were very excited to find a Prata stand. It is a glorified crepe and you can get them savory or sweet. This one is stuffed with banana and is ALL kinds of yummy.

I would point out to you who the wife of the US Embassy security guy is, but then I'd have to kill you. But as I have already mentioned, taking body parts off of things that are already dead makes me squeamish so I am probably not much of a threat.

Just looking at all the fruit and yummy vegetables makes me want to throw out all the cookies and ice cream with promises to embrace an incredibly healthy lifestyle. Well, maybe once the cookies and ice cream are gone THEN I will start with the new healthy stuff! In the mean time, I have some fish tacos coming my way!


  1. I am LOVING "living" in Singapore through you!! I am so glad you are making friends and experiencing such fun adventures! Chris travels to Singapore about twice a year. He has promised to take me sometime. When I do, I'll be hoping you can be my tour guide!!

  2. Looks like fun! I love hearing about all your fun adventures!!!


  3. WOW! There is certainly an ocean between us. It is amazing how different cultures can be. I am with fish head stew for me!!!

  4. This post is stinking awesome. I love reading about your new life and adventures!



Site design by Fabulous K Creative