Urban Tropical Ecology in Singapore

First Day and Chinese New Year’s Eve
by -- February 13th, 2010

Getting acquainted with Singapore and experiencing the energy in Chinatown on New Year’s Eve.

After getting in at 2:30am, we all met up for lunch around the corner at the Cheese prata shop. I had plain prata (a very thin crepe-like bread), nasi goreng chicken (fried rice), and tissue prata (an even thinner, crispier crepe with sugar).

We then took our first trip together on the excellent public transit system to the nearest supermarket. Each person bought their own essentials. Mine were kaya jam, sunblock, peanut butter, water, chocolate, and two local drinks: lychee and water chestnut with sugarcane. Vanessa bought a set of 10 tropical popsicles that we all shared. The flavors included durian, sweet corn, yam, mango, jackfruit, and red bean. I had the sweet corn, and it reminded me of a Vietnamese coconut milk and corn dessert.

Halle, Jo, and Allison enjoying their popsicles.

Eating popsicles at Fairview Market

Eating popsicles at Fairview Market

In the evening we met up to get to Chinatown for New Year’s eve festivities. It’s the year of the Tiger, so there was a lot of Tiger-themed merchandise for sale. A group of us met up for dinner on Chinatown’s food street where we each picked something from a street stall. I had a soya chicken dinner set (soy sauce chicken, rice, and clear soup) for S$5, which is about US$3.50. It was delicious.

Chinatown was very packed, with vendors calling for your business. We roamed around the streets doing shopping until fireworks lit up the sky at midnight, announcing the new year. It was a great place to celebrate the new year.

Fireworks at midnight!

Fireworks in Chinatown celebrating the start of the new year

Fireworks in Chinatown celebrating the start of the new year

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