Everett has moved to Singapore! For anyone who might not know, Everett Rosenfeld is a Park School graduate, one of my old advisees and Mock Trial captains. He has somehow landed himself in Singapore as the NBC Bureau Chief for Asia Pacific business news. That all sounds both exciting and impressive, though Prescott and I have lots of questions about how journalism works inside a country with no free press.
Everett arrived on Friday night, so we met him for lunch on Saturday at Toby’s Estate on Robertson Quay (home of many swank condos and lots of expats). All of us then took a very long stroll along the quays on the Riverwalk, chatting about life in Singapore and life in general.
Everett sounds pretty sanguine about having just moved to the other side of the world. He’s here in a service apartment with two duffel bags and no work visa (that’s related to problems with getting an official translation of his Yale diploma, which is in Latin — Singapore actually cares about these things). But he’s rolling with it.
Our walk eventually took us to the Maxwell Hawker Center, where Prescott and Everett ordered juice and I had my first ice kacang. This dessert gave every innocent appearance of being a shave ice, but when I got down to the bottom with my spoon, I found the bowl inhabited by adzuki beans, little bits of mango, and what I think was grass jelly (a Chinese dessert error). Next time I’m going to see if I can just get the ice without all of the accoutrements.
We wandered through a completely packed Chinatown — Chinese New Year is fast approaching, and it looked like everyone in town was out buying their decorations (if you’re in the US, think a whole bunch of Christmas stores lined up end to end on December 10). We then went down to get Everett an MRT card (little things like that make all the difference when you’re moving to a new country).
Our next stop was the Kampong Glam area. We wandered a few blocks and happened upon the Aiwal Urban Arts Festival, which appeared to be in its very early stages. We saw graffiti artists working on a temporary wall, which is the best you can hope for in Singapore:
We also saw an amateur skateboarding competition, a few booths selling random stuff, an outdoor DJ, and this poster:
If anyone can explain the “no helmets” rule, please let us know.
We ended our day together at a showing of “Arrival,” a surprisingly great movie, at The Projector. Everett headed home from there to start working off his jet lag. It’s so good to have him in town.
My Sunday had two high notes amongst lots of little projects and uninspired shopping. The first was my mango sago dessert at Honeymoon Desserts:
I can best describe this as half of a mango in a mango sauce that’s somewhere between a juice and a puree, accompanied by sago pearls (think tapioca-like, fish eyeball consistency). It’s less sweet and more delicious than it sounds.
The other highlight was a walk up Emerald Hill, a street of refurbished early twentieth century shophouses that rise unexpectedly out of Orchard Road, Singapore’s biggest and craziest shopping street. One block into Emerald Hill and you feel like you’re in another world — it’s a breath of fresh air that makes you forget just how insane Singapore’s shopping culture can feel.