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Rather than attempt to talk about my month in Paris or the film that is underway about the trip to Sicily with my friend and her family, I’m going to tell you what’s cool.

Christian psychedelic is cool.

Let me tell you about my purchases at this shop on Rue de Belleville.  It was this Chinese two-dollar type shop, but it wasn’t particularly two dollar.  In the bottom of the window, an image caught my eye.  A few days later I knew I had to buy it, so I returned in the snow and bought a couple of these Jesus pictures.  When you look at the picture from different angles, you see a different image.  I shall upload a picture another time.  I was spending so long deciding which images to get and the shop dude went to the back to get me more and kept showing them to me.  Then after I paid, I walked out and then this Chinese dude who was standing outside the shop was yelling at me in Chinese and I didn’t understand and I thought he was talking to the shop woman and probs saying how weird I was.  But then I realised.

Oh yeah, and they had a wooden backing and gold-painted frame, and even though they were made of that processed wood, I had to declare at Australian customs.

In continuation of my in-depth details of places around the world, I shall tell you about this random place in Paris.  I went there because I wanted to eat pho and looked on the internet and found there was this place called Dong Huong, which apparently is the best as it was recommended on Lonely Planet website.  But, dude, the service!  Everyone else was served quickly.  I had to get their attention to come to take my order, my food took ages, which it shouldn’t have since it was a bowl of soup, and they took ages to clean the bowl away eventhough I indicated it to them, and then I had to keep getting their attention and asking for the bill.  And it took ages.  And then I had to wait for my change.  Chicken pho is often not the best option, but I thought I would get it because I prefer it to beef and because they had a special northern selection and chicken pho is a northern thing.  It wasn’t the best option, but then again, I didn’t eat anything else there.  Also, as it was considered a well kept secret, those who consider it a secret were there. Id est, White People.  But it wasn’t all bad!! It was pretty cheap and authentic and didn’t taste of MSG.

So, this road was called Rue Louis Bonnet, and there is actually an exit from Belleville station directly on to it.  Which is good.  Because you come out and then you are on this street full of Vietnamese restaurants.  What I noticed were several Vietnamese sandwich bars, which I have not seen in Australia.

The second time I went to this part of the 11th, I went to have pho at Restaurant Tin Tin, which I recommend.  Also, they had a small portion option, which made me very happy because then it means I can almost finish my serve.  On the menu they also had all this other cool looking food and cha kway teow pictures and it actually looked not just authentic but delectable.  And the ambience was better.  

Then, in the snow, I went back to buy the Jesus pictures from Rue de Belleville.  One crosses from the Vietnamese street – Rue Louis Bonnet over Blvd de Belleville to Rue de Belleville.  Here are some pictures of some random stuff from that part of the 20th.  It was really weird because it was a bit of a Chinatown on this one street, but not in a trendy way.  And there were these vans with graffiti on them, and people selling vegetables and the streets were lined with Chinese men in black jackets and smoking while it snowed.  And then up the road it became more middle eastern. 

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The not so good pho ga. Also, I feel weird when I eat egg and chicken in the same dish.

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ImageImageImageImageImageI think I have discovered that the claim that you are can’t get good Asian food in Paris and its ghettos is not true.  “Restaurant Asiatique – pho, Thai food and sushi” is not the be all and end all.

So what does this have to do with Christian coolness?  Ahh, you may have noticed in my pictures some Christian stuff that was randomly in the 20th jut after the Chinese restaurants.

Weird and cool right?

So, Christian psychededelic.  This does not mean wearing bracelets with virgin marys from Sportsgirl.  Since when was that a thing.  You’ve got to have guts to do that ironically, like, you’ve got to be the type who can do the whole feigned post-ironic thing.

This look is wearing rosaries that are meant to be on the wall or in your pocket, as necklaces.  Yep.  Also, here’s some music I’m into:

1. I don’t want to go into depth about how saying how this music makes me feel cool to be Australian when I gets totes aggro about people feeling “proud to be Australian”.  But seriously, an Australian Catholic nun made this music in the 1960s:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uvZPIE6f-s

2. This Singapore 1960s group called October Cherries (or the Surfers, before they changed to October Cherries) is way cool, just like in that “Jesus was was cool” song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijo8e5FoFjU

 

That’s it for now.  

Actually, no it is not.  You need to know the difference between true Indie Christian coolness and the taste of the congregation/masses.  Here are acceptable types of Christian music for Indies:  Anything that is not modern, id est, not “Worship Music”, Christian pop or hip trendy church stuff.  Hymns and old stuff are fine.  Thee sixties is always great because it’s a way progressive period.

I don’t want to be one of those peopple who say “Well this is awkward”, because a) I’m not one of those people and b)  that usually implies something sexual in a situation.

So I’m gonna say that since I’ve been away from the blog for such a long time, you must be missing me, so why don’t I write a really massive post that covers a whole week?  (And in addition, why don’t I spend a few weeks more writing it?)

Part one of this post could actually be a whole post by itself.  It is the story of the British Airways flight from Changi to Heathrow.  Firstly, who is a fan of British Airways?  Lol.  Because firstly, the flight was delayed until a quarter past midnight.  And I was really regretting not packing an extra egg tart, as I was hungry.  Oh, and and Changi Airport it is so cool how the workers ride around on segways – too Indie for words.  This makes me feel really sad that QANTAS is no longer going to stop over in Singapore anymore.  A real shame.  They served some food when I got on the plane, but I went to sleep.  I had to just keep sleeping the whole flight, which was 14:05 hours long.  Because they kept the cabin lights off.  So either I could be an arsehole and try to turn on my personal lamp then reach over all the people to swivel it around, or I could just sleep.  Somehow I slept, even though I never sleep on the plane.  I think because I had my winter coat on my lap so I was not freezing.  I don’t think there was any food one could go and get at any time in the kitchen.  Drinks wise, the air hostesses would sometimes carry out a small tray with cups of juice and water.  They never came to collect the empty cups.  One hour and forty minutes before the end of the flight, the lights were switched on and breakfast was served some time after this.  There was a choice between vegetarian (which was not really a choice since I had not requested it ahead of time), english breakfast and omelette.  The omelette was this big hard yellow thing.  The mushrooms were WEIRD (oh no! not in that way).  I finished the potato wedges.  I’m not sure whether I finished the croissant.  There was also yoghurt from Japan.

Here are some photos, including a selfie, I took on the Heathrow Connect early in the morning on the way in to London.

 (Which I didn’t read on this train.  The ride was really short and eventually there were lots of people)

My hair is looking a bit weird in the photo because it was put into a bun when it was wet.  I woke up during the flight and let my hair down and it was still damp even though over twelve hours had passed since I washed it.  It’s good to know this kind of thing about me n ma life.

I can’t give a day by day recount of the London trip because I simply cannot because it was too long ago and I probably need to take some vitamins for memory.

I do remember walking up and down Kings Road and this Sloane Square place for a few days.  And it was raining.  And sometimes it was only four thirty in the afternoon, but I thought it was seven thirty or later.  Weird place.

The thing that I though was really weird about London was that every street one goes to, there are the same shops repeated over and over again.  Actually, that’s a thing about some cities which aren’t Canberra.   You just can’t run away from a certain handful of shops.

There was this evening when I first went to Sloane Square and I was going to the Saatchi Gallery and stopped for lunch at four in the afternoon.  I have not told you about my weird eating ways.  I really dig the lack of pattern.  It’s the best thing.  I find that routine is very tiring.  One day I will do a post about why school is such a draining place.  Anyway, not eating in a “regular” way could be a post on its own.

And then I ate at this cafe and you just never know about the service because cafes do things in different ways.  So I went to the counter and asked to have what some dude was having.  And the woman was like what the hell and told me that they actually have table service and to take a seat.  So I did and then had to wait for the waiter because it was really busy.  And then I got these four club sandwiches and was really excited because I had been craving a sandwich randomly.  I nearly finished the four sandwiches, and I finished the salad and crisps on a plate.  And then I was cool about not eating a sandwich again for a long time.  But dude, that’s not to say this wasn’t a good experience.

I took this selfie.  Unfortunately I didn’t photograph the fashionable and hip British people in this hip cafe.

Then I really liked the Saatchi Gallery because it made me want to get into Art.  Not as an artist, but a person who appreciates art.  Because I hate that feeling when you go to a gallery and you look at stuff quickly and then you don’t really take stuff in or just say “that’s cool” and then it isn’t really an enriching experience for you.

I super duper liked how the Saatchi Gallery was FREE.

And then I took pictures of some art.  They had all these installations and these things about the Soviet Union (which, as I have said before, is a super Indie topic) and this piece where this artist had done a picture then got an axe and destroyed it and disappeared and then this critic guy said that that scene should be turned into art and then in the room they had all this stuff about whether or not installations are real art.  So anyway, a couple of these pictures are not actually pieces of art.  Wink wink.

London rain at Saatchi Gallery

And now we’re moving on to some pictures I took in London.

 I don’t have anything funny to say about this picture but it’s hilarious.  Because you can be so Indie you turn into a reindeer.

I always get into the above type of window displays.  Because I always wish I had these kind of dresses.

Aeroplane jelly in Harvey Nichols!  The cream of Australian upmarket products!  One pound seventy-five a box!

 I think this might have been High Street Kensington.  I went there the day I arrived and I was hit with that feeling you get when you think everyone has a sense of style.  And then you are kind of dazed because you’re like in some places, people actually dress to a style.  But then after a while I realised that the availability of clothes must be a factor in determining what people where.  If you can buy cool clothes, and they are the style, you probably will.  And then I remembered that anything you can buy is a ) commercial and b) mainstream.

The other thing I noticed on the most fashionably dressed street, High Street Kensington, where I spent some time inside WHOLE FOODS and now my life is complete, is that older/middle aged men were really getting into this pairing of maroon with yellow.  I thought it was cool at first, but then I decided that the eye-catching and original pairing of these two colours was tiring and became too mainstream, like every middle aged Tom, Dick and Harry decided to try to look young and trendy by putting together an outfit like that.  And then I’d also like to bring to your attention that TRENDY IS MAINSTREAM.  That’s what the government and society and all those people want you to be.  And I say no.

Here are some photos of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens:

 That colour wall is such a blank slate.  I’m a fan.  It has so much potential for meaning in a minimalist way.  Just look at it.  What does it mean to you?  What could it mean to other people?  Wow.  There’s so much potential.  I just think it’s really powerful.

There came a time in my walk when I realised I didn’t have to walk on the path and then I as walking across the grass and remembering how I was a non-conformist.  I felt so happy with myself.  I felt like I’d come home when I walked through the grass.  The grass where the children were playing soccer.    Sometimes, being wise means being young.  And I was having all these thoughts about being a non-conformist and I hd heaps to say, but now I’ve forgotten.

There were lots of squirrels flipping around and off the railings.  Note the hiking boot I borrowed from my brother.

Then there was also this afternoon when I trekked out to Camden Town, but when I got out of the tube station, I got confused by the signs and I walked the the completely opposite direction and then decided to follow the sign to some market which happened to just be a town market which was packing up because it was late afternoon already.  Or maybe it wasn’t.  I can’t remember.  It was dark.  So I was trekking up this hill towards some place some Hampstead Heath.   And then I decided to find my way through all these random streets in this random dodgy neighbourhood and there were all these children coming out of school.  But somehow I found my way to the vintage market in these old stables.  I don’t know what to say about it apart from it was quite unIndie in that the people going there didn’t seem very Indie at all and it was totes commercialised, which means that the place was actually trying to appeal to a certain audience and create a vibe.  Which is kind of like being fake, but more like unnatural.   Because I think the saying about liking people for who they are applies to everything.  Because I go for things that don’t TRY to appeal to a niche by joining the dudes who try to appeal to the niche.  Because I’m like trying to fuck the system by going against those dorks who generalise about the world and try to make sense of it, and the market, and the economy, and what people are being forced to do by outside pressures, and whatever, and try to tell you how to appeal to people.  Because I never want to be part of the mass.  So I say, anything that’s reached the status of a thing is passé and I’m not into it.

But apart from that, there were some cool shops.  Especially this spectacle shop which was in a dark corner and they had the coolest vintage glasses.  And then there was this bookshop where I bought the PERFECT Latin dictionary in perfect condition for five pounds, which the British bloke selling them called a “fiver”.  Oh wait, British people always call themselves “Brits” these days.  It makes me feel like they want to look like they have grit.  And then I walked into this stall to pay and he was talking to this young guy and girl and he was in this low arm chair and reading them some poetry and really enlightening them and then I walked in and he told them how I would know about Vergil because I’m a Latin student.  And I smiled and kept trying to give him the five pound note and he kept telling me it was just a fiver until I pretty much shoved the money in his hand.

Apart from that, there were also those expensive asian fashion shops where one can expect to see tags for dodgy quality asian clothes saying over a hundred pounds.  Camden Town is heaven if you want to buy clothing in marijuana colours.  Also, there were all these food stalls and at the Chinese ones, where the food was in bain-maries, the people would stick a piece of food on a plastic fork and shove it at you as you walked past to entice you to try the food which would, without a doubt, be delicious.

Oh yeah, and here’s a photo of the Stables markets at Camden Town:

But outside of the markets was random.  It was a random suburb kind of town with this waterway and lads in boots.

The other thing I’d like to laugh about is the fact that apparently, Kings Road and Knightsbridge used to be like Camden Town, i.e. edgy.  Some people might be all like weirded out about how much Kings Road has changed.  They might even use the word gentrified.  But I find that a confronting word because I just am unsure about how far the meaning of that word goes.  But the thing is, Camden Town is even more “gentrified” because of what I have said above.  It’s quite ordinary, but strives to be the opposite.  And you wouldn’t see such a range of people hanging on Kings Road.

I didn’t mention this time when I bought this really expensive piece of granola bar at a bakery and it was really good and I actually ate the whole thing over extended time but still felt ill.  I think granola bars are Indie.

There was this other time when I went to visit the Hummingbird Bakery in Chelsea and I just don’t understand what the hype is about small cupcakes.  Without trying to say that I think I’m bad at making cupcakes by saying even I could do better or by saying that I am great by saying  I could make better, I can tell you about how I have no respect for cupcakes.  But I won’t go into that now.

London is meant to be like the shopping capital because clothes are meant to be cheapish there.  I suppose that’s true, but I always think that the most overpriced clothes are lower and middle range clothing.

It’s time to mention that I went to Oxford Street.  And I realised that the weird thing about Orchard Road is that it is a succession of departmental stores and malls, rather than individual shops like on Oxford Street.

I went to Portobello Road twice.  I went on a Friday then on the Saturday when it was raining.

 Some places had less “vintage” and more “crap”, but there was some terrific vintage lace clothing, as in old fashioned lace and also hippy lace.  And then you get cool religious stuff against the backdrop of a London brick wall and street art.  Brick walls are some of my favourite things about London and they really make it cool.

I laugh so much whenever I see anything to do with Lana Del Rey.  Or anything influenced by Native American design.  Because I think of people on RookieMag and portable.tv (which I kept reading in London) making a big deal and getting really stressed out about bad role models and “hipster rascism”.  And then people are scared of being ignorant so they wise up and say that you can’t be perfect all the time.

The thing about London is that the place has vibes and I can definitely say that Portobello has this “vintage is cool it’s ma life” vibe.

Also, as I was on my way into the shop that is photographed above, I got stopped by this guy called Wayne Tippetts.  You may think that I am rude by calling him a “guy”, but this is not the case.  I like to talk about things in a natural progression.  At first he was a guy who found my coat interesting and then he revealed his name was Wayne and he had a street style blog.  He wasn’t sure whether my picture would appear on his blog and it turns out it did.  Then I lost the hat, which was given to me by my mate Alyce and is from this Melbourne company which is run by a family, like a small-scale Indie mafia but making good quality knitted hats, a few days later and was very sad, but oh well, it got its time to shine.  And my glasses broke a few days later as well.  Oh yeah, and I have to say thanks to my brother for letting me borrow his hiking boots because I had no winter shoes.

http://www.waynetippetts.com/?p=21352

After I was recorded myself saying my name, which I decided to spell out as well, my age and the brand of my coat, which is called Anatopik, the subject of my following the blogs passed.

After this experience, I was thinking a few things.  I also feel I can pull out this experience whenever I feel the need to be Indie and/or full of experience.  The big thing that I feel is that I have now experienced the blogging industry from both sides and should be in the VIP airport lounge for Indies.

How to Be On Time

Finally my final post for Singapore and it is three weeks overdue.  I still haven’t finished my Indie quiz which I started writing in Singapore.

Sunday was my big day for getting out and about for the flea markets.  Shops seemed to open in the afternoon, so I drew myself a map and wrote a list of all the places I should go and when to be time efficient.   But hahahaha.  It didn’t turn out at all as I had planned.

On my mother’s advice, I left the Thieves’ Market on Sungei Road a miss.  She thinks she remembers her father buying a second-hand hammer there.  I was planning to go to the Clarke Quay flea market but then I didn’t because something like I was getting conflicting information from different websites about whether it still exists or not and on the actual Clarke Quay website it says there was a night market everyday that weekend for Christmas products or whatever.  So I was doubtful that the morning market would be open.

So I set off in my new favourite usual way – taking the bus to Commonwealth, then the MRT.  I got off at Bugis and was walking down the road and came across my aunt and uncle.  Which almost didn’t occur because I almost didn’t take that exit from the station onto that road.  Then we went to KFC at Bugis where my cousins were.  We were planning that I should walk in on my own and sit near them, but it didn’t work out because they saw me at the door with their parents.  Anyway, that was cool.  But I don’t usually talk about personal things like family on my blog, but rather personal things like myself.  So back to the story.  After that, I set off back down the road to find this Kampong Glam flea market which was supposed to be every third Sunday of the month.  And that was the date.  But what the hell.  I got there and the “kampong” was like, deserted.  Groan noise.

I hurried back down the road to Bugis Junction because I was still trying to find a certain top for my mate.  I have not told you that story and shall not.  This is not just because it is not interesting, but my memory is just not good enough.  I found it there but you know, it’s just not a top that can be hung, and they were hanging it and it was not good.  So I didn’t buy it.  And then I was feeling really crap and worn out already.  My legs had had it from the past couple of weeks.  Then, stupidly, I went to the markets across the road to try to find the top.  But they didn’t have it and stuff there was surprisingly expensive in some stalls.  I think buying clothing from Chinese brands is probs cheaper online.  Then I went up the escalator to the next floor, walked one aisle then was dying to get out of there.  So I did and went across the road to a hawker centre and bought a pineapple juice.  I wanted to get some congee but then I simply could not be bothered to buy any food and this hawker centre was super crowded.  Groan again.  I was getting cranky.  That always happens.  I get hungry, get cranky, then am too cranky to want to eat.  Whatever.  The other thing I hate is people who can’t be bothered.  Which brings me to my other hatred, which is for people who whinge about themselves or about anything.  Which means that it is now time to say the sentence I was going to say before the one about whinging,  which is about how much I hate people who have negative qualities to them.

I then got on the MRT because I wanted to get somewhere.  At City Hall the doors opened as they should and then I was standing on the train and then I remembered the sunglasses shop on Coleman street, so I jumped off the train and walked up the escalator, but then remembered that sunglasses are not easy to carry and I was feeling too tired to be bothered to go all the way there.  So I went back down to the platform and waited for the next train.

I think I got out at Raffles Place and the I just wouldn’t trust myself on whether I walk left or right.   So I tried both a couple of times.  I was alternating between thinking “never trust your initial feelings” and “your initial feeling will be correct 95% of the time”.

I saw this outside Raffles Place Interchange and wanted to laugh because it made me think about that site with the sad things found on the street.  One cannot really see that it is absolutely bucketing rain in this picture.

I got to this place I was planning to get to, which was sort of very touristy and was meant to have a flea market but DIDN’T, believe it or not.   And it was an absolute ghost town and not all of the automatic doors were functioning and these people having coffee must have thought I was weird and I suppose they had reason to judge me.  Whatever.  Then I was running out of that place to Telok Ayer street, which was long and interesting but pretty much had nothing I wanted to look at apart from an antiques shop where I think I might have shook my wet umbrella over the shop guy.  And this shop was just the weirdest.  Shopfronts on these old buildings are wide, as shown in my previous photographs.  And there was no way to enter the shop.  Seriously.  There was a cabinet across the whole entrance.  And from what I could see, the whole shop was filled with stuff.  I couldn’t see any walkway inside the shop either!

And then I got to another hawker centre.  I think it might have been Amoy Street.  I even went upstairs there.  But I then just couldn’t be bothered to eat there.  So I went back down and was walking up the street parallel to Telok Ayer street.  And there wasn’t much to see and everything was closed anyway.  Then I had to walk halfway down it again to get to this weird mountain path that was like a bit of fake forest to get to An Siang Hill.  I was walking around there and looking for some vintage store.  I couldn’t find it then realised it might have been the basement one I went to the other day.  I wanted to go back to that store anyway because they had this beige denim jacket with embroidered flowers on it and I actually was going to buy it.  But the sign on the door said it was closed because they were relocating to Haji Lane.  Clearly,  I was not in a good mood.

Then I was trying to get back to South Bridge Road, but then came across China Square Central, which I had given up looking for.  Yay! They actually had their antiques market on!  But there wasn’t anything to buy unless you like buying old things which aren’t very nice.  But at least I felt not so sad.  Now, China Square Central is an actual air-conditioned plaza/mall and there was a permanent vintage fashion store and it was such a nice one.  I shall have to return.  I had never seen vintage in such good condition and these were good clothes, proper fifties and sixties outfits.  With hindsight, the prices were actually not too bad, though maybe I din’t think so at the time.  Oh my god, I just remembered that I forgot to mention the bookshop at Bras Basah Complex which had all this communist China stuff and Mao stuff!

Then I returned to the egg tart place in Chinatown and then I actually surprisingly caught a bus home rather than try to explore some more.  I nearly bloody froze to death on that bus!  The aircon was intense brah!  Seriously.  I was afraid of pneumonia.  And it was raining outside (and not actually extremely hot) and I was kind of wet, so it felt a BIT WINTERY.  And believe it or not, this was the first day I returned home on time!

 

 

After having an Indie time with my father walking around Dempsey Hill (where I found yet another Jones the Grocer!), I decided to hit the shops.

 

 

 

 

Yumiest red bean bun ever.

 

 

Here is a piece of knowledge for you, lads.  The communist art thing is totes Indie.  If you use it to sell something, you will look cultured in world affairs and, hence, look like a good, trustworthy guy.  Also, you must know something about propaganda and art and, therefore, you must be edgy.  Therefore, the buyer can only feel some sort of respect and awe and affection for you and the desire to become your best bud and buying your product would be the first step.  Remember, you’re not selling a product, you’re selling yourself.

 

I walked all through Dempsey Hill, avoiding some Australians, and came out near Gleneagles Hospital and the Botanic Gardens.  I walked into the Botanic Gardens but this was the gate on the absolute opposite side from the MRT station, so I walked over to the Gleneagles bus stop.  And I caught a bus going to Bras Basah because my mum said I should check out a shop called Cat Socrates.  Anyway, I actually got off the bus at Plaza Singapura because I figured there might be a bathroom there.  And then I went to a shop but as usual, couldn’t be bothered to buy anything.

 

Then I caught the MRT from Dhoby Gaut Station to Bras Basah Station.  And then this is where the plot thickens.  I got out, read the map.  Felt sure.  Then as soon as I stepped away, I totally forgot all the streets I was meant to walk on.  Or maybe I forgot to also check when to turn left/right.  Then I got absolutely thrown off because I was standing outside the art gallery and couldn’t decide whether to go in or not.  I didn’t.  Shame.  But anyway, then I was pretty much going to have a breakdown because I was walking this massive loop to find this Bras Basah Complex.  I even passed City Hall Station.  And I almost did a whole lap back to the station.  But then I found where I was going to.  And it was kind of hot and sunny that day.

 

So I went to this shop and it was pretty cool.  The temperature was good.  Pretty much, it was a kitsch shop.  I really should have bought this Japanese shirt dress there.  Damn.  And they actually had live cats in the shop!!

 

Then I was walking around this arty district, being cool and not buying anything because yeah.  I found this Liang Seah Street and sat down at this Chinese desserts shop.  I must go back!  I ate this mango sago with pomelo and small bits of ice.

 

 

 

I was a big fan of this place because it was totes authentic, well priced, but also modern.  The combination of those things makes it almost not even of this time.  Like it’s from a better future or something.  And it was actually a very decent sized serve.  I was sitting on a wooden stool at a wooden table…Oh yeah, and then there were these two French blokes talking at the next table, or maybe they weren’t French, but they were speaking French, anyway.

 

Then I really proved to myself that I’m cool.  I navigated myself down to Haji Lane / Kampong Glam.   Yeah, man.   I just knew.  I wanted to take a look in this antiques shop on Jalan Sultan.  I didn’t buy anything.   And then I went to this shop called Doinky Doodles where they have all these handmade children’s things, and art about children who died.  I was ooming and ahhhing about buying this vintage dress.  But then didn’t buy it but totally should have because it was a bargain.

 

Then I caught the MRT probably from Bugis to Dhoby Gaut.  But then I couldn’t find a bus to take me where I wanted to go.  Actually I couldn’t find any buses going back through Orchard Road, so I started walking towards the city lights.  I got to the mall Orchard Central, which I remember thinking was really cool when it was younger.  It still was.  In fact, there was this Indie shop I remembered I had to visit and was there.  So anyway,  it was kind of an Indie mall because they were obviously striving for that vibe.  The stuff was expensive, though, though what does one expect?, and a lot of the shops were the same as the ones in the youth mall I forgot the name of.  Anyway, there was this shop which was by women for women.  It was so weird.  It sold a few fashion pieces, some hair straighteners, one type of sanitary pad, one model of Vivienne Westwood for Melissa shoes, and some other stuff.  I had never encountered such an alternative shop, especially in a shopping mall.  I was trying to get out of Orchard Central and I really wanted to take these massive escalators on the outside of the building.  Unfortunately, you cannot descend on them, you’ve got to go through the building.

 

By this time, my legs were about to collapse.  But I had to drag myself to the bus stop behind 313@Somerset, at the skate park.  I stood there staring at the people in the skatepark.  I caught a bus going all the way to where I wanted to go.  And then I was sitting on the bus which was stationary because it was at these traffic lights, and I realised I should stare at people a bit less.  Because then it would stop the stupidity of accidentally having eye contact with strangers, especially when they are walking past a bus you are sitting on.  That is tip number two for today.

Knowing that my time in Singapore was coming to a close, I decided it was time to stop wasting time.  So I compiled a list of vintage/antiques shops.  On the Thursday, I went to Coleman street to Peninsula and Excelsior Plaza or whatever they are called.  One of them was full of all these Burmese things.  The other was too Indie! I found myself in this dodgy looking place with all these shops selling cowboy clothing, intense rock t-shirts, and clothing in the red, green and yellow marijuana colours.  In short, the vibe was one of dodginess and it was also very quiet.  But anyway, I found this vintage shop.  And oh lawd, (isn’t that something the nanny says in Eloise? maybe not) they knew the value of vintage.  Prices started from eighty-nine dollars and I was looking at a black dress that was something like one-thousand-three-hundred-and-something dollars.  There was another shop selling antiques.  It was quite small but it looked good.  I could see through the window they had a few nice vintage sunglasses for fifteen dollars.  I considered buying them all, but the shop wasn’t open so obviously I didn’t.  Then I found another shop which was selling heaps of vintage vinyl (as in records), especially of Asian Artists, as one would say in this day and age.  But I didn’t buy anything because actually, believe it or not, I didn’t know what to buy.  Oh, and I forgot to say how in one of the previous plazas in one of the shops selling coins, I bought some postcards which were hilariously Indie because they were old postcards and photos scanned and turned into new postcards that were meant to look like old ones.  Hmmm.

I didn’t really take photos.  I think only of this as I raced through the rain back to City Hall station.

The text isn’t really visible.  But it says something about having missed a Facetime call with Jesus, you have a friend request from him etc.

Oh, I forgot again to mention that I went earlier that day to Far East Plaza and bought these dragon beard sweets and ate the whole pack.  Here is the last one.  They all looked like worms or maggots or something squished into the box.  Inside was peanut and the outside wer sweet white threads which turned kind of chewy when mixed with saliva.

What did I do on the next Wednesday?  Oh yeah, I caught a bus to Commonwealth MRT station, then the MRT to Paya Lebar.  In this instance, it would have been faster to go to Holland Village and catch the Circle line to Paya Lebar.  But oh well, bad experiences on the Circle line…

I decided that the best way to get the most out of this trip to Joo Chiat would be to follow this website’s instructions for a food journey stopping at every second cafe, which seemed comprehensive by telling me ‘turn here, turn there’.

After getting out of the station, I followed the instructions, but it was quite stressful because I still didn’t know if I was going in the right direction.  I was meant to pass the landmark of a fake Malay kampong, which the website said was not worth going to even if the admission fee were to be scrapped.  The thing was, I couldn’t see this landmark nor the HDB block I was headed to.  It appeared the kampong museum had been scrapped and it’s block of land had big metal walls around it.

Then the printout of the webpage said I should get to Geylang Serai Block Three, walk through a tiny passage and ta-da, I should enter a market selling spices and cloth, and I should walk through the wet market behind this to the hawker centre.  I think the place had been renovated since that page had been written, because the market was two storey and next to a main road (though still at block three, luckily).  Downstairs was the wet market – omg, you could buy a plastic bag of CRACKED EGGS!  So weird, right? – and upstairs the hawker and clothing market.  Speaking of clothing, I was feeling very hot, as this was a very sunny day.  But walking around the hawker centre, I felt like I ought not to feel tired from the heat when I am obviously not dressed as warmly as the Muslim women eating there.  Pretty much, I felt like I should stop being so whingey, even though I wasn’t complaining, though maybe I was just a bit in my head.

The thing I always do when I want a good meal, is pick the stall with a long line.  I did that the day before at the Maxwell Food Centre.  The stupid thing I did that day when I found a chicken rice stall with all these pictures of the owners receiving awards and this picture of Anthony Bourdain saying  something like “chicken rice is so fragrant, it can be eaten on it’s own”, which made me laugh because he might not have been referring to the chicken rice from that stall, was queue up then when I was almost at the front, I realised that this stall took up two spaces and I had to go bak to the other one to place my order!  But it was a really good chicken rice!  The chicken was tender but ACTUALLY COOKED.

Yeah, but back to the point, this time I was with my father so we got this MASSIVE BRIYANI AYAM and shared it.  Then I also got these goreng pisang which were so yummy because each piece was a small banana.  It also seems the bananas were green.  And the coating for the deep-frying was perfect, not like at some “commercial” places, i.e. chain stalls in malls where the coating is sometimes too salty.  Now I shall tell you a mini-story about how I was buying the fried bananas, which are not like the ones in Chinese restaurants in Australia, and the woman making and selling them was speaking to me in Malay and I was saying I didn’t understand.  But she continued and finally she yelled repeatedly in my face “Four, Two Dollars!”, but it wasn’t really in my face because she was shorter than I.

I was going to do one of those blurred faces for my dad in that photo, but then I realised that a) it’s too hard for me to do that and b) he looks cool and his pose looks really good.

It was a good idea to bring my dad along on this trip because he could take pictures both of me and for me.  Thanks for the photos Dad, even though you haven’t even seen them since you took them on my camera.  But some of these are my photos.

The instructions on the webpage told us to walk down Joo Chiat Place until we reach where it joins Joo Chiat Road again.  But neither of us found this intersection. Sad.  We kept walking and then tried to find a main road.  We nearly got to one, but we really were getting into area that was more and more residential.  So we decided to catch a bus to the nearest MRT station.  I tell you, the bus frequency in Singapore!  I think SMRT and SBS have something against me.  I always see buses until I get to the bus stop.  And then when I’m at the bus stop, the other side of the road gets the buses and I don’t.  Seriously.  We waited twenty-five minutes for a bus, and in that time, only one other bus came past the stop.

We got to Eunos station and had a drink.  I had run out of water pretty quickly.  There was no fruit juice, so I had to get a grass jelly drink because they are cooling.  My dad had a soy bean drink and I spent the whole time we were sitting there repeating the story to him about this time when my mother bought both a soy bean and grass jelly drink at Holland Village where they advertised this mix of the two, calling it the Michael Jackson.  She thought that my brother and I would be drinking some of the drinks she bought, but neither of us liked them.  So she decided that she could have her own Michael Jackson for less money by drinking from two bags of drink at once.  You see, in Singapore, when you have those two drinks as take-away, they put it in a bag.  And then my mum was feeling sick on the bus.

Then we caught the MRT to Bugis and then walked to Haji Lane where now there are many more shops, including Muslim fashion shops, and the trend for ruining Japanese vintage fabrics by turning them into ugly frocks is gone.  I don’t think I have ever seen anyone in Singapore actually wearing one of those dresses.  I was too tired to take pictures as the result of walking long distances in new shoes.  Good work, Billie.  Why did you still get massive blisters?  I thought you were super accustomed to walking long distances in new shoes or shoes which are so old they hurt?

Here are the few pictures I took.

Perhaps you cannot see the girl with the guitar being filmed.

The following picture is of my late-night dessert snack.  I’m not actually sure whether I got it on this day or not.  Oh well.

Oh my, I thought this blog post was going to be very short!  Oh dear, the next one will be far longer…

This is the most epic of my tales.

On the Sunday, I thought my ez-link transport card had run out of money.  At eleven I tried to get on a bus to Orchard Road, but I thought I didn’t have enough coinage and they cannot give change for notes.  So I just got off the bus and went back to the atm to try to put money on the card but you can only do a transfer from your credit card to your ez-link card.  I also couldn’t swap a ten dollar note for coins.  So I went back to the bus stop and tried to take one that took the shortest distance to an MRT station so that I would be able to top the card up.  I paid in coins, but not quite enough.  It was very stressful.  I got to Holland Village and topped up the card then went down to the MRT.  In fact, I actually still had just over a dollar on the card.  I think that the previous time I used it I must have accidentally double tapped the card when I got on, meaning that I both entered and exited when getting on.  The only way to get to Orchard Road on MRT was a stupid loop but I could not be bothered to go back up and cross the bridge over the road to the bus stop.  I waited six minutes for the train.  After a few stops I decided to get out at the Botanic Gardens and take a bus from there.  I looked at the locality map and I knew the roads but thought that maybe they would be taking me the wrong way.  So I went back down to the train but it was leaving the platform.  I waited six minutes for the next train.  I got on and at the next stop, I realised I had gotten on a train going in the wrong direction.  I got back to Holland Village and hiked over the bridge to catch a bus.  I was so relieved when I got on that I didn’t hear the driver calling me back to say that I had not tapped my card upon entry until the people around me were also alerting me to this fact.  My 1230 appointment had been changed to 1300 meaning that I was having fifteen minutes to spare.  I was determined to make it over to the Scape Underground to exchange some clothing item.  So I hiked down Orchard Road to Grange Road, since I had gotten off at Lucky Plaza area.  I was rushing down to the underground but really ground level basement and shortcutted through a Long John Silver’s fish and chips shop across a wooden deck and then because it was wet, I slipped and fell over.  I managed to get my stuff done, then hiked back down to Scotts Road, having a mini panic attack at the end of ion because I was above ground and sure I was at the right place but I saw a street sign saying Patterson Road.  But it was all okay because Scotts came off the other side of Orchard Road.  I was super tired because I was wearing these shoes I never really wore for very long before but also they sort of had these skinny pumped heels, which are obviously not that high, but I am just not used to wearing them.  And I had a heavy bag on my shoulder.  Dude, seriously, like, all day I nearly had a breakdown!

 

No pictures of this day!  But it’s about time I put up a picture of the MRT system!

 

 

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