Living in Singapore has given us a super power. We now have the amazing ability to tolerate heat and humidity. We forgot how much we’ve progressed along this curve until we had our first visitor, Annie’s mom, Nancy. Watching her suffer from the climate served as a nice litmus test for us.
She flew from California and suddenly found herself in the jungles of Cambodia. The temples of Angkor Wat were still on our “to do” list, so she got dragged into it.
Famous last words: “I’m just happy to see you guys, so I don’t really care what we do.” Alright, it’s decided then, you’ll spend two days in the jungle while suffering from jetlag. Let’s go!
Nancy was a real trooper though, especially when she agreed to climb up a harrowing set of steep, narrow stairs to the top of a temple to watch a sunset. Nice job! Getting two massages during our short trip helped make up for the death marches we put her through.
We quickly learned that more time at the temples didn’t mean a better experience. Our sage advice would be to just explore a temple (or two) around sunrise and sunset. Spend the middle of the day back at your hotel lounging by the pool. A mojito or two doesn’t hurt either. You’ll be much happier by avoiding the midday heat and crowds.
Siem Reap was a great little tourist town and provided a nice respite from the temples. Everything is inexpensive, the accommodations are nice, and the food is great. And the temples, airport, and town are all within a stone’s throw of each other.
Having checked off Cambodia, we headed back to Singapore to show Nancy the pearls of the city state: the botanical gardens, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the zoo, and shopping, shopping, shopping.
We had a fun and very Singaporean Thanksgiving. To sum it up: gourmet, local/expat mix, and in a mall. Basically, our friend Charles was visiting his brother, Tilden, who lives in Singapore. Tilden has connections with some people who own an upscale cooking store. They decided to make a bunch of different tasty dishes and let us crash their dinner.
So, in good Thanksgiving tradition, the locals fed us and we struggled to provide them with anything in return. We even floundered a bit when we tried to give them a coherent narrative of the first Thanksgiving.
“Let’s see… so the pilgrims were tired of being persecuted for their religious beliefs and decided to sail across the ocean to America. Oh, wait; there was some trading company that wanted to make money on this too. Yeah it gets complicated. And so they show up on the Pinta, Nina, and… no, that’s not right. The Mayflower! Yeah, that’s their boat. So they land on the East Coast, but then run out of food. The local Indians, for some reason, take pity on them and make them a big dinner. And there you have it – Thanksgiving!
What’s that? Yes, I did go to public schools.”