After CGO … …

Now that CGOverdrive is all over and done with, Sacha and Andy could relax and enjoy Singapore a bit. Its Sacha first time in Singapore and Andy’s second time (the last time Andy was here was quite a few years back). One thing they do have in common is they have never tried durian!! As they wanted to enjoy a more local experience, I thought I will get my family together and show them how I spend my weekend. However, couple with the fact that I do also want to show Sacha and Andy around Singapore, my family weekend is modified slightly to include more interesting areas where usually, as locals, had taken for granted.

What I left out in yesterday’s blog is that I gave them a challenge. As its their first MRT experience, I assigned them to meet me at the Outram Park MRT station at 10:00hr. Its an easy challenge and the guys did not let me down. Better yet, they arrived at 09:30hr while I reached there 10mins later. Unfortunately, I forget to inform them not to have breakfast as we will be having brunch with my family.

Dim Sum for brunch is what I ordered for today. Sacha and Andy is quite good at using their chopsticks. So much so that they could have a chopstick fight over peanuts … … just kidding. Its comical nonetheless to see two Caucasians showing off their chopstick-fu. Andy is the better skilled one.

Andy vs Sacha

We brought them around China Town and visited the oldest Hindu temple at Pagoda Street, Sri Mariamman Temple. There is an Indian wedding reception there and we were invited to try some of their dessert. Next stop, we went to the new Buddha Tooth Relic Temple located at … (drum roll) … Sago Street!! (For those of you who did not catch the joke, Sago is Sacha’s web identity and its the combination of the first two letters of his first and last name). Sacha is so tickled by it that he pose for a picture under the street sign (Unfortunately I don’t have the photos with me, hope he could one day share it in his blog or something). The temple visit is a very different change in atmosphere. It is like suddenly we were moved from hustle and bustle to silence and tranquility. During the visit, we talked a little about Buddhism and the differences between exoteric and esoteric forms of practices.

After visiting the temple, we took a short break and went for a refreshing Sugar Cane with Lemon drink. Next up, its time for durians. I was concern about whether they would be able to handle it as even some locals find it stinky and smelly. Fortunately, they were up for the challenge and did not find it too pungent. Andy said that it almost feels like eating onions, it stinks too but its okay. They neither like it nor dislike it, its just another fruit to them. I have to confess that I suck at picking durian and this particular one I picked is not very sweet.

Andy\'s first durian

Sacha\'s first durian

Once we are done with the durians, we proceeded to take a bus and visited the Malay Heritage Center. Andy seem to like what he saw at the Malay Heritage Center and took time to read some of the text and study the display. By the time we finished, we were all hungry so we went for food. I ordered them each a piece of Roti Prata with egg and Teh-Halia (Ginger Tea) with ice for drinks. When we finished we were all getting sleepy as we have been walking a lot. We chat a little more and talked a little bit about Siggraph Asia, Project Apricot and Project Durian. Its about 17:00hr when we got back to their hotel and bid them farewell.

I sincerely hope that they have enjoyed my little informal tour of Singapore and pray for the best in whatever they choose to undertake. Furthermore, I hope to see them again soon and more importantly, I pray that all Blender user around the world could meet up together at Siggraph Asia 2008 at the end of this year to bond and share our knowledge and expertise.

— 2008/June/21

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