Saturday, 8 January 2011

Nothing says manly like a trip to the Orchid Garden...


And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. Seriously - we've packed it in today, and it's been GREAT. Honestly, when looking at all we did today, you can really appreciate why Singapore is so great - you can go from city to rainforest to Chinatown all in the space of 3 hours! But I digress -let's pick up where I left you this morning - at the Conrad Hotel, meeting up with some of my former Transition peeps.

So it's time to introduce a few newcomers to the blog - Terri Peeters and Ruth Melander. Terri and I actually worked together in Chester back in 2007, when she was the guru of all things Pay Service Delivery. Ruth is the guru of Oracle for HR, and I met her back in 2009 with the Merrill merger. This is a quick way of saying that I've been in about 14,000 foxholes with both of them, and we've lived through more than one Transition nightmare.

Our first destination was one of the items on Sammy's Sing to-do list - The Singapore Botanical Gardens (don't worry, muffin - we'll go back when you get here!), specifically the Orchid Garden. Now, I know, I know - this is the part where you all say, "But Sam, you're so incredibly manly, studly, and macho - why would you go to stare at flowers?" To which I would respond, "It's the national flower of Singapore, I'm trying to cultivate my sensitive side, and...okay, let's be honest - it was free and I need to scope running routes." But I gotta tell ya - this place DID NOT disappoint.
Side note - two things occur to me as I look at this picture:

1. I can just see MattPa saying "Wow - who's the guy who ate Taylor? I hope he doesn't eat one of those little Japanese cats for dessert."

2. Seriously - whatever stereotype you have about Japanese tourists - it CAME TO LIFE in this place. I saw about 49 BILLION dudes with cameras running around, and CHECK OUT THE LENS ON THIS GUY PHOTOGRAPHING TURTLES. I mean, seriously - I don't know what shocked me more - the fact that the lens had camo (does he want to SNEAK UP ON THE TURTLE?) or the fact that 35 BILLION people were trying to photograph a turtle that looked the one one mom and I painted the shell of when I was 8 (Mom - you remember that? Gizmo!).

But moving past all that, the gardens were really, really cool. There's a ginger house, visitor center, and swan lake, and the park is filled with fountains, statues, and sculptures. However, the highlight is DEFINITELY the Orchid Garden. Seriously - there are SO MANY different flavors of this plant, and we really had a great time roaming through the exhibit. And let me tell you - Terri Peeters knows EVERYTHING ABOUT BOTANY. If a plant exists, she knows what's called, what it's related to, how it germinates - you name it. I was reduced to cracking bad jokes to hide my inadequacy. But I also made progress toward caning, as I started acting like an idiot about 30 minutes in (at the behest of Melander, for the record) and posing like the statues. The local Singaporeans laughed at first, but then I could see fear creeping over their brows.

We left the Botanical Garden and rolled to Chinatown, where I confirmed that Paula McHugh is a genius. Okay, so seriously, you've heard that Chinese folks have trouble with their "l's". I never thought about this until last night when Paula and I got into a cab and she said, "I need to go to CRUB Street." Now Paula lives on CLUB Street, but the dude seemed to totally understand her. I didn't think much about this until we hailed our cab today and said, "Good afternoon - we'd like to go to Club Street." The driver looked at me like I was from Mars, shaking his head. So then I said, "We go Crub Street. You can?" INSTANTLY he says, "Oh, CRUB STREET! Chinatown! Okay!" and off we go. P-Dawg - you truly are a master linguist.

We took a brief detour to see the Hindu Temple before rolling into Chinatown for some shopping (Muffin - I got some GREAT Christmas ideas!). Lunch was the same place P took us to our second night in the Sing, where I had another BBQ stingray, baby!!!! Terri got it as well, but she might be plotting my death now after I misjudged her tolerance for spice. Ruth hit the Black Pepper Crab, and she proved to be quite an artist with the crackers. JT - we have some DEFINITE room for improvement.

I then broke off from the girls, as there was unpacking, ironing, grocery shopping, and general set-up to be done for Team Taylor. However, GOOD NEWS! Team Taylor now has a US PHONE NUMBER!!!! The number, that will ring through to Skype, is 803-335-2976. Give us a shout! Vmail should be set up - someone let me know if it isn't.

Oh, and the best news of the day? Can someone say MOUNTAIN DEW, BABY!!!! That's right - American Music, swimmin' pools, and Mountain Dew - now THAT is a recipe for a good Saturday afternoon.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and (waking up in the ATL with her fam and I'm sure looking forward to a GREAT weekend) Jenny

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