Tuesday, June 12, 2007

January 17, 2007

Wednesday January 17, 2007
The recent amount of rain and moisture had lifted our marble flooring in the front area of our condo. The workers started working on our floors yesterday. They were so loud I had a headache all evening even after leaving for a couple hours to go to the Mustaffa Centre which is a 24 hour department store. It's a popular shopping haven for electronics, PDAs and household items. You can find almost anything there. The six storey building also houses a 230-room hotel.
So, I decided to go on a scheduled walking tour. I've been to Little India several times and I felt a little skeptable about going but hey, it only costs $18. It's cheaper than going to the doctor for a head examination. I walked down to my area bus stop at 9:00 A.M. to take #980 bus to Little India MRT to meet my tour. I walked up to designated area and right away Geraldine (our tour guide) noticed me and took my $18.00.
As we walked along Serangoon Road, my senses was overwhelmed by the fragrances of curry powders and perfumes, by tapes of high-pitched Indian music, by jewelry shops selling gold, and stands selling garlands of flowers. Our first stop was the Tekka Wet Market. The stinch was a little bad at first (it smelled inbetween urine and durian fruit) but it seemed to get better the longer we were there. I learned of a few new names of some spices, fruits and vegetables. Last weekend Steven and I went to Bisan Park. We saw these weird looking long green stick things on trees. We grabbed the ones on the ground and poked and proded at these things for several minutes trying to open it and see what was inside. Well, today I found out that the long green stems are called "drum sticks", and they are used in a lot of Indian dishes.
While we were standing around listening to Geraldine talk about Singapore in the 1800's, a chinese funeral procession was actively in pursit in the middle of Serangoon Street. I was telling Geraldine how I had seen one of these on the Travel Channel. It sort of looked like a parade coming down the street. In line was a band playing, then a flower truck and then men carrying the casket while friends and relatives walked in back of the casket. Geraldine said this funeral was very small. It was neat to see but yet sad.
We then went on to the "Astrology Parriott". It cost $2 to have your "fortune" told. Hummmmmm.
The last site for the day was the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Built by indentured Bengali labourers (lime growers) in 1881, this temple is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kali, the consort of Shiva. Known as the Goddess of Power, the name "Veeramakaliamman" means "Kali the Courageous". On holy days (Tuesdays and Fridays), the streets are busy with devotees on their way to pray, worship and make requests to Kali for blessings. We also heard that women who are undergoing the monthly cycle are considered "unclean" and are not allowed to enter temple grounds.
Chinese Funeral Procession and fortune telling parriott

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