SERENDIPITOUS FINDS

Singapore: It’s all about finding the good in the bad. You let slide,  for example, ValueAir’s rigid seats; a flight delay of more than two hours and landing in the Garden City from Jakarta at almost 3am; that your colleague booked you a flight back to Singapore a day after you’ve landed after having been told you might leave in two or three days; that you learned this fact after checking your e-mail at the Internet kiosk at Terminal Airport 1 shortly after disembarking; that you  packed five days’ worth of clothing; that the new driver  who took you to the airport is a grouch who couldn’t be bothered to reply “Sama-sama” after your “Terima kasih”,  and  just watched you struggle with unloading your suitcase from the van on the pavement of Soekarno-Hatta airport.

Slipping into Zen mode, you tell yourself it’s all about being grateful for the little things. Here are the uplifting highlights of the taxing trip to Singapore.

*Foot reflexology – In between meetings with a few friends that I managed to contact, I headed to the fourth floor of Midpoint Orchard for a foot massage. A foot reflexology session is not as painful as that episode in Amazing Race made it look like where this American was writhing in pain. It’s all in the breathing – don’t hold your breath when you feel the pain as the reflexologist tries to unblock the blockages in the pressure points of your feet. Second, you can always tell the reflexologist to ease up on the pressure. Actually, a really good reflexologist will know when to ease up on the pressure without being told.

Foot reflexology can’t replace a full-body massage to knead out the kinks in the system or medical treatment, but it’s a good health therapy nonetheless. The principal belief of foot reflexology, I read, is that the body is represented on the feet, and massaging the representative points with the hands can help in, for instance, enhancing blood circulation, reducing stress level, easing minor aches and pains, and assisting in alleviating depression and anxiety.

I feel rejuvenated after a session of either 40 min or one hour especially if the therapist is very skillful.

*Fruit Paradise – VivoCity is a nightmare because of its confusing layout. But strolling with a friend does have its serendipitous finds. This time it was a place called Fruit Paradise, its food counter taunting people to dig into their two-three inch delectable and decadent fruit tarts. I was particularly lured by the Caramel Banana, two of my favorite things in the world, which wasn’t cloyingly sweet as I expected, and not as expensive as I thought (S$5.90 a slice). Have it with a cup of hot green tea from Starbucks.

*Marvelous Cream – Ice cream places, in my mind, are happy places. You’re surrounded by tubs of ice cream goodness for Pete’s sake! So despite the staid but polite greetings, which would rival Friday Adam’s demeanor, from the staff of Marvelous Cream at 313 @ Somerset, I enjoyed my single scoop of Chocolate Ban Mille (read: S$5.90-pure chocolate indulgence with a bit of whipped cream in a cup). Sit yourself in one of the black chairs and look through the glass panel. Observe how most people – despite being beautifully made up – can still look like they were holding the world on their shoulders like Atlas. And the day had just started.

*15 Minutes – I was looking a bit worse for wear after all the walking around the city completing errands towards the afternoon. The campus court at LASALLE College of The Arts, which was founded by Brother Joseph McNally in 1984, was a welcome respite from the scorching heat and fatigue. Located on 1 McNally Street, the “putted green area” was the perfect place to catch one’s breath. I cooled my heels at the fountain – even took off my shoes – with a book and just waited for 630pm to come. That was the time I’d meet up with a good friend of mine after several months of not seeing each other.

Dinner was to be at 15 Minutes, an art-music-design café with an inexpensive but flavorful menu, and an open mic session for whatever talent one wants to showcase. I was just in time to get us a table on the “second floor” – it’s more like a raised platform accessible by a ramp – as the place filled up fast. Our shared feast: tofu lasagna – spinach-flavored lasagna with mixed tofu; pomodoro penne – pasta in tomato sauce with mushroom and cashew nuts; warm mushroom salad – arugula, mushrooms and tomatoes served in a jar with a silver lid; and a small parfait glass of oh-so dulce Banoffi.

Being Zennish about the rushed trip helped to make it less stressful and more enjoyable.  The fantastic conversation with friends and great dining certainly made for a very pleasant experience.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by thejellyfarm on May 12, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Haha! That tofu lasagna is a biiiig hit. I went the week after and they didn’t serve it that day. 😦 So saaad.

    Reply

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