Saturday, October 20, 2012


Nozomi, Tetsuji and me at Il Cielo
This past week, my family friends from Japan visited me here in Singapore. I hadn't realized how much I was missing family until my "Japanese Mom (Nozomi) and Japanese Dad (Tetsuji)" spent time with me. After a fantastic lunch at their hotel, we went to SIM where they sat in on one of my classes.  Afterward, we enjoyed a terrific dinner together on Orchard Road.
250 km (155 miles) between my apartment in Singapore and Melaka

The following day was Nozomi's birthday! We went up to Melaka, Malaysia for the day. Melaka is an old city that was once a Portuguese settlement. It's an interesting blend of old and new, Portuguese and Malaysian, Buddhist and Muslim. We traveled about two and a half hours north of Singapore and visited a number of museums, churches, palaces and temples. It was a significant experience for me to experience the variance in culture and lifestyle that was no different in distance and border-crossing than it would be to drive from Buffalo to Toronto.

Malaysia is a developing country. It is richly infused in history and a culture that reflects the influence of many nations, religions and peoples. Some parts of Malaysia reminded me distinctly of the central Mexican towns and villages I've visited in my travels. Those towns too were strongly shaped by the indigenous societies within them, the conquering powers that had risen and fallen over time and the strong religious heritage and pride in preserving the past.

The next day, we fulfilled Tetsuji's hope to have breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo! I'm planning to make a return trip to this zoo, as there is SO much to see and do there! We took the MRT from there to Marina Bay Sands, where we dodged the rain by enjoying a wonderful brunch at TWG, complete with tea, scones, juice, entrée and dessert!

A height comparison created by yours truly to give some perspective
We took the River Cruise and ended the day with tea and mooncake at my apartment at Fraser Suites. 

On our final day together, we took a "spin" on the Singapore Flyer! Rising to a height of 541 feet, it is the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world! The views were fantastic and only once (right at the very tippy-top) did I feel a little tense. You might say this was a "high" point of the weekend! 

At the end of our four days together, we had seen amazing sights, traveled to wonderful destinations, and eaten some truly fantastic meals. But it was the companionship of loved ones that really "recharged my batteries" the most!

Coming up: More new experiences! Watch for these and other highlights:
  • Monsoon season
  • Macarons and other pastry-shop lovelies
  • A rare invitation to a anniversary celebration of a Taoist temple
  • Classroom life at SIM


Nozomi said...

I had a memorable birthday with you in Melaka! Singapore was fun! Thank your very much for everything. Tetsuji and I were very happy to attend your class. Your teaching is great! We are very proud of you. Nozomi

Amanda Lohiser said...

Thank you, Nozomi! It was a memorable time for me, too! I can't wait to see you both in February!

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