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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Celebrating Singapore: Sindulgences

Did Anyone Say Sssssssshopping? (aka Sale/Spend/Spree)

One of the activities that I didn't plan for in the birthday programme was shopping for presents - for myself! At this time last year, shopping was pretty much a non-entity in our lives. Throughout our six months in South America, we only shopped on three occasions:

1. At the weekly animal market in Otavalo, Ecuador (thankfully, we only window shopped here);

2. At the daily handicraft market also in Otavalo (gosh, these people really like their markets); and

3. When we needed to get a replacement for Oly the camera in Bogota, Colombo (for those who didn't know him, Oly died a dreadful death by drowning while night kayaking in Puerto Rico.)

4. & 5. (Okay, actually we made two more major shopping trips while in the US where I ran amok at a couple of outlet malls. But this blog has no place for such unbecoming, embarrassing behaviour. Especially not that of a bag-crazy woman.)

Needless to say, there was absolutely no shopping to do on my birthday in San Pedro de Atacama. It was a very dry place indeed *sigh*

Well this year, I practically made up for that dry spell I suffered a year ago! :)

The evening's spoils

There we were, wandering around Vivocity while waiting for my parents to join us for dinner at Shin Kushiya, when I heard River Island whisper my name, inviting me to come in. It's true. I swear it did. And soon, Mango, Pull&Bear, Joop and a whole string of other stores joined in the merry chorus. You have just got to believe me! (I don't lie on my birthday....)

Hey, to my credit, I turned up for dinner with just ONE bag of shopping.... which contained a few smaller bags. Heh. I'm pretty happy with the selection of pretty tops, skirts and dresses that I got for myself. Now I just need to find more occasions to wear them. Shouldn't be a problem with the year-end festivities just around the corner.

Talking about bags, this was what Dan unceremoniously dumped onto my lap the moment I got into the car, when he picked me up from my office en route to Vivocity:

I think it's a bag made out of Kermit skin... :S

I had been dropping hints that I wanted a lovely lambskin bag in camel (as in the colour, not the animal itself) that I spotted in a store at Raffles City the night before.

Okay, fine: I blatantly described in great detail the exact model and colour that I wanted, right down to the location of the store within the mall. The only information that I could have missed out on was the price.... ahem. Ah well. But that's not important.

I even informed that my colleague Yanling, whom I was with when I saw the bag, would be in contact soon to drop further hints. Now this woman is the queen of organising office birthday parties and gifts for all occasions (farewells, housewarming, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) so I knew my wants (no, my needs) would be well looked after *high-five Yanling and pat myself on back*

Imagined her stunned reaction when I snapped a photo of the green package and sent it to her:

Me: Er, is this the bag you asked Dan to get for me? :(

Yanling: Huh? HUH?!

Yanling: Nooooo!

Yanling: I have nothing to do with it! I swear!

Yanling: Wasn't me who told him to give you that!

Me: Er. Okay. Cos it's resembles a frog more than a lamb or camel...

Thankfully, it turned out that I was just being subjected to yet another round of Dan's trickery. Cos my real birthday bag gift turned out exactly as I had hoped for! :)

And if that wasn't enough, my sis got me another bag from the same store - in a lovely bright red. Yanling gave me one of those "bag within a bag" things to help me switch from one bag to the other without leaving behind my office pass or keys. And Zen gave me a pretty bag hook to keep my new babies off restaurant chairs and hawker centre stools. All very complementary gifts. Almost like receiving a bag gift set!

There were other gifts too: like a new 50mm lens from Dan (cos I stupidly cracked mine by packing it into the luggage on the flight to Koh Samui), a shiny diamante pendant from Yanling, Saucy Charades from Jem and Grace (yes, you read correctly - more on that in another post) and a pretty eye palette from Mandy (not seen in picture cos it was delivered in true Mandy style - late! :P But I love it, Mandy!)

My new arm accessories

Wearing my new shiny pendant at Nic and Mich's wedding last Sunday

Of Spaghetti & Other Sins

Okay, enough of shopping. I can hear the guys snoring over their keyboards already.

Birthday dinner with the family was at Garibaldi's along Purvis Street. I was very adamant on saving stomach space for good food and only allowed myself one small bowl of very yummy mee pok along Jalan Tua Kong, from the very famous stall at the Soy Eu Tua coffeeshop during lunch with Dan and Grace at Siglap (thanks for the treat, Grace!)

In preparation for the big dinner, my sister and I headed for Orchard Road to work up an appetite by walking around alot (which is sometimes more commonly known as "shopping".)

When the time came, we plonked ourselves expectantly in front of our plates, placed our orders and waited for dinner to be served by the attentive staff.

Yummy foccacia. My starving sister must have eaten half a loaf.

Paper-thin proscuitto and soft fried bread pillows

Pasta with mushrooms in truffle sauce

My sis and mum sit happy with their veal ravioli and crab linguine in vodka sauce

The hungry man goes for an entire salmon-trout (no idea exactly what fish it is, but it tasted good) that the waiter said was for sharing

Aaaaannnnndddd, as a birthday surprise, I got a little Tiramisu Turd of a cake served with a magic candle, courtesy of the restaurant :)

Ooooh, for me? Why, thank you!

A series of blur photos ensue, where my mum, sis and husband try to coordinate a birthday song amongst the three of them:

Cheeky fingers

He behaves for awhile...

Before delivering the final line of the song with much aplomb!

At this point, the mother-photographer got fed-up with the antics and in true motherly fashion, yelled at everyone to sit still for a minute so that she could get ONE decent photo that was in focus and not blurry. We tried...

... and obliged.

We'll say it again for the 1,938,473rd time - we do not look alike.

Just missing the dad (held up at school function) and the brother (dining on Danish delicacies in Copenhagen, like dry crusty rye bread and salmon in all forms....)

Dinner came up to a whopping $300+ for four of us. Ack. I've got mum to thank for the lovely birthday dinner.

We tried to tone down our palettes and give our stomachs a break from rich food later that weekend:

Simple fare at a Changi Village coffeeshop

Like I said, we tried to tone down...

It's rare that I bother to queue for food. So this International Nasi Lemak had better be good.

... but maybe didn't quite succeed.

Cheh. Super overrated *unimpressed*

The carrot cake beat the nasi lemak hands down! Cheaper, tastier and served right to my table.

Putting my new bag hook to use!

Wow. It was a true birthday sindulgence indeed *satisfied pat on tummy*


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