Monday, January 29, 2007

This is life 27: Of foreign streets, Little Italy and Queen Street

Toronto is really a city of great diversity. While Singapore has 4 races, Toronto has over 70 cultures and minorities. A whopping 17 times more diverse. To really get a taste of how diverse this city is, one just has to walk around the streets. One evidence would be the presence of an African community between Little Italy and Chinatown.

The above picture will provide a deeper understanding of the great range of cultures; all sorts of cultures imaginable.

In Little Italy, Toronto and a taste of Sicily.
Some farm produce along Little Italy.
Some reminder of the buildings in Rome.
A poster of Playstation3, and the date indicating '17th of November 2006'. Perhaps a sign of how advance this city is.
While it is good to imagine Toronto as a modern city, some of the police patrol along the streets indicate otherwise.

The greens of the city between Little Italy and Queen Street; an indication of the warm winter of January 2007.

A walk from Little Italy to Queen Street, brings in a totally different atmosphere, and a new distinct flavour. The reason probably is the absence of chain stores, other than the very occasional Starbucks; most stores are probably privately managed, with their own unique characteristic. It very much explain the absolute homogeneity of two distant shopping centres, of Jurong's and Tampines', as one of the many examples of Singapore.
A store selling interesting cards, along Queen Street.
Cafes, private designer, painting and scruptors, among the stores lying along this distinctive flavoured foreign street.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

This is life: 26 Of foreign streets

A seemingly impressive building.

Unfortunately, the word 'Bata' has some negative connotation for Singaporeans.

A further walk around the city reveal some old buildings in this modern city.
The residential area of downtown, with creepy bare trees.
More architectural feats along the streets, perhaps ruined by the power lines.

A church along Bloor Street West.

Along the streets, one will be able to view squirrels busy scavenging for food scraps.

They come in grey and black. Although it is the middle of the winter, the January of 2007 had been experiencing spring-like conditions. The otherwise green grass, would be covered in layers of snow. A walk on foreign streets.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This is life 25: Of foreign journey

A journey to the final destination, 2 transits, 25 hours.
A transit at Hong Kong airport and through tight security checks.

The second stop, at Chicago's O'Hare.

On the airport's train shuttle, cruising pass symbols of freedom.

The destination of Pearson airport, poorly lit, rough cement roads, and expensive.

From Toronto's Pearson international airport, visitors will be able to take a choice of transport to the city area. It will be around Can$50 for a taxi for just a 40 min ride. Even the airport shuttle bus, which is considerably cheaper, cost a whopping Can$15 for it. It will be a great introductory idea of how much the city or country can cost visitors, especially for Singaporeans. The contrast between the route to the city area between Toronto and Singapore is really great. Full of flowers and greens in the case for Singapore, and full of factories and grey buildings for the case of Toronto. A foreign land, a foreign people.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Gastroliterary 49: French @ Little India

This French Stall is located in Little India, a little ironic, but because they have cheaper rents at that location.
French baguette with garlic and herbs as appetiser.

Chicken was a little tough but the nice cream sauce made from some mysterious ingredients, save this dish.

Salmon with spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Spinach was a little too oily and was overcooked. Sun dried tomatoes was however beautiful with salmon.

Dessert was tiramisu which was not as soft and wonderfully pleasant as Casa Roma was dried and a lack of any alcoholic punch.
Food: 7
Appetiser and main courses are mainly good. Comforting in fact, to realise what temporary bliss one can experience with good food. Desset was however quite a disappointment, giving the illusive bliss a wakening call.
Service: 7.5
Considering that this French stall does not charge any service charge, their service can be considered above expectation but of course far from attentive.
Ambience: 7
There is no air-conditioned here at all. So Singaporeans visiting this outlet will not experience French al fresco, but tropical heat of island Singapore. The interior decoration has something interesting antics and retro items on display.
Overall: 7
Although this place may be similar to a coffeeshop, it does not mean the dishes are necessary cheap. A typical main course cost around $15 while a set meal can be around $20, exclusive of drinks. However, it can be considered to be a nib taste of French, almost like an introductory course, keeping in mind, an introductory price as well.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

This is life 24: Taipei, Moments of surprise, pictures of delight 2

Taiwanese grown grapes.

Marinated duck's tongue that cost NT 150(S$7.50) for 100g.

Interesting artifact outside a museum.

Which in fact, is actually a dustbin.

Silent protest taking place in Taiwan. A rare sight for a Singaporean.

And more than four of them together at one time.
They really have the patience to stand at that position for an extended period of time.

Toilet with baby seat. It should be assumed that such pro-child bearing facilitites is also available in the ladies.

With that, this is a picture outside a primary school, drawn by a primary school children. It shows how mature Taiwanese children can be.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

This is life 23: Taipei, moments of surprise, pictures of delight

They really call Taiwan province here.

Strange, but interesting.

Random pictures from the hotel room floor.

Some Taiwanese inscription on the pavement.

When in Taiwan, it is always good to be involved in the local politics.

Since true Singaporean, does not have the genuine opportunity to do so.

The sunset of Taiwan.

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