After two years of procrastination, I finally own authentic Singaporean items.
Why is it that when you live somewhere, you purposely avoid all things that are remotely associated with being a tourist?
For example, my cousin has lived in New York City for years and when I visited her two and a half years ago, she still had never been to the Statue of Liberty.
As a resident of Singapore, I don't shop. Shopping is one of the things that the country is known for and I avoid it like the plague. It seemed like every mall I went to was crowded and expensive. So I just didn't do it.
I kept thinking, "I'll get that cute tablecloth sometime before we leave," or "I will stock up on those Chinese wine bottle covers before I ship out." I lacked a sense of urgency in the whole matter.
Then when I realized I was two weeks away from leaving, my excuses lost their footing. If I didn't break down and buy something already, I was going home with nada. Zilch. Squat.
That would make me very sad. It would also make my friends back home wonder if I'd even ever lived here because I lacked the physical evidence.
So I did some shopping research. Luckily, I found out that not all of Singapore is crazy expensive like I'd thought.
A few friends told me of these great deals and steals.
First Stop: Dilip Textiles, Arab Street
My coworkers got me a gorgeous tablecloth and scarf as a departure gift. I loved them so much that I decided that I needed more textiles to go back to Kansas with me. My military spouse friends told us to head to this place for such things.
They were right. This place was awesome. They have so many different types of cloth and for so many different uses. I got a six person rectangular tablecloth for S$26 and a long silk scarf for S$10. I love the stuff I got. It's all hand-stamped and in gorgeous colors. If I were going to be here a little longer, I would have totally gone back for more. They also have bedspreads, wall coverings, carpets and sarongs.
Second Stop: The Blue and White Store (that's not the official name), Ubi Street
The Blue and White Store has been a topic of conversation among military spouses in Singapore for as long as I've been here. The gals make a trip there at least once every couple of months. As a working girl whose free time during the day is limited, I had a little harder time finding my way here. Also, this place doesn't advertise, so it's not easy to find solo. The people who've been there only know about it because they found out from someone else who's been there.
Even once you find out the address, it's still a little tricky to find.
This is the building it's in.
I would have never guessed that an oh-so-popular pottery shop was nestled in here. It looks like an industrial warehouse building. Not a place that sells pretty pottery.
Nonetheless, I trusted my friend's instructions and took the lift up several stories.
And then it appeared.
Not the fanciest of digs, but the prices more than make up for the appearance. I got two vases, a dozen ceramic decorative balls, four oversized square coffee mugs (that are suprisingly very modern), five mini saucer cups, and some other stuff that I can't remember now because it's in a crate somewhere over the ocean. (Yes, I forgot to take pictures. Apparently, my brain turns to mush while moving.) But the important part is that all of that only cost me S$30. I've never gotten such nice stuff for so little. I was super excited.
Shopping day was a huge success. I had never been so unstressed during a shopping excursion here.
Then to top all of that off, my good friend Sandra gave me some wonderful presents to take back with me as well.
My Kansas house may just end up looking like a little Singapore by the time I get everything unpacked.
Now, I just need to grab some more recipes to accompany my new stuff. A special thank you to those who have already sent me some great ones! I'm excited to try them out on our unsuspecting relatives.
(As always, I have not been paid to talk about the above establishments, nor do they know that I have a blog to write about them on.)
6 months ago