6th day (Sat.): Had kaya toast and kopi (the local coffee with condensed milk) for breakfast, headed back to lesson plan... Had a very quick lunch on the corner at a sandwich place (good bread), had class, and headed out to the botanical gardens afterward. Amazing place. Orchids. We took pictures. And carried around the fruit that C. had given us earlier that day. Because even though we had planned to pack light that day for school, M.'s parents thwarted us by giving us gifts. Forget what we had for dinner: really cheap Chinese food at the food court? I *do* remember laughing hysterically over the fruit gifts, while we planned the weekend. Mangosteens are *weird,* folks.
7th day: Free day! As the Malaysian adventure didn't seem like it was going to work out, we headed up into the Bukit Timah nature preserve -- some of the last original rainforest left in Singapore. I bought sandals on sale. Which was good, because the ones I was wearing, not so good for hiking. Didn't see any monkeys unfortunately, but did see a very shiny metallic looking skink, and a freaking monitor lizard. Size of a small dog, kid you not. Sauntering across the path. We took pictures.
Needed food like crazy after that: Newton Center for greens in oyster sauce and bbqed stingray. Also amazing.
Dinner with M.'s parents, L. & C. Adorable couple. Ordered, again, amazing food (Chinese this time): pork and veggie dumplings, lotus salad, brown fried rice, and my favorite, a beef noodle soup.
Then we headed out for what has been our one and only drink thus far, at the Raffles Hotel -- old colonial fancy pants place. Had something coconut/white chocolatey. Endured music that belonged on a soft rock greatest hits of the 90s station (actually, that's been the soundtrack in all of Singapore thus far). But we endured the music while enjoying the veranda that we had basically to ourselves. We took pictures.
8th day, Monday: Free day again! Headed out to this island, by taking the MRT, a bus, and then a ferry. Rented bikes. Got caught in a monsoon. Crazy shit. Waited under shelters, finally said fuck it, we're going to get wet. Tried the muddy paths, but as it was high tide, didn't go all the way. Instead went a paved route to see across to Malaysia. Rainy like that Ray Bradbury short story. Biked back: caught a ferry, then a taxi, took a very long hot shower.
Then back to the real world -- lesson planning. And dinner. Food courted it (this time, mad cheap vegetarian food, noodles and fried tofu and greens).
9th day, Tuesday: LONG HAUL DAY. First day of being at school for 9 hours. It was draining. Some of the morning activities went really well, I think. Some could use some tweaking. The afternoon was difficult because some of my students are DONE with their stories, and others are just beginning. They're due (in drafts) tomorrow. So we had supposed 'silent sustained writing' time, with me conferencing with those students who are finished. This wasn't entirely successful. Middle schoolers after 8 hours at school, "managing" their time. You can imagine. But the one on one was good, I think. I hope I'm making suggestions without overly steering them.
After another food court dinner (wisma atria again)... noodles and "pick out your toppings" all boiled together in a common brew, snacks (kopi, local candies, asian pear)... I think it's back to lesson planning. adieu...