IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
I have always been interested in history, and anyone who knows me knows what a massive sentimentalist I am. Family history is particularly interesting to me, I love discovering little things that make me go "wow"! My Mum passed away in 2014 in the UK, after living for 50 years in the same cottage in Dunham Massey, Cheshire. She left behind some interesting items, photos, cards, etc that she had "saved," this in itself fascinated me, wish I could ask why she chose to keep the things she did. Perhaps I am like my Mum in more ways than one, because instead of tossing them, I stuffed them into a suitcase and brought back home to Virginia so I could take a closer look. I briefly went through them initially, but not in any great detail, and they have been sitting in the cupboard, waiting for me. Just recently, I decided to take a closer look (have to admit that this was spurred on by watching an episode of Marie Kondo's Tidying Up!!) and discovered a bag full of postcards that she had kept. Upon looking even closer, I found that some of these postcards were very old, the oldest dating back to 1905!! Yes, you read that correctly, 1905!!
After almost 8 years, the Singapore adventure is coming to a close. I started my blog soon after arriving in the Little Red Dot, back in March 2011. I thought it would be a great way to share photos and experiences with family and friends, also a way to document our trips. I was completely new to blogging, having never done anything like it before. It’s funny to look back at my early posts, and see how much I have learnt, and hopefully improved, but I still consider myself an amateur. I have learnt a lot though over the past 8 years, and not just about blogging. My time in Singapore has given me great insight into different cultures, and lifestyles, a definite melting pot here. Living in a small high rise apartment in the middle of Singapore’s Central business district has definitely been a far cry from my home with acreage just outside Leesburg, VA.
Leesburg is expanding all the time, with new restaurants and businesses coming to the town, as well as to Loudoun County. We have great restaurants, tons of wineries and breweries in the area, plus music events, charitable events, parks and nature too! So it goes without saying that there are lots of great Facebook groups to follow which keep me up to date on what's happening.
Chinese New Year is always a fun and busy time in Singapore. Chinatown is bustling with people, and always festively decorated. Lots of traditions are observed, some old, some a little bit newer. Case in point is the Yusheng, or Prosperity Salad Toss. Typically only found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia at CNY, this salad toss was contemporized in the 1960's by four Singapore Master Chefs, known as the "Four Heavenly Kings", and is intended to symbolize health and prosperity. In the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year, Yusheng will be offered at restaurants throughout Singapore. You can even buy Yusheng "kits" in the supermarkets. The salad mainly consists of raw fish, usually salmon, pomelo or lime, shredded vegetables such as carrot, radish and daikon, with a dressing made up of plum sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. All this is topped off with crackers of some kind. Each ingredient symbolizes different things. For example, the fish is abundance, Pomelo or Lime is auspicious value, the vegetables for luck, eternal youth, prosperity in business. The oil is poured around the salad to encourage "money to flow in all directions", the plum sauce is to give you sweet life, the golden crackers symbolize "gold and wealth". The server will add each ingredient to the salad at the table, along with new year greetings and wishes. The fun part is the "toss". Participants stand up and with super long chopsticks will toss the salad high into the air, whilst reciting their wishes for the coming year or shouting "Lo Hei", tossing up good fortune.
For the last 6 years in Singapore, I have been fortunate to be a member of the American Women's Association. It's a great group of women from all over the World, and there are many great activities, volunteer opportunities and social events to take part in. Today, was the first of the monthly Dish and Dine events for 2018. Every month we experience a different venue. Today, we enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Meta on Keong Saik Road. It was a lot of fun to sit at the counter and see the Chefs preparing the dishes.
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