Singapore – From my eyes II

In the past 5 decades, Singapore has come really far. From a small island expelled from Malaysia in 1965, giving it an unwanted independence, it has become one of the world’s most successful countries in merely 52 years. If you sit and chat with the elderly, they will tell you about slums they used to live in during the earlier years of independence. Today, Singapore has the highest home ownership in the world. Almost 90% of all Singaporeans live in their own homes. A huge success on its own. It has grown from a third world country to a first world country faster than any other in the world.

Tourism is one important factor in the massive economic growth of Singapore. So a country a lot of people did not even know about in the 90s is now one of the favourite tourist spots in the world. It welcomes the fourth largest number of tourists when compared to any other city in the world. Although it has no ‘rich’ history or heritage to boast about as its a new country with no mountains, no desserts and no changing weathers through out the year, nearly every thing had to be built from scratch to attract tourists.

So if you are planning a short trip to a city in Asia, do consider Singapore.

I will be doing a series of posts with a few recommendations of must see/visit places and things to do while here in Singapore, starting with Sentosa.

Why?

Because its Sentosa 🙂

I don’t think anyone who visits Singapore leaves out Sentosa. It’s a must!

The itinerary I’m sharing with you will need to 2-3 days. You can stay at one of the hotels at Sentosa for the best experience.

You can reach sentosa in a cable car and start by paying a visit to the mythical 37 meters high majestic Merlion and see for yourself how it safeguards the shores of Singapore as the legend goes.

Then move onto the luge. They claim no one does it once and they are not wrong. We go to sentosa almost every month and we buy a 3-time ticket per visit. Its just a lot of fun.

You can then visit IFly and experience skydiving in a especially designed air tunnel while never really jumping out of an air plane. If you acrophobic like me, this is for you as you would never actually be flying too high up from the ground. 

If you are still not tired and adventurous enough, you can zip across South East Asia’s steepest zip wire, do a treetop obstacle rope course, do wall climbing or a 15 m free fall. And then you can end the day with the majestic light, laser and water show ‘Wings of Time’.

If you are travelling with kids, let the kids spend the day at Kidzania while you can have a snooze at one of the beaches or experience flow boarding at the Wave House. If that’s not enough, there is also The Butterfly and Insect Kingdom to explore the various different kinds of beautiful butterflies. And dont forget to drop by Madame Tussaud to meet your favourite celebrities. 

*The pictures are not mine, all taken from official websites of the respective attractions.

Advertisements

Singapore – From my eyes I

Those who know me personally, know quite well that I love and respect Singapore a lot. Although I am not a citizen myself, I find myself defending Singapore every where I go and with every one I speak to.

I first visited Singapore in 1995 as a tourist and while travelling back from Singapore I made a little innocent wish of being able to visit Singapore again. I never knew that I will get married to someone 4 years later who lives in here. I moved here in 2009 after I got married and 8 years later, its become home now. Yes, I love pakistan but I respect singapore deeply.

In this post I will only speak about cultural and religious freedom that I have here.

_20170425_122217

Singapore is a multi cultural country with people of all religions living with harmony. It’s main languages are English, Chinese, Malay Bhasa and Tamil and the citizens comprise mainly  of Chinese, Malay and Indian origin. The main religions here are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism and there people from all religions are allowed to practice their own religion in their own way as long as they do not interfere in any one else’s practices.

I have spent a chunk of my childhood in UAE and some time in UK for my studies. Although I have never really faced serious bullying in my life directed particularly towards me but I have been called ‘Bloody Paki’ and treated as an inferior muslim for being a pakistani Muslim rather than being an Arab. But a lot of people might be unaware but I’m protected by law in Singapore against such discriminations. No one can call me names due to the way I look (the color of my eyes, my hair or my height can’t be commented upon), I can roam around in shalwar kameez the whole day without being worried about someone being judgemental,  I can sue someone if their dog touches me (yes, this muslim sensitivity against dogs is highly regarded), halal food is readily available and I can even pray publicly in a park without being stared at. Also, the Muslim laws of marriage and inheritance are being looked upon by the Sharia courts of law.

And the best thing about living in Singapore is that we have lots of public holidays too: 2 each for each of the 4 main religions which also ensures that we do not have to worry about going to work on Eid day 🙂

* the beautiful picture of Sultan Masjid is not mine but taken off the Internet. Sultan Masjid might be the most famous masjid of Singapore as it’s a popular tourist destination but there are lots an lots of masjids and some of them very beautiful and majestic in terms of their architecture. The Islamic schools (medrasaa) are in abundance too masha Allah.

 

 

 

Meethi Tikya

What an absurd title for a blog post…isn’t it? At least it might seem like it if you have read my posts seven years ago :p

So anyway, I spoke with 2-3 of my friends from my blogging days and they all told me I should be blogging again. So Ithought about it and decided not to blog as currently I’m ‘too busy’ and have my ‘hands full’ with other more important stuff. But then I thought that seven years ago, I was quite busy too in my life too but I still made it a point to blog 3-4 times a  week. I can totally do 1-2 posts every week now. So after a hiatus of almost two years, here is another post.

So yea, this post is about the lovely snack meethi Tikya. I have beautiful childhood memories of this mouthwatering snack. My Nani used to make it us quite often. And today I decided to make it for my fussy kids hoping that they would eat a little.

Recipe:

Take 3/4 cup milk in a pan and heat with 1 cup sugar till all the sugar dissolves. Then add 4 table spoons of butter and melt it probably. In a separate bowl take 2 cups white flour and 1/4 cup sooji kneed it using the milk mixture. The dough should not be too soft or runny. Leave the dough to rest for 1-2 hours. Then roll it thick (around a 1/4 inch) with a rolling pin and cut using your favorite cookie cutter. Deep fry till golden brown.

Enjoy with milk or tea 🙂

DSC_0473

K will go to school

Time flies.
My little K is now a big girl. Over 3 years of age masha allah. potty trained. capable of proper conversations over manicure sessions.
and now also big enough for school alhamdulilah.
we did not look around too much for the school. all we needed was a preschool that will be good enough to prepare for a local school.
we started looking online for preschools. our criteria was simple:
1. river valley road so that pick and drop will be easy.
2. local singaporean management so that K will study in ‘local’environment rather than international so that it will be easy for her to adjust in primary school
3. fees. ofcourse.
after spending few days on phone and internet we finalized 3 preschools to visit and after visiting all 3 of them we finally chose Little Skoolhouse International for the following reasons:
1. friendly principal
2. owned by ntuc
3. fees is not too low but not too high as well
4. teachers seemed friendly and caring
5. children looked happy and well taken care of
so we are now done with registration. K’s uniform should be with us in a few days. we just need to buy a water bottle, a school bag and a small towel. and oh yea i need to order name tags.
because the countdown has begun already 🙂

Confused?

I find it really interesting when I read some of the questions by Muslims all around the world like, “Is nail polish allowed?” or “Can I wear heels?” or “Can I get my eye brows done?” and the best of all, “Can the color of my hijab/jilbab/abaya be other than black?”

Oh well, arent we making our lives too difficult? Is Islam really supposed to be so confusing and difficult to practice?

I wouldnt say that questions like these do not bother me. After all I am a hijabi woman and I end up questioning my modesty pretty much every day. Islam teaches us one basic rule of thumb when it comes to questions like these: Muslim women are supposed to adorn themselves only for their husbands and for no one else. In addition to that, women should always look like women and not men. Ah, this makes life so much easier. On the contrary, it doesnt. We all know that being decked up with make up and jewelry is hardly practical while making chapatis. You see it gets really hot in the kitchen and it after all aint very comfortable to be wearing well fitted clothes when you can instead be lazing around in ur old PJs once you are done with your household chores. So, I am one of those lucky women who actually dont get dressed up for their husbands and get away with it by saying, “its too hot.” Now u cant blame me because it actually is always really hot and humid in singapore…so hot that most people prefer to remain half naked! So now that I dont adorn myself for my husband, what do I do wen I go out? Simple, not wear heels which make too much noise or wear so much perfume so as not to attract gazes from the opposite gender. I do not wear gothic make up and nor do I wear flourescent colored hijabs. And yes, I do get my eye brows done…remember, I am supposed to look like a woman, not a man! I remain simple but simplicity does not mean I have to look hideous. A little make up wont make me the most gorgeous woman in singapore, neither would a delicate bracelet make men think of me as sex goddess!

PS: I am not a scholar and am not trying to be one either. The above is simply my opinion which I have made over the years by reading various texts. My opinion might be wrong and might even change over time. If you intend to follow any of what I have written, please do not blame me on the Day of Qayamah 😀

Random Update

I always hated the rains in Karachi because all they did was flooding the streets, converting them into city wide swimming pools, killed a few innocent people because they by mistake touched an electric pole and power failures for as long 15 hours. Now obviously this has nothing to do with rain itself but the way the infrastructure of the place is. Things got a lot better cuz of CDGK but they were still far from perfect. Its different here. The world doesnt come to a halt with rain and I find that quite impressive.

So, anyway, things are pretty much fine other than the fact that I am, for some reason, not being able to do anything for controlling my weight. If you are a guy and reading this post, dun worry, the rest of the post will not be about this. Just crossed my mind and I just kinda typed it ‘in the flow.’ 😛

Oh, btw, I have been missing PD. She used to do some really interesting posts and now that she has stopped blogging, I dont even know why she has deleted the blog completely. She has deleted her old blog too which had some really really good posts which could in fact be used for later references.

As for me, nothing really new. I am completely wailee as you mite like to put it. I have applied at some places for work, no luck so far. Its a bit frustrating in a way not to be able to do anything especially wen u have the time and the opportunity. Or perhaps I should say the opportunity is not really there.

Blog Recommendation

Here are two blogs which I have found quite interesting. You might like to check them out:

Muslim Reverie

Organica

Happy Reading 🙂

And wasnt it really true to the name of the post…as random as it could get 😉

Getting back to normalcy

It actually makes me feel better that both Hira and Minerva are pretty much going through the same emotional transition as me even though we are living in 3 different countries in completely different circumstances. The only thing that we have in common is that we all got married last year.

Being married changes pretty much everything in your life…including your name in most cases and thus your identity as a person in the society. The roles change dramatically and all of a sudden you are required to be the perfect housewife who cooks, cleans and looks good too. Your own life takes the backseat and the biggest dream of your life goes down the priority list….perhaps vanishes. Not because you are being forced by anyone but that is something that you just dont find the most important thing in your life anymore. You just want to be sure that your family life doesnt suffer and you make all the compromises you can think of. Alhamdulillah my husband is being very supportive and patient in this regard, he is definitely trying his best helping me adjust, while he is adjusting himself.

I am sure men make a lot of compromises too. Their responsibilities, especially financially, increase and they have to learn to ‘save up’ for the family that they have now and will have. Obviously they have the advantage of continuing their job in the same working environment, living in the same house and not carrying babies within themselves for 9 months. And thus, perhaps, do not have to face a lot of emotional transitions as newly wedded women.

I know this is a type of post that doesnt belong to this blog as such but I guess I would do it here because I realized its not as personal as I thought it was. All newly wedded women feel pretty much the same way as me. So, for now, I’l just try to settle in my new lifestyle but I seriously need to keep myself busy. Getting a job mite help perhaps.