Uncle Nate Visits Singapore

I’ve contemplated how to write this post since a month ago. I’ve gone through the pictures multiple times trying to figure out how to piece it together in a concise manner. And I’ve had the beginnings of the post written for several days. I have come to this conclusion:
We had too much fun with Uncle Nate to be able to share it all with you!

Maybe, some day I’ll get around to putting pictures together in a booklet like we did for our last visitors. One can hope, right? But I digress. I am going to try to pick my favorite snippets from his stay. Here goes:

Meeting Uncle Nate

For someone that has quite a few uncles, Gideon had to wait a while before he actually met one of them in person. Actually, he had waited his whole life, until finally at the beginning of last month, he met one!

It was Gidoen’s mommy who first spotted him at the airport.

Spotted (only in the number one airport in the world)!

Spotted (only in the number one airport in the world)!

The wary traveler looked great for having just completed his first flight(s) (except for one when he was Gideon’s age)! Since it was in the wee hours of the morning when he arrived, we went straight home and to bed. Consequently, Gideon was actually asleep for his arrival. But he was more than happy to meet him the next morning.

Happy to meet his Uncle Nate!

Happy to meet his Uncle Nate!

It didn’t take long for the little guy to warm up to his cool uncle.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Most of the ice cream cart vendors will sell ice cream sandwiches served two ways: in between two wafer biscuits or using real bread for the sandwich part! I’ve tried a lot of things here in Singapore, a lot of ice cream too… but I haven’t had a ice cream sandwich that way. Well, it wasn’t long (second day of his visit) before we were out and about and stopped to offer him an ice cream sandwich. The adventuresome traveler readily tried the “Singapore” way.

Trying the Singapore Ice Cream Sandwich

Trying the Singapore Ice Cream Sandwich

I have to say that I really enjoyed the bit he shared with me. I would even order it again, this time without being so skeptical. But, the Randles played it safe and shared a cone from McD’s.

Playing it safe (if all be it messy)

Playing it safe (if all be it messy)

Boggle – Phlegm

There is a long standing tradition in the Czebotar household of playing boggle against each other. Unfortunately, the tradition doesn’t work so well in the Randles household. (Let’s just say, the brainy PhD guy doesn’t find Boggle quite the right application for his mad skills 😉 ). In any case, I jumped at the opportunity to play with someone who would enjoy the game.

On night during his visit, my brother accepted my invitation and we started playing with rigor right away. A few games in we were going over our word list and my brother calls out “Flem.”

I responded, “Ummm, I think Phlegm has a G in it.” (There wasn’t a G on the board that round.)

To which he outrageously shouted, “WHAT!? HOW IN THE WORLD DOES “FLEM” HAVE A G IN IT?”

We proceeded to use the dictionary to find out two things:

  1. Phlegm (the meaning he was thinking of) does in fact have a G in it.
  2. Flem (what he spelt) does have the same meanings as Flemish.

After several rounds, it was getting late, so I said we should call it a night. My brother was dismayed that he hadn’t won a round. I was shocked, sure that he had won a round. We went through and double checked the scores. His hunch was right – he hadn’t. I felt bad, especially since I had been thoroughly enjoying his company and had thought he was doing quite well. (This is why people give up playing Boggle with me… <sigh>)

Bro and Sis (picture from another night)

Bro and Sis (picture from another night)

A treasured memory with my bro nonetheless.

The Iconic Sights

You can not have a brother who has a Masters in architecture who visits you in Singapore and not visit the awesome architectural sites that have become so iconic! It’s like the fourth law of physics … or something.

Anyways, among the many cool places we took him to see we saw the Marina Bay Sands and the Gardens by the Bay – both next to each other – on separate days.

I think his shirt was an accurate statement.x

On the Sky Walk on the trees of the Gardens By the Bay in front of the Marina Bay Sands building… I think his shirt was an accurate statement.

We had to take a group shot!

We had to take a group shot!

GIdeon enjoying crawling around with the magnificent tree sculptures overhead.

GIdeon enjoying crawling around with the magnificent tree sculptures overhead.

Looking up at the biggest cantilever building in the world. (Correct me if I'm wrong, bro!)

Looking up at the biggest cantilever building in the world. (Correct me if I’m wrong, bro!)

At the top of Marina Bay Sands on the cantilever.

At the top of Marina Bay Sands on the cantilever.

MacRitchie Reservoir

While I prepared cakes for a baby shower, the guys all went to MacRitchie Reservoir for a hike. I was a bit jealous as we hadn’t gone since right after moving to Singapore, and I had been hoping to see it again. But I was grateful they went together and had fun. It was one of the highlights for Andrew of the visit with his brother-in-law.

Andrew enjoying the hike (and Gideon zonked out)

Andrew (and Gideon zonked out) at the Tree Top Bridge

And Nathan was glad that he got to see wild monkeys during their walk in the jungle.

Monkey spotted! (There were more too!)

Monkey spotted! (There were more too!)

Durian

I’m ashamed to say it, but we had lived in Singapore for over 2 years and never tried “Singapore’s National Fruit.” In our defense, every time someone would offer it we would ask if they liked it. Maybe just the wrong people were offering, but they would always demonstrate a face of disgust and say, “No.” So, we were intimidated, even by the people who said we should try it. And then there’s the smell – which is a bit indescribable but oh, so potent!

In any case, we figured we should do it while we had a visitor. We also figured it would be safer to try a cream puff with durian flavored cream inside.

It looks unassuming.

It looks unassuming.

Oh. My.

One of the worst things I have ever tasted in my life. And I am not trying to be dramatic. It was just that bad. I normally try to finish what I put in my mouth, but I could not. The trash received what we had put in our mouths. Even Gideon the Garbage Disposal wouldn’t eat it.

And his reaction wasn't as bad as his parents'!

And his reaction wasn’t as bad as his parents’!

To Nathan’s credit, he willingly tried it, and didn’t have the same visceral reaction that we did!

A friend later informed me that she thought there were two styles of durian, sweet and bitter. If that information is indeed true, there is no doubt we had the bitter kind. Perhaps there is a better variety out there? But I am unsure if we would have the courage to try it again.

But don’t worry. That was the only “sour” point during our visit together. We really had a blast with my brother and are so glad the Lord made it possible for him to visit. If anyone else comes to visit, we’ll try to make their visit half as fun (trying Durian is optional). 🙂

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One response to “Uncle Nate Visits Singapore

  1. Glad it was a memorable visit; phlegm, durian, and all!

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