God-encounters and the other things I loved about my Singapore trip

My trip to Singapore last week was filled with blessings. :)

Here are the top 5 things I loved about Singapore, in no particular order:

1) THE FOOD!

Hainanese Chicken Rice, some scallop-and-noodle dish, and cereal prawns at Boon Tong Kee on River Valley Road, kaya toast and coffee and a Milo Dinosaur at Toast Box, laksa (anywhere), Food Republic at Wisma Atria, prime rib at Lawry’s, everything at Marché and PS.Cafe…I can go on and on! You can’t possibly run out of food choices in Singapore.

2) THE TREES and PARKS

I love that Singapore has trees all over the city! And when it came to parks, I actually had a difficult time choosing which ones to go to because they had so many to choose from. My friend, Eric, recommended Fort Canning Park, which is right across Clarke Quay. I liked that it’s accessible because it’s right in the middle of the city, but it’s also really peaceful. It was a great place to run! I also checked out the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. When you get there, there are already monkeys roaming around and waiting to welcome you. I liked seeing the Hindhede Quarry, but I was kind of underwhelmed with the Bukit Timah Summit Peak. But more on that story next time (rest assured, it ended well!).

3) THE TAXI DRIVERS

If there was an award for the country with the friendliest cab drivers in the world, Singapore wins it! One night, a cab driver gave us a discount on the fare because he was in a good mood. He said, “You’re my first customers for the night, and I also just won a karaoke championship!” —and he instantly pulled out his sparkling new trophy! We broke out into applause and took his picture. Love it! :)

4) SPENDING TIME WITH OLD FRIENDS AND MEETING NEW ONES

I’ve heard some people say that Singapore can be a lonely place, but I think that applies to any place in the world where you don’t have friends. I’m fortunate that I got to travel with a group of friends that I love very much: my high school friends! We all vowed to take our first out-of-the-country trip together before one of us gets married…and that’s how we ended up in Singapore. :) It’s cool how one of our friends who’s based in Australia was able to fly in to meet us, and one of our friends who was on vacation in the Philippines from Boston came with us as well. When my high school friends left on Sunday morning, I got to meet up with Pauline (my second cousin), Bianca (former small group member), Pau (one of my best friends from way back) and other friends at the Sunday service at Every Nation. It’s also awesome to be part of a spiritual family…I just instantly felt at home!

5) GOD-ENCOUNTERS

Every time I go on a trip, I always pray to encounter God in new and fresh ways. I felt Him when I was walking and killing time at the Esplanade, and I happened to walk in on a sound check for a jazz performance. The singer (Juliet Pang) and pianist (James Yeo) were performing jazz standards…and I love standards! The music felt like a big warm hug. I felt Him when I was walking in Fort Canning Park, and someone was practicing some beautiful melodies on the piano in one of the studios inside Fort Canning Centre. I felt Him when I saw the leaves floating and falling around me. Most of all, there was this moment…

I remember I went out for a run on one of the mornings, and I made a wrong turn. I found myself heading down a street of construction sites. Instead of turning back, I decided to just turn on the next corner. One of the construction sites was fenced in, as expected, and the name of the property developer was displayed on the outside. I can’t remember what the name of the company was, but what struck me and spoke to me that morning was what was printed underneath:

THE CREATOR THAT HAS NO LIMITS.

I wish I had a camera with me; I would’ve taken a photo. I forget sometimes, but I know this is true: my Creator has no limits.

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived—
these things God has prepared for those who love him.”

-1 Corinthians 2:9

I don’t know about you, but I feel that 2010 is going to be an epic year. What do you think? :)

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