Monday, July 28, 2014

Cafe Hopping: The Marshmallow Tree

The Marshmallow Tree is a cafe with a perfect name. Who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon at a place dedicated to marshmallows?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Snapshot, Part 2: America's pasttime

I'm back in the States! And just in time, with summer sports already in full swing. Here in Chicago, a game called 16-inch softball is a huge hit, with adult leagues filling up baseball diamonds throughout town. My neighborhood was overflowing with spectators, who turned the event into a giant BBQ and brewfest. It's good to be back.

Sunday Snapshot: Last meal in Singapore

My final meal in Singapore took place last week at 3AM at Changi Airport. This is the traditional Singaporean breakfast - kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs with soy sauce, and tea (or "teh," in the local lingo). Food has been a central part of my abroad experience, and I'll certainly miss this daily combo.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Kabuki by the Bay

Last night, the Asian Civilisations Museum threw a big cultural fest along the Singapore River, dubbed "River Nights." There was food, music, and these four kabuki dancers, representing the four cultures that all share Singapore as home. Awesome way to close out my time in Singapore. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cafe Hopping: Strangers' Reunion

One of my favorite places in Singapore, Strangers' Reunion serves up an Australian cafe experience with a lively crowd, tasty food, and excellent coffee. I have a particular soft spot for Strangers, as it was the first cafe that I stumbled into here. My student hostel was a 10 minute walk down the road, and it was here that I wrapped up some applications that I procrastinated on during last summer. But that's another story.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Dog days of summer

My dogsitting duties in Singapore are done, as these two pals have made it back safely to the States. Their incessant barking and licking will be missed, even if they tended to do these things at 3AM every now and then.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Children of Laos

Photos of Laos, now featuring the kids. These were taken all over, from rural farms and Buddhist temples to busy city centres. Almost none of them were camera-shy; they only wanted to see the shot (of themselves) after I had taken the shot. By and large, the children were given lots of freedom to walk around and explore during the day, as their parents were usually busy in the fields or working elsewhere. Their curiosity and openness made my encounters with them incredibly memorable.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The People of Laos

Along with Vietnam, I was able to spend some time in its western neighbor, Laos. Its people rely heavily on farming to get by, as the country is one of the least industrialized places in the world. Even so, the scenery is absolutely stunning and the local hospitality made it one of my favorite countries that I've visited.

All of these pictures, again, hide a story. The picture above is a perfect example. The father, with newborn baby in arm and daughter at his side, tends to the kids while the wife works away at making paper in the background. They generously allowed us into their home, but who knows what struggles they undertook to build it in the first place.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Communist Calisthenics

An evening walk along the riverfront in Vientiane, Laos brought me to this amazing scene - a giant group of people performing coordinated exercises, right beneath the waving Communist colors. Stretching for the greater social good has never been so hip.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Children of Vietnam

I also got plenty of photos of the little ones in Vietnam. The kids were unbelievably friendly, and were tons of fun to play and laugh with. My hope is that these shots, along with pictures from my last post, give some insight into the vibrancy of life within this fascinating country.