We have lived in Singapore for almost 10 months now so I thought it would be a good time to talk about some things that I don’t think I will ever get used to about living here. I’ve left out the obvious stuff like being away from friends and family. It’s not all negative Nancy, I’ll do a post soon about all of the things that I love about Singapore.
Things That I’m Still Not Used to About Singapore
The ‘cold’ tap water comes out of the tap at 30°C. The ambient temperature in Singapore is so constantly hot that the tap water never has a chance to get ‘cold.’ When we were in Canberra a couple of months back, I would get a shock at how cold the water was every time I turned the tap on to wash my hands.
The gas burners in our kitchen. They are full on. Every time I turn them on I’m afraid I will singe my arm hairs. I guess because of cooking with a wok, kitchens have the need to have a higher flame, but they are so high, that I struggle to get a low enough flame. I assume Australia has some kind of safety standard on how strong a gas burner flame is and if that is indeed the case, the Singaporean ones would never pass the safety measures.
Buying deodorant and having to check to make sure it’s not ‘whitening.’ I’m pale enough thanks and I have no desire for my armpits to be more white. Weird.
The high price of cook books. I haven’t bought a single cook book in Singapore (I tell a lie, I bought a Lauduree one as a present for someone) they are so expensive! Lucky I have a stash from home.
People walk really slowly and are prone to just suddenly stop so that if you are behind them you almost run into them. People also don’t walk in lines. The best example of this is the walkway that you take if you want to transfer from the green line to the purple line at Outram Park train station. There are 4 arrows on the ground indicating where you should walk depending on which way you are going and people just walk all over the place including directly into you. That walkway gives me RAGE.
The rent. We were prepared for it so we knew how much it would cost but if anyone asks about the cost of living in Singapore, the first thing I mention is the exorbitant amount that they can expect to pay on rent.
Meeting someone for the first time and they first thing they ask you is ‘where are you from?’ Singapore is full of expats, I’ve never had such a multicultural group of friends in my life. And connected to that, I’m not used to how bogan I sound when I say ‘Australia.’ I try so hard to enunciate it properly but I always feel like I’m saying ‘straya.’
The *ahem* personal etiquette of some people. Ok, so I’m not saying that you will see things like this everywhere in Singapore and if you are just visiting you probably won’t see it at all, but in 10 months I have seen: a man plucking his chin hairs on the train, a lady trimming her cuticles on public transport, multiple people spitting on the foot path, a young woman applying her make up for the day using only the samples at Sephora and a lady do a very audible fart while sitting on the seat next to me on the train. I saw her lift her thigh slightly and lean to the side. She knew it was coming. I think that’s that most shocked I’ve been in a long time. Oh and don’t forget the burping. So much loud, deep burping.
The bread is sweet. Not just the BreadTalk-style sweet, white bread but even the loaves of wholemeal bread that you buy at the supermarket have noticeable amounts of sugar in them. It is possible to get good, grainy bread but it’s not as simple as going to the supermarket like it is in Aus. What I would give for some Helga’s Soy and Linseed bread…yum. These wholemeal savoury muffins will do for now though.
I used rocket, pine nuts, Parmesan and fresh rosemary to flavour my muffins but you could really add any flavourings you like to the wholemeal base. Basil, semi sun dried tomatoes and black olives would also be great, as would ham and cheese.
I love these muffin liners. They look like something you would see in a cafe. You don’t have to use liners though, if your muffin tray is non-stick then just grease it well and you should be fine.
I love the flavour, texture and the health benefits of wholemeal but this will work with just normal plain flour too.
Chop the fresh rosemary quite fine so that it is not woody or substitute with dried rosemary, but use a little less if you do, as the flavour can be more intensified in dried rosemary.
I forgot to take a photo of the rocket (oops) but you can just chop it finely or use scissors to snip it into approximately 1 cm long pieces.
A great snack or lunch box treat. We ate some fresh but I also individually wrapped some in plastic wrap and froze them for future snacks.
Wholemeal Savoury Muffins with Rosemary, Rocket and Pine Nuts
Ingredients – Makes 12 standard sized muffins
- 2 cups of wholemeal flour
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup of milk
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- ½ cup of pine nuts
- 1 tbs of finely chopped, fresh rosemary
- 2 tbs of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup of rocket that has been cut into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a standard sized muffin tray with muffin liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add the eggs, milk and olive oil and stir until just combined.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients but be careful not to overwork the batter.
- Place equal amounts of the batter into the cupcake liners so that they are about 2/3 full and then bake in the oven for 14 minutes or until cooked through.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before eating warm or letting cool completely on a wire rack.
- Muffins keep well in the fridge overnight and also freeze well.