We flew from China to Singapore for a few days before beginning our trip through Thailand. At first glance, it looked very modern and very western. There were tall sky scrapers creating the skyline of the city, taxi’s driving through the streets and most people spoke at least some English. There was however a very strong Asian influence on the cuisine. By the time we got through the airports and took a taxi to our hotel…it was late so we checked in and went straight to bed.
After our nice long sleep-in this morning, Giff went looking around for food, we skipped dinner last night since we were traveling and were starving when we woke up. I stayed in the room with my foot up giving my ankle as much healing time as possible before we arrive in Thailand which is where we are scheduled to go on a trek through the mountains! Giff went scouting the streets for his first time in Singapore and came back with all kinds of fun noodle dishes. I know he is getting tired of searching for food by himself…but he is very good at it! He always comes back with so many different things to taste and test out.
After lunch, we both spent most of the day in the hotel room…catching up on internet, watching TV and just having a lazy day. By the time dinner rolled around…I was wanting to get out of the room but continued keeping my foot up while Giff went back out to take a walk around and find dinner for us. He again found all kinds of yummy options of various noodles and soups. He also came back with some seriously delicious cookies and bean curd (don’t knock it until you try it…it is infused with vanilla and baked in a gram cracker type crust.). He found this deliciousness in a bakery near our hotel called, Le Cafe Confectionary & Pastry (www.lecafe.com.sg). As he was walking down the sidewalk, this little cafe just begged him to come in. There were all kinds of ads from tons of newspapers and magazines, both English and Chinese highlighting the various treats to try. The owner saw Giff taking pictures and looking around…she approached him, not speaking English but using the universal language of food. She handed him a bean curd tartlet and watched as his eyes lit up…she gave him another and told him to bring it home to his wife (yay). She also had him try cookies which somehow didn’t make it home for me to try but from what I heard they were also amazing. Giff bought a few things from her, took more pictures and thanked her for all the attention. We laid out all the food and got busy stuffing our faces. I think we will have to make another visit to that bakery! Giff said the streets were buzzing with people walking around and the restaurants were full…it was a big city but not overwhelming and seemed to have a lot to offer. We found a movie since there were plenty of English-speaking channels and relaxed in the room for the evening.
Published by Brandey Kabat
What I like: Dark chocolate, yoga, fresh squeezed juice, laughing, hiking, wine, travel, food, lush products, being warm, having long hair, the ritual of drinking something hot first thing in the morning…
What I don’t like: When people smell their fingers, pushing elevator buttons, confrontational situations, not being able to fall asleep quickly at bedtime…
Most random job ever: Plastic surgery consultant
As for my love life: I met my husband mid way through my junior year in college, as soon as I laid my eyes on him I was attracted to him. In fact, I made the first move which was a bit out of character but there was something about him…probably the fact that he was smokin’ hot!!
Where from and where to: I grew up in NY, went to college at The Ohio State University and then headed to CA after graduation. My boyfriend (Giff) and I had a map, a borrowed van and used stuff from his mom’s basement aka a vacuum, silverware, old Christmas ornaments etc., and about $1000 each. We thought it would be a good idea to head straight to CA since neither of us had been. Being we didn’t know anyone there nor did we have a job or job interviews set up or a place to live…I would say we did it the hard way! However with a bit of help from Giff’s mom who flew out to put us up in a hotel, bought me a suit for interviewing and co-signed a lease to get us a place to live we eventually found jobs and an apartment and have been in CA for 10 years.
Our story: After moving out to CA and living together for about 3 years we got engaged. He popped the question while down on one knee on the beach at sunset after we finished our picnic he had packed of bread, cheese, shrimp cocktail and wine. He even had the ring in a box that had a light shining down on it when opened so as it was getting dark, this amazing man was asking me to be his wife as he handed me a huge rock…Yes! Yes! Yes!
In 2005 we were married (I am biased but our wedding was absolutely amazing). By the end of 2005 we were new home owners. 2006-2009- we were both happily married, attached to our 3 cats and were focused on building our careers.
Giff and I got pregnant mid year 2009 with our first baby but what should have been one of the highlights of our life was soon distracted by the news I received at the doctor’s office.
The lump in my breast that had been dismissed the year before as nothing was now being diagnosed by a different doctor as breast cancer. Thankfully Giff is a persistent person and when we went in for our ultrasound (to hear our baby’s heartbeat) he brought up the request for testing to be done on the lump rather than dismissing it based on feeling it.
The going gets rough: Things began to move so quickly at that point, it was hard to breathe. I was 30, pregnant with my first child and going into surgery to remove breast cancer. I was about to go through what would be the worst year of my life. The plan had been discussed, we were going with the most aggressive regimen possible- double mastectomy, port surgically placed in my chest, chemotherapy, drug therapy and radiation. We also had to terminate the pregnancy. This cancer was estrogen positive and the hormones were actually feeding the cancer. That little angel whom was the cause of our going into the doctor saved my life.
Giff was my rock through every step…interviewing a team of the best doctors, memorizing which medicines I needed to take and when, driving me to chemotherapy and sitting next to me while I was so scared, telling me I was beautiful when I was bald, and so many other things…words cannot express. When you say your vows, in sickness and in health…you would never guess sickness of this magnitude at this age would be in the near future. In addition to this hardship, Giff’s dad died of a complicated prostate cancer the day we came home from my surgery. I could not hold my husband as he mourned for his dad because of the pain I was in from the mastectomy. How did Giff handle all of this pain at one time? How was he so strong for me? He is amazing. Giff’s dad was one of those people whom you naturally wanted to be around…his smile was contagious, his love for life was invigorating and he listened so intently when you talked in a conversation with him. He made you feel special. We think about him often and will miss him so much.
My family and friends were also by my side…my mom flying out from NY several times to help us with cooking and cleaning and holding my hand. It must be one of the most awful things in the world to watch your baby girl be diagnosed with breast cancer. My girlfriends also flew out to take care of me and help with anything they could. Other friends living closer would come by just to sit and talk or watch movies. There were so many cards, letters, flowers, cookies, and other gifts that came from all over the country. It’s amazing to have such great people in my life. In addition to my amazing circle of friends and family, there were the strangers with whom crossed our path. Whether it was a letter in the mail from a breast cancer survivor, the anesthesiologist who called Giff during my surgery crying happy tears that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes, or our fertility doctor who promised to watch over our frozen embryos as if they were her own. There were so many small gestures that made such a big impact on our lives.
Looking at the bright side: Thankfully this was caught in stage 1, had it been caught a year prior by the first doctor I had gone into about the lump, it may have been caught at stage 0. Please learn from my lesson…insist the lump be tested – a lump cannot be diagnosed by touch. They were able to cut all the cancer out and after I finish the entire regimen including a pill I take over the next 5 years, they said there is a 95% chance the cancer will never come back.
Our exciting future: We’ve decided to re-prioritize, we are taking 400 days starting February 7th of 2011 to travel the world! We will travel to new places, eat new foods, taste new wines and meet new people. We will focus on healing ourselves both physically and mentally. This will be one of the best years of our lives.
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One Reply to “Day 294-295 of 400: Singapore”
I MISS YOU! WHEN ARE YOU COMING THIS WAY?? IS YOUR FOOT HEALING – CAN YOU TELL? HOW ARE YOU GOING TO “TREK THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS”. i SO WORRY ABOUT YOU, BUT THE FOOD SOUNDS DELIGHTFUL!
YOU ARE HAVING A GRAND TIME, GIFF SCOUTING AROUND TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR WIFE fed! What a man! Steve would love to do this..
Be safe and get well soon! We love you! I am recovering once again from acute bronchitis. Hailee just got over the chicken pox and Jordan has walking pneumonia!!