Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.


Amazing Africa At The Asian Civilisation Museum

Amazing Africa

On Sunday, Dude and I went down to the Asian Civilisation Museum to experience the Amazing Africa event, that was held over the weekend in conjunction with the Congo River: Art of Central Africa exhibition.

I heard that there were going to be dancing, music, food and other African culture things too. Also, free coffee from Starbucks. Now you can see why we went.

Anyway, I was glad to find out that due to the open house, it was free admission to all galleries on that day. As with anything free, there were crowds of people at the Congo gallery but we managed to go through most of the exhibit without bumping into people too badly.


The real event started at 1pm, when the musicians started playing. There dancers came out a little later. We didn’t stay for the whole thing since Dude and I wanted to attend the coffee tasting event at the lobby.

African musicians

The coffee tasting was similar to the one that I tried a few months back, only this time, we tried only the Organic Shade Grown Mexican coffee and the Kenyan coffee. With tiny little cups of coffee, we learned how to appreciate the aroma and the taste of it, as well as how well it goes with food. Dude, like me, went for the event just for the coffee.

After the coffee tasting, we exchanged the coupons that we scored at the Congo gallery for ice cream and settled down on the green to watch the show.

On the green 1

The musicians from the gallery earlier and moved down to the green and started playing. The dancers had changed into a different outfit too and started their spirited dancing.

While watching the dance, it hit me how different it is to our own cultural dance. From my abysmal knowledge of Malay cultural dance, I do not recall there being a dancing that is as spirited or as abundantly happy as the one that was performed by the dancers. There were splits, tumbling and somersault as well.

The dancers had some of the audience members to come up and join in with the dancing. The audience were a good sport too. I think everyone on the green had as much fun, either watching or even participating in the dances.

dancing on the green 1dancing on the green 2

When the dance ended, Dude and I headed back into the museum to continue with the rest of the Congo gallery since we left half way to see the dance event at the level two gallery. Before that, we decided to get some face paint on.

a

Having our faces painted and walking through the galleries earned us a couple of stares and looks but we didn’t really care. We spent another couple of hours going through the different galleries and even took a break to have plantain pudding. We wanted to try out the other African food that were available but we were so full.

All in all, we had a lot of fun. It’s been a while since we went to the museum and to be able to spend the whole day there is just awesome.


Visting Pompeii – Life in a Roman Town in 79CE

pompeii

Over the weekend, the Adventure Crew and I were at the National Museum for the Pompeii exhibit. As it ends on the 23rd of January, we had to catch it while we can. One of the best parts of being a student, albeit a part-time one, my student card allows me to get into museums for FREEEEEE! The non-students had to pay $12, and with tickets in hand, off we went to the exhibit show room.


Pompeii was definitely one of the most depressing exhibit I’ve seen. The moment you enter the exhibit area, you’re greeted with resin casts of the victims of Mt Vesuvius.

resin cast

It was eerie and creepy as I walk through the boardwalk to the main showcase area. There was a 3D show where we get to see what the archaeologists thought, happened on the day of the eruption and how the city was destroyed by the volcano. Everyone who watched the video were in total silence as the video ended and we had to return the 3D glasses to the museum staff. I’m not sure how everyone felt about the video but I was more depressed after watching it.

Other than the video, the exhibit had a number of artifacts that were found during the excavation of the site. Things like currency, ceramic jars for food storage and scales for agriculture and commerce.

scales

The homes of the people of Pompeii were decorated with many interesting things, some made of metal and other of ceramic. The altars to the gods held statues of their gods and goddesses, made from bronze and other metals.

metal decorations

Personally, I found the diet and the kitchenware to be most interesting. As Pompeii was a port city, it was not a surprise to see them have a diet of fish and seafood, along with cereal and fruits from their agricultural lands. Some of the food that they found, like peach pits and olives, had carbonised after centuries of being covered in volcanic ash.

It was fascinating for me to see that they used some kitchenwares such as clay stoves and stone grinds that are somewhat similar to what is still in use now. I guess if the design is flawless, why change it, right?

kitchenwares

There were displays of frescos that were found in the houses of the more affluent citizens of Pompeii. It didn’t survive intact of course, but the little that were saved were very pretty.

fresco

At the end of the exhibit hall, there was an activity area where you get to make your own gladiator helmet from the activity sheets that were provided. Even though we weren’t the target audience for the activity, it didn’t stop us from having something fun to do after all that depressing stuff we read as we went around the exhibit hall.

gladiator helmet

Overall, it was an interesting exhibition. This gave me a better understand of what I’ve read about Pompeii from books and online sites. I would most definitely recommend that you visit the exhibit before it ends.

You can read Seriously Sarah’s take of the outing here.