I've lived here eleven years and the one thing – besides family and friends – that I really miss in Singapore is Fall. I miss unpacking my winter clothes, pulling on a favorite pair of boots, wrapping myself in a sweater and venturing out into the cool, crisp air. I had a call this afternoon with somebody in Europe who was snug as a bug in a big, beautiful sweater while I sat under the air conditioning in my linen dress. Sigh.
But you can find bits of Fall here if you look hard enough. The pumpkins are in at Cold Storage. Of course, a big pumpkin will cost you and arm and a leg at a whopping $55 each and even a little, tiny one is sixteen bucks. But hey, it's a real pumpkin. One piece of advice: don't carve it and leave it in the heat. Our first year here, I carved a jack o'lantern in my $50+ pumpkin only to have it rot in two days! Carve it on Halloween or the day before. Funny story? I once carved a pumpkin for my son's preschool class. One of the girls had only ever lived in Singapore and had never had a real pumpkin much less carved one. I asked her what it was going to look like inside and she said, "Pink and furry." She was a big disappointed.
One of our George Washington Ball committee members in in Germany this wee and She sent me a photo of giant pumpkins for four euros! Big sigh. She pondered why it's so much harder to import pumpkins at a decent price than say milk. Right?
But you can find other bits of Fall here – like the menu at Starbucks with pumpkin spice coffee and Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake. Yum! If you really want to feel like fall, head to Café Dreams with it's entire ceiling magically decorated with Fall leaves in all your favorite autumn colors. Craving some hard apple cider? Head to The Cider Pit in Joo Chiat. Another favorite? Autumn pie which you can find at Windowsill Pies. How about Pumpkin Bourbon or Pecan Pie? I'm hungry just thinking about it!
Missing Fall foliage? Well, believe it or not, you can catch some trees turning colors. Thanks to Ketapang Trees (or 'Sea Almond Trees') there are some autumnal colors around. These coastal trees are native to Singapore and have leaves that turn from dark red to yellow before shedding. After shedding, the leaves grow back, forming purple-hued foliage. a vibrant red. You can find them in Punggol Park and along the Central Expressway (CTE) and East Coast Parkway (ECP). Hey, it's not Vermont, but it's what we've got. Mothership featured an article about this a couple of years ago. You can also check out the Chrysanthemum Charm exhibit at Gardens by the Bay with more than 80 varieties of mums on display.
If you really are craving some leaf peeping time, plan a trip next year to Japan, China, Taiwan or South Korea where they have some truly gorgeous routes for you as suggested by Travel and Leisure Asia.
In the meantime, revel what we do have in Singapore: the Mid-Autumn Festival and Deepavali is around the corner, too. It may not be a bright red maple tree, but decorations for these two holidays are pretty spectacular, too.