Singaporean Muslim in Orange County

The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Orange County is the show, The OC, and the most prominent thing about the show is the song from the show!

Moving past the song, you soon start to realize that Orange County is everything and nothing like what you watch on The OC, as is with everything, and here’s why.

  • Public Transportation

For a Singaporean, this would be your biggest bane. Travelling around means you’ll need to check the Bus Schedule in advanced and you better be there early too cause the bus may just pass you by otherwise and won’t arrive till another hour.

Bus Intervals

Bus Intervals

Bus stops aren’t clearly indicated on the Bus Map, it only shows and announcements are only for the Major Intersections. Trust me, travelling around Jambi is so much easier than this.

Buses, depending on the routes cost between $1.50 – $2 per trip. So, if you’re only taking it for one stop and getting off at the next, that’s pretty costly. If you’re moving around a lot of the bus, would make more sense to get the Day Pass at $5. Let’s you move bus hop unlimited till 11:59pm.

Oh speaking of which, buses don’t operate till that late anyway.

  • Beaches

Great beautiful beaches as how you’d see them on TV. They’re also very far to travel to!

From where I’m staying at, it takes me 1.5 hours. An hour to get to the Bus Interchange and another half hour to get to the beach. Mind you, I haven’t included the waiting time for the bus.

And I’ve only visited the nearest beach, Corona Del Mar, which is the main beach.

  • Food

If you’re a Muslim and you’re living here, it’s not easy to locate a Halal grocery store. Thankfully, I found one online and managed to go over there earlier to get some Halal meat! Yay!! What’s even more awesome about it, is that I found Indomie and Indocafe!

WOOHOO!!

Irvine Halal Meat – reviews on Zabihah.com weren’t that good but the lady was definitely friendly and nice to me. I will definitely be coming back since I saw INSTANT PRATA!

Otherwise, food in the restaurants are quite costly too. You don’t get your favourite bowl of Wanton Noodle anywhere here for SGD$3.00, you probably find them here for US$6.00.

I just had my 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken with Potatoes for close to $10 which comes inclusive of a free refill of drinks. It was also during the lunch promotion. So, I do suppose food can be quite costly here.

  • Mosque

It’s Friday and that means, Friday prayers!

It’s quite off the beaten track and doesn’t look like a Mosque, so locating it earlier on was quite a challenge. I simply followed or tried to locate where I see Muslim men and women were walking towards and followed.

Irvine Islamic Center, as they call it, does not have the typical minaret that we often see in Singapore. Nonetheless, it is a very small mosque, much akin to Masjid Holland Village, only slightly bigger and two-storeys in height and comes fully air-conditioned.

Irvine Islamic Center

Irvine Islamic Center

The one giving the sermon was also a different person from the one who was the Imam. What was interesting about it was that kids were praying in bermudas or shorts, which was above the knee and an adult was praying in sleeveless top.

What was even more interesting was that someone wasn’t pleased with the content of the sermon and decided to air his views during the sermon.

Hmmm… the context of it was about Time as a gift and why are taxpayers money spent on equipping the Egyptian regime rather than helping out those in need in USA. Not short of assistance being requested for in the US I suppose.

Oh well, talk about freedom of speech huh?

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