Singapore (Part 2)

The next day was full of the usual holiday activities, up, out for breakfast, showers, trip to the National Library (Mick and Liesel), job interview (Jyoti), comments on the heat and humidity outside (all of us), comments on the coldth inside buildings (Jyoti and Liesel), coffee, food, food and more food.

Pre-prata banana

If all this Indian food doesn’t cause total heart failure, unexpectedly walking past a building with a name like this might finish the job.

The Trumps

I don’t think it’s related to or owned by the dipshit-in-chief but you can’t help but make the connection.

The National Library is big, spacious and cool, not cold, inside. I wanted to write but wasn’t relaxed and comfortable in the café while many people were moving furniture around and preparing for a theatre performance or something. The coffee was nice though.

When Jyoti joined us, we walked to St Josephs Institution, the venue for an art gallery, but it was closed.

St Joseph
The Explorer by Ng Eng Teng

“The Explorer” was created in 1999 by Ng Eng Teng to commemorate the new millenium.

“The Explorer”

Over the Clouds

Beyond the Planets

Our world

Travels and Explores

The galaxy

We like the amount of greenery here in Singapore, lots of trees everywhere, and there are plants growing up walls of buildings and even on the roofs. Rooves? On the lids of buildings.

A typical roof garden

We visited the Gardens by the Bay but before we got there, we spent some time in what must be one of the biggest shopping centres anywhere, with shoppes (sic) for the more affluent people amongst us. There was nothing of interest to me here, but J&L enjoy walking around such places, so I tagged along: none of us had plans to buy anything though.

Sugar cane used for making juice

Marina Bay Sands is very shiny, very expensive looking, very clean and surprisingly quiet. Except for some loud music which we now realise must have been for the launch of the new Netflix offering, Triple Frontier, starring Ben Affleck.

Well, Ben missed out on his chance to meet us, but I did my bit to wear out the red carpet.

Mick on the red carpet

We walked to the Gardens and even the walk along the enormous concourse was entertaining: the walls are comprised of pictures of plants alternating with mirrors, so the effect is very colourful and spacious.

Mirrors and pictures of flowers

I bought some apples and grapes and I was delighted to be given a plastic bag. I haven’t had one of those for a while, it made me yearn for the good old days. In Japan, they thrust plastic bags on you, even if you haven’t bought anything yet, but I didn’t expect that sort of thing here in Singapore.

We probably won’t have time to go up on this trip, but Sands Sky Park Observation Deck looks amazing from down here on planet Earth. It looks like a ship has moored on top of the skyscrapers and there’s now a garden on board.

Sky Sands Park Observation Deck

To save walking so far, we took a shuttle to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. This structure is a remarkable feat of design and engineering, and we could have spent a long time wandering around. Unfortunately, so could everyone else and it was very crowded.

Big ants (not real ones)
Selfie of the day
Water and glass

One thing I really wanted to see was Venus fly-traps made from Lego bricks. That’ll never happen, you’re thinking. Well…

Lego Venus fly-traps

The Cloud Walk was lovely. We took the lift up to level 6, walked up to level 7 then all the way down, alternately looking at the plants and the view of the Supertrees which light up as the Sun sets.

Looking down from the Cloud Walk
An amazing display
Supertrees seen from the Dome

Had enough of plants? There are some geological items too, best of all, this amethyst geode.

Amethyst geode

I know that during our mass decluttering project last year, I swore I would never again collect anything. Well, we had to leave and reenter this venue, so I decided to start collecting stamps once more.

Stamp collection

Spoiler alert: unlike one stamp a few months ago that persisted for a couple of weeks, these had all successfully been washed off within 12 hours.

Supertrees, water, colour

I was ridiculously tired, not at all hungry, so I just loitered with intent while J&L had a very late meal. Back at our luxuriously delicious and immensely spacious studio apartment, I had a quick rinse in the shower, read my book for two minutes, and drifted away very quickly.

It might be spaciously luxurious but none of us would want to spend more time than necessary in the the studio apartment. There’s only one window and it looks out onto the front yard and pavement. We went to Lau Pa Sat food court for breakfast although by the time we arrived, it was our midday meal.

Hot spicy and hot temperature-wise was my soup, full of delicious vegetables. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to having hot Indian or Thai food like like this for breakfast. A bowl of cereal or toast and Marmite sounds really good right now!

Modern Singapore
Raffles Quay – there’s a lot of Raffles about

Looking up without falling over backwards is a necessary skill in a modern city. Coping with an element of cognitive dissonance is vital too. When I’m enjoying the countryside or beach, I am glad to be away from the hustle and bustle of a city. Yet here I am in a big city, enjoying the buzz, admiring the beauty of the cityscape while at the same time, feeling a bit sorry for those folks who spend forty hours a week stuck inside one of those edifices. I bet most of them would rather be spending time out of doors. They’re building upwards here of course, but also reclaiming a lot of land from the sea. Next time we visit Singapore, it might be much more than a little red dot.

Peace in the neighbourhood

We took a train to the nice cool Library where I did some writing while enjoying some coffee. Jyoti and Liesel both had slightly disappointing drinks although, to be fair, the colour of Jyoti’s concoction did match the top she was wearing

The future’s orange

The spire of St Andrew’s Cathedral stands out against the new, highrise buildings.

Ancient and modern Singapore

As I walked towards the National Gallery to meet up with J&L again, I was delighted to see a game of cricket taking place. Jyoti’s Dad used to spend time at the Singapore Cricket Club all those years ago.

Cricket and Sands way over there

In the Gallery itself, we enjoyed artworks from the wider southeast Asia region, not just Singapore.

Irrawaddy by Kim Lim

I always like geometric shapes so these interlocking tetrahedrons are right up my street.

Tetrahedron-tetrahedron interpenetration by Han Sai Por

I think they’d look jolly nice on our mantlepiece. If we had a mantelpiece.

We walked back to the shoppes at the Sands hotel conference and exhibition centre and onto the food court. On the way, we saw the Merlion, a lion’s head on a fish. The real one is much bigger and currently being restored.

Merlion

Our plan to eat in the food court earlier in the evening, in order to avoid crowds, totally backfired. The place was heaving. Not only that, it was thrumming. So instead, we went up to a wood-fired pizza place. The pizza was nice and best of all, they gave us a knife and fork to eat with.

Rodin’s The Thinker left out on the dockside by mistake

We paid a return visit to the Gardens on the Bay. This time, we concentrated on the Supertrees, the light show, the fountains and the dragonflies. It would have been fun to do the sky walk, high up amongst the Supertrees, but the crowds here were not only heaving and thrumming, they were jostling as well.

Supertrees all alight
Dragonfly – this one didn’t move as I pressed the shutter

The sculpture of a baby boy was astonishing in itself, but when you realise he’s almost floating in the air, balanced on the back of his right hand alone, you can’t help but think, babies really are remarkable, aren’t they? They grow up, some become artistic and come up with things like this. Marvellous.

Planet by Mark Quinn

Author: mickandlieselsantics

We are a married couple, married to each other, one American, one Brit, one male, one female, neither of us as fit as we would like to be, over 109 years old altogether.

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