Expecting lots of things to be closed today, it was a chance to look at some less commercial places.
Awaking early again, I made my way via MRT into the Harbour front where I decided to walk up Mt Faber (well they call it a mountain) to the cable car for a trip over to Sentosa Island. The walk up Mt Faber was …..warm!….while not puffing I was definitely glowing. I can see why the people in Singapore walk so slowly!
It was good to walk through some tropical bush and that it was not quite as controlled as many things are in Singapore – left to Father nature rather more….The cable car ride was good – despite the wind blowing it from side to side a little.
Sentosa is the playground of Singapore. I have been there several times, so felt no need to go to the "attractions". However one reason for going over there was to go through the flower show there. Apparently they do this in January to March. It was a fabulous show of tropical colour – rather like the women here. When they do come out, they are colourful and well "manicured" – treated rather like little pets I think. This is changing a little now I gather, but certainly it was the way today.
I did go past a children’s playground at one stage…it was empty…on a big family day…the men have been left looking after the children and took them to the playground..? I don’t think so! Probably more likely to be sitting while Dad talks to other men…To be fair, I was told tonight by my very friendly restaurant owner that the Indian men are often here alone to work, having left their women back in India. It seems a strange thing, but obviously some people can handle having long distance relationships.
I walked to the end of Siloso Beach and then back up the hill – on a very nice bush walk again – to the cable car. There used to be a merlion greeting you as you walked off the cable car, but that has unfortunately been replaced now by some sky tower type device that I did not go up…not all progress is good progress….
I was going to walk back to the Mainland, but as my ticket was already paid for, I took the cable car back to Vivo city – a shopping centre that bears looking at on a day when it is open.
After a very nice and quite cheap Japanese lunch (Why is Japanese food usually so expensive?), I went out to the China Garden, which is still festooned with the red and gold of the Chinese New Year. however no lanterns in the day time . I managed the steps to the seven story Pagoda there and walked (despite a couple of scurrying showers – what Aucklander is not used to those??!!) around the Chinese and Japanese Gardens. Quite a large site for these. I really enjoyed the bonsai garden – despite the artificiality of growing these miniature plants. I also had to have my photo taken with about 6 or 7 Indian men that I met up with – all on a precarious boulder in the middle of some water.
Then it was back to the hotel for a break (checking the way to the airport for tomorrow’s flight to Kuala Lumpur) and out to dinner at a place where I have been before for a very nice dinner. The owner claimed to remember me from one of my previous trips (I bet he says that to all the men!). However it was a quiet night so he sat and talked to me throughout the very nice dinner. A very different experience to last night!
Singaporeans are quite rightly very proud of their tiny country. It has a great degree of sophistication now, but many of its people have not lost their roots with lots of traditional clothing being worn in everyday life. However it appears that all sorts of religions and races can learn to get on and mix pretty well, despite some great ideological differences. Maybe there is some lesson there for some other countries in the world.