It was both an interesting, and grueling day. Truth is almost any day in Singapore can be grueling because of the heat and cloying humidity. While we rode the subway where we could, the real action occurs out in the real world, where it is hot and definitely humid.
We began the day with our usual routine – checking mail and the news on the web at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Orchard by the hotel. They have excellent breakfast there for less than it would cost in Edmonton. We planned out strategy. We would take the subway to the that new marvel of the modern world, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This monstrosity of a hotel is three huge towers on top of which is a construct meant, I am told, to look like a boat. While I always like to see interesting buildings, and have a lasting penchant for architecture, I am always wary of nut job buildings designed a shrines to the architect. I had a lurking suspicion that is what we would find at the end of our journey.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel – The Boat At The Top Of A Hotel
You can see from the picture that it is quite a sight, and when you stand at the bottom and look up at the curving towers, it has a certain presence that is hard to argue. The internal lobbies were not particularly impressive beyond being massive empty spaces. Shirley managed to earn the ire of the security guard on the concourse (probably five floors up) by slinking under the security ropes to get closer to the railing to peer down at the ant like patrons in the atrium dinning area. She was quickly readjusted by security to operate at a safe distance from the edge.
We didn’t go to the roof, as it was something like $25 for the privilege, and to be honest I didn’t feel like being the mook who pays to see just one more boat in the sky….
We moved on to the Singapore Super Tree Grove. Now…. I found it difficult at first to figure out how this idea came to fruition. It would have been highly instructive, I think, to have been at that meeting when some architect or engineer pitched this idea of building some seriously huge steel trees in considerable numbers, painted odd colors, and with a walkway for people to scoot about up there in the ferric branches.
Grove of Super Trees
I bet there were some heads wondering how this guy managed to escape the asylum. However, his ideas prevailed and the trees were built, and they are seriously amazing. I fear, given the judgemental nature of my intellect, I would have laughed this guy out of the room…. And I would never have had the pleasure of actually seeing this amazing construct as it sits today.
Trees And Domes
There are two climate domes near by, one for rain forest or some similar shenanigans, and another full of flowers. We did not penetrate the domes, largely due to the long lines and the $38 it cost to peek inside. I did, however, postulate at some length to my wife that I bet these domes will be the refuge of Mentor Minister Lee and his cabinet when the world collapses. He will live there, forever, under the glass while the rest of us face the Zombie apocalypse.
Runway In The Trees
We gave the Super trees the old college try and even stopped for a super fine chicken curry. At least I did… Shirley had what appeared, in all honesty, to be a collage of dirt and miscellaneous refuse strewn casually on points of toast. I didn’t ask too many questions, as I really didn’t want to lose the moment I was having with that chicken curry…. Num num num.
The problem, of course is that once back on my feet, with all that rice and curry floating about in my ample gut, the heat and humidity took on a most daunting, and eventually impossible mantle of sweat, despair and collapse.
I was able to convince the Missus that having to body bag me there on the concourse of the Marina Bay Sands would be dashed inconvenient…. So we moved on. We decided a session in the subway would be a great way to cool off and get somewhere else. We decided Little India would be a good choice. When we lived here, I came to Little India only once, while Shirley had been many times. There is an interesting store complex there called Mustapha that sells all manner of electronics, appliances, watches and gold jewellery. Shirley needed a new camera as hers began to fail in a very dramatic fashion at the Super Trees.
While the details of our trip to Little India are of little interest here, suffice it to say it was not without a certain Mack and Meyer feel, as we took trains in the wrong direction, discovered same, went back to starting point, made the same mistake again, and back to the start. In our defence, the station we were seeking is a difficult one to identify such that the railway has an employee posted at the train to answer the questions of the bewildered. She told Shirley that she had noted our seemingly aimless orbiting every 15 minutes or so, and suspected we would eventually ask for help.
In the end Little India was our. We wandered about shooting some pics, and eventually finding Mustapha and a camera for Shirley. The darn thing can log on wireless to your laptop and download it’s pictures… without wires… wireless cameras, steel trees, hotels with boats aloft? What a day, will the miracles of this city ever stop?
We saw some classic old Shop Houses which you can see in the picture. These used to be all over Singapore, but have either fallen down of their own accord or have been pulled down over the years by developers. They are all now protected as listed buildings and command very high prices as private residences in the right neighborhoods. I doubt these would qualify, but they are quite elegant in their aged dilapidation.
Shop House Front
Shop House front As Well
Little India a like a little slice of how the rest of Asia functions. Tailors working within inches of the cars going by, a tire shop wedged in a space too small for a kennel, clothing and sandal shops by the score. Everywhere gold merchants selling the bangles and chains so popular in the east Asian culture. As we walked along the street there grew this amazingly sweet odour. At first I couldn’t place it, but as we moved along the street, Shirley drew my attention to a spice grinder shop, where they were grinding spices of all kinds, the aroma filling the air for some distance around.
Drive By Tailor
It was a long sweaty day, but I did more tourist stuff in one day than I believe I have done in 20 years….. never being much one for gawping about foreign climes.
Anywho, that is it for one day. While we might find an adventure for tonight, it will have to wait for another days telling. I think I will sit in the pool for a while and see if I can drive the core temp down for a while…..