In Singapore These Past Few Weeks

Hello guys, how has your Easter holiday been? On Good Friday I went to Gardens by the bay with La Gioia. We went to see Tulipmania. I didn't go last year and so I thought to give it a go this year. My mind wasn't blown. I think I took better pictures when I went for the first one. It was perhaps better the first time though the art and craft souvenir was better this year and they also gave free paper crown and tiara, it was very cute when people wore them. We didn't though :P Tulipmania this year is of a longer period, so perhaps they will replace the tulips. When we were there, many of the tulips were like at the late stage of their bloom, they were like opening big. La Gioia remarked that the dome was very cold and that made me think if they made it even cooler because of the tulips. Anyway, here are some pictures, you can see more here.

A bit of a throwback. Some 2 weeks ago, I defeated my laziness and went to see Chingay at the Heartland parade in my area. It would have been so convenient actually if I still had lived with Old Jenny because it would just be in front of the block. There were many people there and I was kinda stupidly grinning seeing the many people and also because I was thinking that I couldn't believe I did something so Singaporean, though I have to say perhaps many of the people there weren't Singaporeans. It still felt good seeing people with their kids or with their elderly family members. The parade didn't last very long, in fact I think it was just 30-40 mins. It was good but some things could be better perhaps. I don't know what happened, but they kinda stopped for awhile and after that they just drove on. It would be good if they had some stopping post and stopped for like 5-10 mins so that everyone in that post can enjoy the float. The way it was set up that night, they just stopped and then they were gone, so I wasn't sure the people at one end of the street had enough time to enjoy the last float at the other end of the street. I know it would be Chingay redux, with less floats, but I had hoped that there would be more. Anyway, it was still really good of them for doing this, so your common people can have some excitement in their weekend and it's good to see everyone so everyone could see who their neighbours are. That being said, I had hoped that I might stumble into Max (I miss him a LOT) and Chloe and Old Jenny, but I didn't see any of them. Well maybe they didn't get down, they could just see the whole thing from their floor. So here are some pictures I took.

So that was the weekend before the death of Lee Kuan Yew. One of the float in the parade was using part of his speech in their musical arrangement and though I'm not into the whole Singaporean spirit or what have you, hearing that and knowing he was really sick was kinda touching. Then of course the world found out he died Monday morning and the TV for the whole week was filled with him. The thing with Singapore is, all the free TV channels are owned by 1 company, so they pretty much were just showing the same things in different timing and perhaps being subs into the different languages. I would have liked to see a different point of view or a different variety, but they were the same and they were repeated for many days. The good thing though for people like me and perhaps the really young kids who don't really know the Singapore struggle and what Lee Kuan Yew did for this country, we kinda got a history lesson on how this country got started. He was a very impressive person. I don't always agree with him and the way his government do things, but he really has done some good things and Singapore is lucky to have a person who's not corrupt. Indonesia can attest to how destructive corruption can be. Anyway, so in one of those tv features on him, I heard him say this in one of his speeches and the part which I put in italic made me feel like it's a sign that I should be brave, “For the young, let me tell you the sky has turned brighter. There’s a glorious rainbow that beckons those with the spirit of adventure. And there are rich findings at the end of the rainbow. To the young and to the not-so-old, I say, look at that horizon, follow that rainbow, go ride it.”

So last week, there's what I think is the biggest queue in Singapore and Singaporeans can really queue, like today I saw a long queue in a yoghurt place, I even wondered if they were for free, but they weren't. Anyway it's really heartening to see the many Singaporeans spent like 6-10 hours to be in a queue last week to give their last respect to Lee Kuan Yew. I don't know any Singaporean who is particularly nationalistic, but to see all of them and also the people lining the streets during his funeral procession, it's really good to see them on their own willingness came together and showed that they actually cared for someone who was really influential for their country.

On other news, believe it or not, I still have cough. So it's like 1 month now. I'm thinking if I should go to the doctor again tomorrow, a different one. The doctor whom I saw last time, twice, I think is perplexed on why it's not totally gone. So perhaps, I should try a different doctor. I am also thinking if I should just muster up the courage to see a specialist :( Moving on, I finished my first book this year, Moby Dick by Herman Melville. It takes a long time and it's not a particularly easy thing to read, in fact there were many moments when the words I read just rolled off me, they didn't register at all and I didn't even bother to try. All those difficult passages just made me think about the this line I read in the first page of the book describing Herman Melville, "However, his masterpiece Moby-Dick was met with incomprehension, ...". That kinda gave me permission to not understand everything. In a nutshell the story is about Captain Ahab who's chasing this albino whale, Moby Dick, who caused him to lose his leg. At the end, I still wasn't sure if Moby Dick died that I had to go to Wikipedia to read about the book and it wasn't clear too if Moby Dick died as well. The wikipedia entry really helped me to understand the book better, because everything was simplified. It clarified my picture of one of the crew member, Starbuck (who I think inspired the name for the Starbucks cafe), whom I thought of as being kinda old, but turned out he was only 30. The difficult thing about this book was because I don't understand the measurement in feet and inches so I cannot picture how big things are, then I also don't know the terms they use in a ship though there was a glossary at the end of the book which I didn't look and this added to me being unable to really picture things. There were also many chapters describing in details about the different whales and the different processes happening in a whale hunting ship. All information which are perhaps rather invalid in this day and age. That being said, the details were really amazing and though I don't understand it much, I think Herman Melville wrote an amazing book. It's like being able to be in awe of something because you don't understand the intricacy. You don't understand it, but you know it's complex and hence you admire it. I don't know if it makes sense :) So for my next book, it's a lighter one though perhaps it can be really difficult for me. I'm reading Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in french. C'est une grand possibilité que je ne comprends rien mais au moins il y a des dessins. Finger crossed that I can understand this book which is in the reading level of your average kid.

Alright what else to say. I'm putting something in motion. There's ups and downs. The usual me is always discouraged and scared, but there are moments when I feel that things are falling into their rightful places and it'll be alright. I had been scared I know and things still went alright then. I'm just thinking if I had been this scared which I'm sure I had. You know, when you don't have people to comfort you, you just have to dig back to your own life and remember those moments when you were scared and yet you still got through it. I need to remember that God was there and He's always there, but I do have a really weak faith. I get stressed up a lot because I can't let go. I know that I have to be brave. Things could end up really bad, but not doing something because you're scared is just an attitude that I can't allow to happen in me.

:) eKa @ 9:47:00 PM • 0 comments