Singapore on the slither

Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005

OK... Well it seems like we're having a few teething problems with the blog at the moment, so I have no idea if this will turn out, so just bear with me folks.

The last few days have been pretty sedate. I am coming to the conclusion (for some reason I was thinking 'confusion' there) that I do not make the most fantastic of solo travelers. That said and done, if I choose to sleep in until 10am, and not see all the smaltzy, touristy things, damn it, that's my perogative; I'm on holidays!

My trip the chinese gardens were puctuated by the incessant Singapore rain storms that a few of you had told me about. That was OK though, as it ment that I didn't have to share. T'was just the foolhardy (myself) and probably the homeless. I walked around those gardens, which are huge by the way, for three hours looking for the turtle museum. Now I happen to like turtles, being a Terry Pratchett fan, that shouldn't came as too much of a surprise. I even wear a tortoise around my neck every day, and Om and I have been together for something like 7 years since Charmaine gave him to me. So as I hope you can appreciate, when the turtle exhibit, which is the biggest collection of live (1300+) and orniment (3000+)turtles was first mentioned to me, being the laizre faire tourist that I am, I though, 'Yeah, that sounds cool, I'll do that.'
After the second hour of truding through the soggy gardens, I was starting to get a bit over it. Add to that my leg was killing me, but I soldiered on.
When I found the damn thing eventually, I was thrilled to discover it was right where I had turned right when I should have gone left three hours ago. Not to worry however as the exhibit was freakishly good. I was surprised that there no Great A'tuins amoungst the memorabilia, but then nobody's perfect. The live turtles however were something else.
I've got a stack of photos, which will probably have to wait until Brunei for me to post as I don't have access to a USB port at the hostel where I am writing, of the courtyard out the back, litteraly teaming with turtles. I even have a photo of one going for my shoe as I was walking across teh footbridge.
Later that afternoon I was disturbed to come across a group of 8 policemen carry fully automatic assult rifles. Somebody has already suggested that I shouldn't have stolen some of the turtles from the exhibit, as Singaporians are pretty tough on crime. All I can say is; it was worth it!

Yesterday was the coolest day do far, and I finnaly have something to be enthused about here in Singapore, instead of merely 'Yeah it's alright...'
I caught up with Khatt, her husband and daughter, and they took me out to the Changi chappel, then to the night safari.
As far as I am aware, I don't actually have any family who were directly involved in Changi, but there is still something very visceral about being there as an Australian. Sometimes I feel that it's hard for me to find things that stand out as cultural elements, being that we are surrounded by our westernised culture to such an enourmous extent that it dwarves us and we can not see it.
Walking through the Changi museum, reading first hand accounts of the attrocities, seeing the relics, then sitting at the very same chappel that our soldiers did, actually made me feel a connection as an Australian. This surprised me more than anyone, I think.
Later on, after being driven across the island to see almost everything you could by road, we arrived at the night safari. It's hard for me to explain just how well done the night safari is - the atmoshpere is perfect. I find it hard to understand why there aren't more of these night time zoos. You get to see all the nocturnal animals awake and pacing around all over the shop. I even got to hear lions roaring. Not to be scoffed at I might add - very scary.
Now as most of you know I'm not not an attention seaker by any stretch of the imagination, so when the call went out during the animal show for volunteers to hold the ten foot reticulated python, I kept my hand and head well and truly down. but there's something about traveling and knowing there's no one out there that knows you, combined with your host egging you on, that turns you into some kind of fool-hardy superman.
Cut to two minutes latter, with me on the stage in front of about 1000 people with a bloody huge snake wrapped around me. When the host guy asked me if I knew why Maggie seemed to like me so much, and the best I could do for a response was a whimper, he thought it was because I was scared. That was a half-truth. The real reason I whimpered was because yes I was scared, but more because Maggie was wrapping around my leg and going for my crotch. Some moments make cowards of the strongest of men...
I also have photos with some of the animals from the zoo, an owl, a boa constrictor draped over my shoulders, and a cool leaping cat complete with village cheif and village babe, which I promise I will post as soon as I can.
So yes, Night Safari is awesome, and should definately be done by anyone who visits Singapore.
For now though, I must get some more quality time in with my journal, before getting an early night, for tomorrow, I am going to the Zoo.


Grim (^_^)


At 6:34 pm, Anonymous Jasmine said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed the night safari and are checking out the zoos. I'd be disappointed if you didn't! Missing you heaps! Take care!


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