Previously: Gardens by the Bay
After due consideration, I decided that I would walk to the downtown area before taking the MRT back to Geylang. The night was still young and it would be a waste if I went back to the hotel then. I imagined myself walking around the area. “It is far”, I sighed. But there were breezes coming from the ocean. Maybe it would not be so bad after all.
From The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, I walked to the outer area where a lot of people converged. “What are they watching?” I was thinking since a lot of people were looking towards the bay area. Turned out, there was a musical show but it was not like something that I have ever seen. The images were projected through the sprinkling water which act as the screen for the show. Music filled in the area as images turned to videos. It was so sophisticated.
I continued walking along the area, passing through the ArtScience Museum, Helix Bridge, Esplanade – also known as the Durian, and the Merlion before eventually, I ended up at the old city area, consisting of several colonial buildings which look amazingly captivating at night.
There was also a statue of Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of modern Singapore. There are actually two statues of him in Singapore which are located close to each other. But if I am not mistaken, the one that I found is the one which indicated his first step upon his arrival to the shore. I looked at his statue and I was thinking, whether he is the founder of modern Singapore, or the first colonizer of Singapore.
There are many school of thoughts on his roles in shaping Singapore. In Malaysian school, we learnt that he is a colonizer, the one who put Singapore under the rule of the Crown Colony and formed part of the Straits Settlement together with Malacca and Penang. His roles in shaping Singapore were as alike as the roles of Frank Swettenham, the first Resident General of the Federated Malay States in shaping the direction of the Malay states. They might bring development according to the Western mould but the fact that they were colonizers should not be dismissed as facts.
Since I did not know what else to do, I walked to the Raffles Place MRT station to go to Bugis since I have not eaten my dinner yet. I went to a Kopitiam which I stumbled upon whilst wandering around Rochor Centre area. The kopitiam was unique, at least for me. Apart from having locals eating there, with a pair of uncles playing checkers, what amused me was the fact that Halal and non-Halal stalls were put next to each other.
Living in Malaysia where Muslims formed the majority, there are strict separation on Halal and non-Halal items or places. Food courts which have both sections are clearly demarcated. Seeing this reminded me of Bangkok, Thailand where a young Muslim lady was selling fried chicken next to a young Thai lad selling grilled pork. I would say that my experiences in Bangkok and Singapore show tolerance at its highest level and I praised the Muslims there for that.
From Bugis, I took the MRT back to Geylang and called it a night.
Next: Malay Heritage Centre
Sadly, the colourful flats at Rochor Centre will be demolished to make way for the construction of the North-South Expressway. Read the news here.