I would never had guessed that on our way to Australia we would have had the opportunity to stop in at one of the world’s fastest growing cities, but divine providence allowed us to experience a taste of life in Singapore, and Mel and I have really enjoyed our brief visit.
On our last day we took a morning tour to Sentosa, one of the 52 islands that make up Singapore. Apparently the name Sentosa means ‘The island of peace and tranquility’, but there wasn’t such an atmosphere while we were there. The island has become a hub of various tourist attractions and we had the privilege of visiting a few of them.
It started with a brief history of Singapore. Sometimes these things can be boring but this was refreshingly interesting. Among many things, I learned (I hope my memory holds true here) that it was an Armenian woman (Miss Agnes Joaquim) who first discovered a natural hybrid orchid which is now Singapore’s national flower and is named the Miss Joaquim Orchid. Not interesting for most of you reading this, but because of my father’s side being Iranian Armenian, it was interesting for me.
There was also a relatively small marine life aquarium which had some interesting fish, crabs and sharks, and after we left there, we went to a brief show featuring two pink dolphins. We then got a cable car back over to the ‘mainland’ and from it we got a splendid view of the city, its port and its industrial side. From what I could see, wherever there were no buildings or roads it was just green forest and I may be wrong, but I found it easy to imagine that just a few centuries ago, the island was nothing more than a vast forest.
We got back from the tour quite sharply, and if we had known we would have probably arranged a visit to the main zoo. Instead though, much to Mel’s displeasure, we went shopping! We didn’t get much as we’re already carrying too much luggage, but it was nice to walk around the city centre amidst the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s city life.
As we shopped though, I was forced to ask myself the question, ‘Do Singaporeans window shop?’ The reason for me wondering this is that the shop assistants seem to presume you will buy something, they don’t seem to understand that some people just want to look around. Most of them were very pleasant, but some were quite intimidating as they followed us around the shop.
Anyway, Australia beckons and our main adventure and the reason why we’re here is about to begin.
‘Stay tuned’ as we head for Oz!