No definite adjective could best delineate Singapore. I was altogether bewitched, fascinated, charmed and infatuated during a brief vacation last February 29th to March 4th, 2008 while billeting in Hotel Grand Central located on Orchard Road.
We embarked in high-spirits with numerous plans and places to explore that were researched from the Internet and amongst friends who have visited the place. A lofty list was collated eventually with the intent of incorporating the trips in our tight itinerary. Similarly, I was frequently reminded by the people at home to purchase extraordinary food not readily available in our local supermarkets. The journey continued and the realization that I am going to this terrific place unchaperoned by a family member excited me!
My excitement augmented as the plane started to descend toward the runway of Changi Airport. The view from below was mesmerizing! Lush trees were lined along the thoroughfares of the city, together with ornamental plants adorned and landscaped beautifully on its islands. Open spaces were replete with trees that depicted a mini-forest. The picturesque cityscape abounded with high-rise buildings and boasted with elaborate and modern architectural design. Urbanization and civilization of a first-world country was conspicuously seen all over the place. I prayed in silence for a safe journey and thanked Him for this timely treat.
Singapore spells o-p-p-o-r-t-u-n-i-t-y. Work is everywhere and is knocking at everyone’s door as long as you can speak fluently in English. Employment compels you to be a resident and to have your own flat and vehicle. Our half-day city tour to Merlion Park, Thian Hock Temple, Clark Quay, Jewellery City and Tiger Live also enabled me to have an overview and to further acknowledge its humble beginnings and its significant transformation to a renowned country. More so, I was able to experience the fusion of culture comprising of Chinese, Malays, Indians and other nationalities totaling only to 4.5 million people as well as a taste of the dishes Singaporean style-lah.
The visit to Vivo City, a posh mall flaunting with an array of countless designer goods was the next stop. I experienced dining at Modesto's Restaurant strategically situated near the bustling river where the water is turquoise, where one can capture a perfect view of Sentosa's cable car ride, the MRT and the construction of Casino. It is a sight to behold on a weekend conducive for unwinding and relaxing and enjoying a delectable meal leisurely. The air is crisp and fresh, the people unhurried with BoonChai filling me in with his many narrations.
Visiting Sentosa Island was the topmost list in our itinerary. Amongst the many famous attractions, we were able to have a first hand experience of the underwater world, dolphin show, and cable car ride.
Our spirits were never dampened despite the infrequent drizzle. Thanks to Boonchai for providing the van that made the tour easier and very convenient,as we eagerly
hopped from one destination to the other. Underwater World boasts of of 2,500 saltwater and fresh water fishes and gave everyone a "hands on" experience with starfishes and stingrays if you dared. What is enjoyable is the moving travellator that ferries you around the tunnel filled with more species only seen under the ocean. The oceanarium comprised of three floors that will educate both the young
and the young at heart as well as allow you to appreciate the beauty and life unconspicuously seen under the waters.
The dolphin show was the next stopover. Despite its brevity, people flocked to the place to enjoy the intelligence and wonders of this talented and gentle creature. We sighed in amazement as they showcased the many tricks learned and interacted well with its enamored audience.
Finally, the onstart of our journey toward the cable car was truly an ordeal and a memorable one. We had to be taken down some flights of stairs initially and our
wheelchair were transported inside the cable car! The trip to Singapore will never be complete without this adventure. I deem even those who are suffering from the fear of heights will momentarily forget their anxiety. The view from above was awesome! The grandeur of Singapore was more magnified, with the city's intricate structure prominently seen. At first, I had to calm myself from its swiftness and its effect on my body until I slowly savored what I saw and earnestly prayed to have the opportunity to return to this lovely country.
The last minute buying for pasalubongs was spent hurriedly along Orchard road. It was also the very moment where I savored everything in my surrounding: the people in vast nationalities and color, the hectic and busy life going on then and there, as I think about the many reasons why this country is such and such.
On a more personal note, the genesis of an encapsulated feeling has began. It is the start of a beautiful journey that I pray will succumb to more than just the magical feeling at the moment but to something perpetual, real and sustainable. My antiquated affections are humming. There is a lofty reason to be alive, to be gleefully singing the psalms of praise. A new leaf of a beautiful life is about to unfold as the encapsulated feeling becomes more define.