Singapore Stories: the finale

 

We are packing for home. The same amount of clothes that we came with seem bigger. Or maybe the fact they’re dirty means they have grown.

Whatever the reason it’s difficult to push down the lid. Perhaps there’s a part of me struggling to stay. Singapore grows on you.

It’s  a sugar coated spot, easy to use, safe to wander and full of first world comforts.  For those with money.

Two taxi drivers, both in their 60s and from families resident here for 80 plus years hark back to British rule with the same nostalgia my dad had for the 1950s. Rose tinting is universal  (as are moaning cabbies) but most of the locals like their country, are proud of their achievements and accept their specific compromises for the stability they enjoy.  Same as us really. We are all cut from a similar cloth after all.

Yes the nepotism grates, the pick n mix approach to human rights is not admirable and some of the pathetic rules insulting to an intelligent people but it is a land of opportunity. Good luck I say. I could live here if they could put up with my mumbles.

Our last couple of days have been a pick n mix of our own.

We’ve wandered around the national orchid collection set in the botanical gardens which are quite stunning- we also visited the flower dome one of two huge Eden Project like conservatory environments.

The Singaporeans are beginning to punch above their weight in terms of research and orchid science is one  where this is true.

If it hadn’t rained like a burst boiler we might still be there.

Somehow the Vet enveigled me into a couple of super hard spin classes justifying yet more good food – to my culinary fans I must report no more arachnids and sadly no jellyfish.  A delicacy I will have to source elsewhere.

We tested the wonderful range of museums – the asian civilisations

and the intriguingly named peranakan museum – this the story of the mixed races who played a fundamental part in Singapore’s success.

As you’d imagine there many different mixes and their stories fascinating esp. alongside British rule.

But the best for me was the Piece for Peace exhibition at Fort Canning – a lego extravaganza.

The detail and the dedication to making the models as diverse as Mount Fuji and The Taj Mahal are worthy of everyone’s admiration but for me, still a kid it was a bit of a sugar high.

Still even rooms of lego paled next to the most bonkers, borderline wacky and hyperbolically awesome Haw Par Villa.

 

Built in the 30s for his brother the inventor of Tiger Balm built a cautionary theme park around the 10 courts of hell in Chinese lore.

This graphic diorama was aimed at children to inspire them to be good – it must have given nightmares!

After you go through the ten courts a judges decides if you come back as an animal or a human.

After that Madame Loo gives you the tea if forgetfulness and you follow your chosen river back to the real world.

Makes purgatory seem like a cake walk.

Elsewhere the swirling scenes seem more attuned to Timothy Leary tue in and drop out philosophies than what you expect here.

Here are more images.

If you are in Singapore go. Mad bad and utterly delicious.

If I have one regret I never made it to the war history sites. It gives me and excuse to return!

Oh well, holidays are meant to be snap shots. I’ll have my feet on Terra Albion soon enough. Dog will go bonkers (he bloody better after all the chicken I bribed him with before I went). Dulwich will remain set in the 19th century and I will have porridge for breakfast tomorrow (the mush they call porridge here is really a travesty of the name).

I have stopped my email notifications and reader use so to my usual correspondence may have missed my comments (don’t flatter yourself). And there’s a book of flash fiction to sort out plus the next novel. Forward, ever forward!!

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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29 Responses to Singapore Stories: the finale

  1. No haven’t missed your comments, I have been too busy reading about Singapore and what we didn’t do last time we were there! Love the flowers and the museum visits!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    You’ve had another amazing trip His Geoffleship! I feel.like I was there with you! Good luck with the next lot of writing once porridge has been consumed! And don’t be a stranger!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have a safe trip home. Thank you for the tour or Singapore, the stories, photos and smiles! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Smith says:

    What a fabulous grand finale. Stunning photos. I’ve enjoyed the trip and now I want to visit Singapore.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An excellent series, Geoff, and you should bill the Singapore Travel Bureau for your services.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Haw Par Villa is bonkers, isn’t it, and Peranakan culture interesting and attractive. Glad you began to make inroads. Next time have a look at the Hindu and Chinese temples as well as the wartime sites. I think you were on top of One Raffles Place in previous post, weren’t you!
    V enjoyable travelogue, thanks! It is not very warm here so get out some woolly socks first day back :O .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JT Twissel says:

    What an assortment of images! Pink umbrellas really do add to the scene!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ruth says:

    Really rocking the waterproof poncho look, Geoff 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m kind of glad I never made it to the Aw Boon Brothers house of horrors – it looks a little like Dali on something other than opiates….. It made me wonder if the other arm of the family was in psychotherapy……… You have certainly had a fabulous holiday – the orchids were a beautiful finishing touch. And the pic of you in your rain gear – priceless! Happy home coming I’m sure Milo will be out of his tiny brain with joy 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Val says:

    Those Lego models are astonishing, particularly the Taj Mahal! I love the mirror globes. How big are they? And I’m intrigued by the floating, hovering… thing. What is it? A giant almond? A bowl scraper for giants? The orchids are fabulous. Yikes, and the rest of your photos… there are too many for me to take in, in one go, I’m afraid. I’ll return another time and enjoy them some more!

    Like

  11. noelleg44 says:

    Thanks for the wonderful photographic tour. The orchids are spectacular!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Fascinating, beautifully photographed, finale

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for taking us along with you, Geoff. I have enjoyed Singapore, and your stories too. Enjoy your writing when you get back home and hopefully, we willl see you again soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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