Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Thursday, February 09, 2012

First Impressions: Singapore (Day 1)

We arrived at the budget terminal of Changi Airport just before 10 in the morning. The terminal reminded me of the domestic airport in Manila, only cleaner and more spacious. We took the shuttle to Terminal 2; from there, we hopped onto the train.

I like Singapore’s MRT. Like Hong Kong’s train system, this one is also easy to figure out. The different lines and connecting stations are clearly laid out on the wall maps, there are numerous signage scattered all over so you can easily figure out where to go, and within the train there are audio and visual guides. The e-link card allows convenient access so you don’t need to buy a ticket every time you board a train.

After checking in, we trooped to Orchard Road for lunch and changing currencies. My first impression was that Singapore was one big Eastwood, but with more greens. But that was before the afternoon, before we went to see the Esplanade and, later that evening, Marina Bay Sands.

For me, those two symbolize where Singapore is headed. One is a bastion for the arts, the other a monument to commercialism and tourism. Both are impressive, something that Singaporeans can definitely be proud of; at the same time, they are proud structures that can stand tall amongst the world’s most recognizable.

We also had to drop by the Merlion. Despite being dwarfed by the towering structures along the bay, the symbol of Singapore stands proudly amidst all the modern marvels rising around it. It is the spirit of the country, a lion rising out of the water.

After watching “Wicked” (and me bumping into Kenny G), we went to see the spectacular water and light show outside Marina Bay Sands. It is an impressive showcase of how advanced Singapore has become. My earlier impression has definitely been altered; this was more Hollywood than Eastwood.

Tomorrow we hit the National Museum of Singapore to understand how Singapore came to be.

1 comment:

one_blissful_nomad said...

Hi Joel, I'm glad you liked my new home. :)