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A nation in mourning


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large_5550_14283308133591.jpgElevated walkway at Gardens by the Bay.
We managed to get our last-minute paid upgrade to Business Class for the flight to Singapore departing at 0115. Despite the ungodly timing, I stayed up for the supper service before sleeping, because I was hungry. I had expected to skip it in favour of a longer downtime but my tummy rules.

I did have 3 hours solid sleep followed by another 3 hours of dozing before waking up for breakfast and the 0645 arrival. We arrived at an odd timing as the founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee had passed away only a couple of days ago and the country was in the midst of six days of mourning.

We stayed with my aunt. After a swim, snooze and lunch, we taxied to Gardens by the Bay, which represents one of the city state’s newest attraction. The place included a skywalk (SGD5) and two domes (one tropical and another Mediterranean) which we skipped as it cost too much for our low level of interest in plants and garden.large_5550_14283308154525.jpgElevated walkway at Gardens by the Bay.We wandered around the various themed gardens for free.

For a place that’s relatively new, the plants appear very fully grown. I thought that some serious horse shit must have been used in the place. I later heard that they looked fully grown from Day 1.

From there we continued to the Marina Sands mall which looked more established than our previous visit. We ended up in the city centre area where we saw the queues of people lining up for up to 10 hours in order to pay their last respects to Mr Lee.

Back at my aunt’s place, we saw on TV people breaking down on their knees while paying their respects. I found it hard to comprehend how people can be so aggrieved by the loss of someone they haven’t personally met.

It wasn’t until a few days later at the state funeral that someone quoted a saying that clarified it 100% for me.large_5550_14283308177029.jpgGardens by the Bay.
Hutang emas boleh dibayar
Hutang budi dibawa mati.

Translation:
Debts of gold can be repaid.
Debts of deed can never be
(But will be taken with you to your grave).

The Singaporean gratitude to Mr Lee for bringing them from Third World into the First within a short space of time cannot be easily understood.

During Kim's 2 day stay in Singapore, we largely window-shopped. On Saturday, we had a long walk at East Coast Park by the beach before he flew to KL for the Grand Prix. I spent some time with friends in the evening. I would have a couple more days in Singapore before flying to Kuching.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Singapore

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