ASIAN ADVENTURE - part 14 - WALKING ON WATER
My jaw remained dropped. And yes I've trod this path before but this time it was different. My viewpoint had changed. No longer am I angry for the destroyed past of my my home but am finally ready to embrace the new city that stands against the odds. Singapore accomplished her dream - to become a name recognized world wide, with respect (not always love, but with respect). When I first left my home in 1971 no one knew where this dot of a city state was. "Are there headhunters?", "Do you live in mud huts?", "Is Singapore a country?" With each hit of skepticism it eroded my identity. For the first time in 50 odd years my connection (although fragile) is back. How? Singapore has reached into her past, at last. Recognized the building of the city had meant the selling of her soul and they have tried (and to some extent been successful) to regain some of her spirit by reversing and preserving and working to enhance the heritage of the island. I had not expected to find her redeemed, nor to find pride in what she has achieved. A place in the world, A passport to envy and a name, synonymous with success. With the attitude of 'fuck you all, I exist today, against all the odds, not because outside help built me, but because I believed in myself and what I could achieve".
What a huge turnaround this trip has been for me. I now have to rewrite my book on 'identity' but mostly I feel good in calling myself a Singaporean, even though my passport is no longer one (much to my chagrin). (Damn you Brexit).
I stand on reclaimed land where once was the sea. Our world ended here, any extension was a boat trip to an island off the coast.
Collier quay was where we bargained with boat owners to take us for day trips to deserted islands like Sandy island. We'd pool in our pocket money and make egg and tuna sandwiches to the quay. Sometimes (when we did not have enough money to hire a boat ourselves) we'd invite some of our parents so they'd pay for the boat and then try to spend as little time with them as possible. I remember watching my father drinking wine and eating tandoori chicken (he had brought) while we drank warm water and shared our frugal fare (but it was glorious). Behind the quay is now The Fullerton Hotel where I stayed for 4 nights in 2018 (thank you Jenny for that luxury). This was the main post office where I'd go with my mother when she sent parcels to her native Netherlands.
We visited the Merlin when it was first erected in 1972. This regal symbol of Singapore spouted water out to sea, but now out to a lake because of the reclamation that has since taken place. It has diminished in significance against the grand edifices build around it but remains a symbol of the island - the Lion City.
the Sands Hotel has become the new symbol of Singapore. It dominates postcards and adverts to entice tourists to this destination. It is indeed grand placed opposite the Merlion that is lost in the landscape around it all.
My main reason to be there was The Apple Store. A ball on the lake. No wonder Apple remains the Rolex of computer systems.
The magic of Apple