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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Red and White Affair

Singapore is the only country in the world (correct me if I’m wrong), that has a lot of fan fare for National Day. We have performances of glittery song and dance (where thousands of students, national service men etc. sacrifice hundreds of hours rehearsing for), much coveted for goodie bags, and parade tickets are sold in the black market. Unlucky souls who weren’t successful in balloting for a free ticket, they bring out their picnic mats and gather at spots nearby to catch the spectacular fireworks display.
The long weekend started for me with a coastal clean-up first. Heading to Lim Chu Kang mangrove, it was a very educational experience. We did not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. Trash is regularly deposited on Lim Chu Kang mangrove from the straits (and I bet Malaysia will probably have the same to say about thrash coming from Singapore), so various interest groups often organize clean-up events. All these thrash, if left on its own will poison the water, which poisons the plants, which poisons the creatures who eat it, which poison the predators, which ultimately leads to poisoning us humans (mercury in fishes for example) because of the spoilt biodiversity. If you think you aren’t that noble to sacrifice time, effort and money to do something for the environment, then see it from the self centered angle. You will be affected. It’s like how some people don’t see the point in helping ex-offenders. They believe ex-offenders sought their own ending. So if you’re really that self-centered, then think it this way: Helping ex-offenders reduces your risk of being a victim of crime.

At 8am, we begin picking up thrash. It was a group of university students as well as scientists who studies about the environment. There were helmets, TV, and lots of plastics. The spooky part was this voodoo bag. Inside seemed to be a wooden cross with something hung on it, we didn’t dare look, and we didn’t dare touch.
I think someone else braver picked it up in the end and threw it. Must be one of the scientists, after all, they believe in science and not the paranormal right? Secluded places like these are often a place for human trafficking, illegal immigrants, make-out places as well as cult activities.
The spookiest, however, was this toilet seat cover that looked like the last person who sat on it had diarrhea.
I particularly enjoyed what comes after cleaning up. The kind scientists educated us on the characteristics of the mangrove, and even showed us some specimens including this dogface snake which really freaked me out. They say it doesn’t bite, but I was so afraid that after so many hands has handled it, the snake will be pissed when it finally reaches me and decides to bite
And this horseshoe crab that is estimated to be at least 300 million years old! Dinos are 200. It’s really amazing to be able to catch a sight of such an old creature; it might go extinct any time now because of pollution. The dead ones will stink, but you can choose to keep the empty shells! It’s a fossil, that’s your incentive to do coastal clean-ups.
The scientists also found the complete skeleton of a wild dog. Dogs hide out in mangroves because the agencies put any stray dogs to sleep in the city. That’s so sad; I played with such an adorable black puppy a distance away from the mangrove.
The amount of thrash we accumulated, not dumped hor.
On Sunday, I checked out the National Art Museum where 99 life sized wolves reside temporarily in the basement.
This one exhibit is for free, so drop by the museum if you’re around Dohby Guat.
On Monday, I had the privilege to watch NDP from the Presidential Suite in Marina Bay Sands.
32 inch flat screen TVs were placed everywhere in the suite. We could play pool and watch TV!
We saw the fighter jets soar and roar from our balconies, with the main highlight of course, was to see the fireworks in full view from the 54th floor in our own private space (ceiling to floor wide windows) with a friend playing appropriate dramatic notes on the grand piano as background music.
The living room is 3 times of a 3 room HDB flat. The Suite also has its own gym, massage, kitchen and karaoke room.
Needless to say the bathroom is 2 times my HDB bedroom. It costs $5000 a night here, but high rollers (gamblers who win AND lose millions) can get the suites for free sometimes.
Lotsa bubbles, chips and Cold Storage’s roasted chicken, it was such a good night with old and new friends.
Special thanks to KS who invited me to crash and LC who took the pictures and took me home.

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