Finally caught up with the daily posts! Sorry for the delay the past few days- I’ve been getting back to my room really late and haven’t had time to update.
Today after lab, I went back to Jurong East, this time to Jem (one of the four malls at Jurong East). I needed some more shirts and shorts, since I feel like I’ve been wearing the same 5 shirts every day since I’ve arrived here, and I need more shorts since it’s so hot here.
Since I didn’t really explore anything interesting today, I thought that today’s post would be dedicated to one of the days of this blog’s missing week. I started this blog about a week after I got here in Singapore, and I haven’t had time to actually talk about what I did that week.
For this post, I’ll focus on my first solo adventure in Singapore! The first Saturday I was here (May 28), the whole research program group went on a guided half-day tour of Singapore. We visited many places, but didn’t spend much time at any of the places, since we were on such a tight schedule. The last stop of the tour was Merlion Park, which is where I took my first Merlion picture.
Afterwards, some people in our group decided to go back to NUS, while others went off in groups and explored Singapore a bit more. I decided to go on my first solo adventure here, albeit a half day one. I actually prefer to go on solo adventures, because I get to basically visit whatever I want, however long I want. In addition, I also have the freedom to change my plan without notice (or even explore without a plan).
Merlion Park was across the bay from Marina Bay Sands. This particular weekend (May 28-29), the DBS Dragon Boat Festival was taking place at Marina Bay! At Hopkins, many of my friends in Lion Dance are also part of Hopkins Dragon Boat, so I decided to see some dragon boat races and send some Snapchats of the races to my lion dance friends.
I have respect for those people who do dragon boat, because I went to one dragon boat practice with the Hopkins team, and my arms and shoulders hurt so much afterwards. Everyone paddling together at the same time to the beat of a drum is much harder than it sounds!
After seeing some dragon boat races and having the most delicious coconut and lychee popsicle, I hopped on the MRT at Bayfront and headed towards the National Gallery Singapore.
When I got off the bus stop, I saw a massive cathedral. Since I was traveling alone, I decided to spontaneously check it out before going to the National Gallery. St. Andrew’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Singapore, and it’s also the country’s oldest Anglican church. With its high ceilings, stained glass windows, and towerig columns, the interior looked like a typical cathedral- if it wasn’t hot and humid, I would have thought that I was somewhere in Europe!
After that short detour to St. Andrew’s, I walked next door to the National Gallery. I was able to get into the National Gallery for FREEEEEE since I showed my Student’s Pass!
The National Gallery is MASSIVE- it consists of two wings, City Hall and Supreme Court. Each wing was converted from the old city hall and supreme court of Singapore to be the museum wings they are today. There was an emphasis on artists from all over southeast Asia- Singapore (of course), Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, you name the southeast Asian country, this museum’s got art from it.
There was also some lion dance art! Even though the title of the painting does say “dragon dance,” I’m going to ignore that and pretend that it’s lion dance.
In addition to classical southeast Asian art (is classical art a thing? I’m not a humanities person, so not sure), there was also modern art.
The chair in the pictures above was my favorite part of the whole museum. At a certain angle, it looks like an entire chair. But when you move, you can see that it’s actually made up of many different pieces! Very very cool.
After this museum, I got nasi lemak for dinner at some mall I passed by (not sure which one it was awks) and went back to NUS. I would say that was a good first solo adventure!