Monday, December 21, 2015

the wind on our faces

Since we’re trapped in Singapore, the kids and I do some local sight-seeing.

The most eye-opening was probably the CC tour.

What’s that? It’s the sort of outing which the community centres organize, mostly joined by elderly folk who participate in the CC’s activities.

Stuff like day tours to Malacca, pre-Chinese New Year shopping etc.

I like them because they’re usually very good value for money and there’s no rush, your companions are likely slower than you are.

The kids’ Por Por is a CC regular – she goes to the gym, does tai chi and sings karaoke there.

So when she finds out about a river cruise, which includes a dinner, she asks us to come along.

Of course I say yes, we are starved of activity. And its nice to go out with their grandparents.

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* The kids and Gong Gong, waiting for the bus

And it turns out to be quite lovely, for $50 an adult and $38 a kid. (prices don't seem to have changed since 2009. Wow)

From near our place in the East, we hop on board an open-top bus which is a first for the kids. 

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* Gong Gong moving to the back

The cold wind (it’s this time of year) slapping our faces and twisting our hair even as we crawl along at 20km per hour is truly refreshing, and a bit blinding when we get onto the East Coast Expressway ie we have to squint / close our eyes.

The kids reach out and tug at tree branches, giggling, and try to stick their heads out of the bus (only one bar separates them from a death fall), as Christmas carols blare gaily from the bus speakers.

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* The big hole next to Lu

Once at Clarke Quay, somewhere behind Liang Court, we leave the bus and hop onto the boat. It’s flat with brass rails, a roof and a faded red carpet on which white chairs and a buffet table have been placed.

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* Outside

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* Inside 

Everyone toddles to Liang Court for a pee (the boat has no loo) before the boat moves off, along the narrow river, passing through Clarke Quay, before coming out into the open stretch between the Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands.

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The breeze is cool and balmy against my face and as I sit in my plastic chair cruising along, watching the lights, I am ecstatic to be exactly where I am. I'd probably feel the same as if I were floating down a Venetian canal, which of course I have never seen and probably never will. The kids seem to feel the same way, especially when the lids are lifted off the trays.

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It’s the standard party buffet, and it’s a bit hard eating in the dark, especially for people whose eyesight isn't so great. Their Gong Gong polishes off a plate of what he thought was funny-tasting fried rice (lower right in the picture above). It was only when he criticized it later, that we clarified it was fried egg. 

But what does it matter to kids? Pasta, broccoli and fish is just that, no matter how it’s cooked.

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The long cruise takes us through dinner and a bit over, as we stop for a laser light show at Marina Bay Sands.

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Then it’s back on the bus for another long ride down the whole of Orchard Road starting from Tanglin through to Raffles Place, to see the Christmas lights, some of which (those dangling from the trees) seem within arms reach.

It would have been magical except Day and Jo are full of fruit punch from the cruise. So it becomes agonizing, as their bladders screech with every bump on the bus. 

Otherwise, it’s a great day out. I’d do it again in a shot next year.

3 comments:

Anya & Arielle's mom said...

It looks so tempting from your photos and description! I'm so gonna look out for such a tour at my CC during the holidays!

Sher said...

It must be during the year-end though, when the weather's good!
Actually a lot depends on the weather... if its humid or hot or drizzling it just wont be the same.

Anonymous said...

Why won't you ever venture out? You can take a trip faraway on your own!