Well I got less sleep last night at the backpackers than I did either of the previous two nights on the bus. Firstly because I was chatting with other girls in the dorm and we didn’t turn the light out till rather late, and secondly because I woke up when a new person came in at about 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning. I was in some half waking state where I knew I had to get up early but couldn’t figure out what time, which made it kind of difficult to sleep properly again! Eventually I got going just before my alarm at 4 am.
The non-joys of flying:
1. Getting up early to get to the airport hours before the flight.
2. The airport being so far out of town. Ok, so it’s not really that far in Darwin, but still.
3. Flying. It’s been a while. The young woman next to me buried her face in her magazine at take off, clutched her boyfriend’s arm when we had a little turbulence, and wasn’t at all comfortable during landing. I wasn’t as distressed as her, but wasn’t super happy about it all either. Especially the punch down of landing, and the roaring and rattling of rapid deceleration. After which the sweet bright Malaysian or Singaporean fellow who was the lead of the cabin crew said, “Welcome to Singapore” as if we’d just been on the most idyllic float across the sky!
I met up with my friend Ben at the hostel and we headed out to Gardens by the Bay. Futuristic ‘Super Trees’ dominate the scene. They’re tall structures with a funnel shaped canopy of green and purple metal branches. A skywalk goes between them. Closer up, the ‘trunks’ are green walls of all sorts of plants. They can’t photosynthesise, but at least one of the super trees disguise a vent for the biomass heating, cooling and electricity generating plant.
The other two large structures are the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. Since we were there we decided to give them a go. The best bits of the Flower Dome were the cactus gardens. The ancient olive trees brought in from some unacknowledged place were pretty gnarly too.
At first I wasn’t that impressed by the Cloud Forest. Hard to please. It made me think of a car park in a post-apocalyptic world that was being reclaimed by the plants, with monsoonal rain pouring out the remaining gutters. Then I realised that fitted with the space-agey super trees and I enjoyed it more after that.
We wandered over to Marina Bay Sands for a bite to eat. I didn’t see any sand. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right direction. I did see a little shop in a big shopping centre that was selling all sorts of fermented liquids. After I said I was intrigued that the shop front said vinegars, the fellow gave us a taste test of the ginger and lemon and the fig and chilli vinegars. They were pretty cool. But he was doing the hard sell so I escaped instead of browsing more.
We wandered back towards the CBD and stopped for a few minutes to contemplate going on the bus to the Night Safari. While Ben read reviews that turned us off it, I took a few shots of the flowers and fruit of the cannon ball tree. It was much more interesting than anything in the Flower Dome! That was us about done for the day so we made our way back to the hostel for the night.