3-hour beach holiday
even workshop elves need a tan
I've been finding myself running to and from meetings these days. A good thing I never really fancied wearing high heels.
All that running made me think of one of the first mandarin pop songs I heard on radio and had immediately liked - Cheer Chen's 让我想一想 (Let me think a little). The lyrics are probably alluding to a girl's uncertainty and fears at the start of her first romance or something. But since my mandarin's not great, my understanding of that song was and remains completely out of context! For me, it's a song about having that perfect lazy, quiet moment, in the sun, beside the sea, under a tree - when all is still except for the breeze. An understanding about as out of context as why my favourite line from Marvell's The Garden is - "To a green thought in a green shade".
有阳光 有流水 还有微风吹...
该如何面对 这未知的一切 让自己的思绪沉淀
这些对 那些好 我想追 我想逃 其实我也害怕...
from The Garden
Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness :
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find ;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas ;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.
image by J
As such, in inspired pursuit of 阳光, 流水, 微风, J and I decided this weekend to drop the sneakers and the city, to venture onto yet another small island - even if this island is also (in)famously manufactured.
In its 3rd or 5th incarnation after many failed attempts to create our own little Bali, Sentosa has housed or still houses the following: an "artist village", a food court, a history/wax museum, a political detainee, a British fort and its cannons, a butterly park, an aquarium, a giant merlion statue-cum-observation tower, a water-slide park, cable car station, monorail tracks, dinosaur dioramas, hotels, a golf course, beaches, a monkey show area and a mini trapeze... Disregarding its rather ominous Malay name (Pulau Belakang Mati), the rulers of Sentosa are attempting now to revive it with expensive condominium projects, an "Integrated Resort", new spa-hotels, and beach front bars to match the new image.
pretty boy and girls - image by J
We were determined to get some sun, even if we are not quite Sentosa's new target crowd of Ibiza-loving party goers, bronzed, fit or wealthy (in which case, it doesn't matter if you are not bronzed or fit). So we packed our own bag of chips and a homemade cocktail (1/3 coconut rum; 1/3 club soda; 1/3 orange juice) to avoid the beachfront bars, sucked in our tummies, laid down on J's military-issue bath towels under a coconut tree on the imported sand of Siloso beach and watched the pretty boys and girls pose and laugh.
It was far from quiet or peaceful, but at least there was the sun and a cooperative breeze. And considering it took us less than 45min and $5 each to get here from our home, I'd say we had a fairly decent 3-hour beach holiday.
p/s Domestic Travel tips - Getting there by public transport
Take the North-east line, alight at Harbourfront station. Exit Harbourfront Station, and go to Vivocity Level 3. There, buy a ticket (Adult $3) and take the 4min Sentosa rail express that runs across the causeway to Sentosa and terminates at the beach station. There's a 7-Eleven at the beach station, but everything on this island is over-priced. So you can either load up on snacks and drinks at Vivocity's supermarket or bring your own from home. The beachfront bars blast their music, so there's no point bringing your own music.
For food, Farrer Park station is also on the North-East line. This means you can drop by Little India on your way back from Sentosa for supper at any one of Desker Road's naan/tandoori eateries and enjoy some close body contact courtesy of the legendary Mustafa all through the night!
Photo of Chinese medicinal hall in Little India that has morphed opportunistically into a bottle/alchohol shop. Images by J.