May 20, 2010

Deep Purple

Happened ('Happened' here means - booked 4 months in advance !) to be at the Singapore indoor stadium to experience Deep Purple - the english rock band - Live !

The stage seemed great with smoky lights and all the instruments. The stadium was huge and the crowd big, ranging from teenagers to 60+

The decibels were deafening.
 I am no fan of rock music and had not heard any of deep purple songs ..not even 'smoke on the rain' and the live experience did not help in enhancing my love for rock !
But, it was amazing to see the energy levels of the band members who were on an average 60+ ! They performed non stop for 2 hours.

Best part was the solo performances and the very cute dance steps of Ian Gillan.

Obviously, they ended with their most popular song - 'smoke on the rain' and as we came out it was actually drizzling and the night had a smoky feel !

We boarded the newly opened circle (yellow) line for the first time and changed the maximum number of times... yellow to red at Dhoby Ghaut, to green at Outram Park and finally to bus at Dover.

Will add photos later !

May 13, 2010

Sentosa - Underwater World

Just a few months after I joined my first job, I was asked to fly to Singapore in 2 days time. Not having any experience of work, not knowing what I was expected to do at the client location in SG and afraid that I will probably make a fool of myself, feeling 2 days was an extremely short time to plan for the first overseas trip, I refused to go.

Well ! My loss was somebody else's gain and later it seemed that the whole project team was going to Singapore. One and all talked about their trip to SENTOSA when they came back to India. I had heard the name so many times from team mates yet I hardly knew what the place was like except it being an island near Singapore.

Finally, after close to a decade, I visited Sentosa.

Sentosa is south of Singapore and from the Harbour Front station one may take a bus/rail/cable car to reach Sentosa. We decided to take a cab and I sunk in the back seat -relaxing and looking forward to a long beautiful journey into the island, when suddenly in 10 minutes time I realized that we had already reached Sentosa. I never knew it was so near! It is actually only half a kilometer from the southern tip of SG.

Sentosa  means Peace and Tranquility in Malay. There is quite a history attached to it before it turned into the so called 'island resort' that it is today. It is interesting to know that the place has no residential establishment (except hotels) but has been developed solely for recreational purpose.

As soon as we entered the gates of Sentosa we could see the signature Orange buses plying here and there and a lot of construction was on for the upcoming Resorts World which features the Universal Studios theme park. Somehow, it felt like being in the Truman Show.

The Underwater world

We headed straight to the Underwater world and joined the queue for tickets. I suddenly saw a man with a big snake round his neck posing for a photo. A guy was renting snakes for $5 for photo and there was a small queue there too :-) Quite scary !

We watched with awe the amazingly colourful fishes...the clown fish seemed exactly like Nemo (remember 'Finding Nemo'!). There was a beautiful white fish with a small dash of yellow. Then there were extremely small deep purple ones which just found their way everywhere. At the same time it was quite disappointing to see so many fishes in a very small confined space.

We spent a long amount of time watching the jelly fishes...It seemed like watching a slow ballet. We waited there for the colour to change again and again ...I am at loss to describe it. Had to capture it in a video...but not able to upload here.

I spotted a travelator and hurried everyone on to it. We had spent a long time at the initial 2-3 attractions and I was worried that we will not have enough time for anything else. I was sure that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Kapil and I had been to the Scotland UW world or whatever it was called and it was so big that we could not see it fully as we had reached late.I also faintly remember the marine world of Mumbai which was huge as well.

So we jumped on the travelator, admired some more big and small fishes....some of them were sharks too but not as big as we were expecting, took a few photos and within no time we reached the end of travelator journey........ ummm so soon .... excuse me ......I am sure we are missing something.....I went up and down ...left and right to search for a turn that we had missed and which will lead us to more of the underwater world ! But there was none....I could not believe that this was all of it.

But wait ..there was the dolphin show and the sea lion show also included in the ticket. So we headed for the shows. They were not bad but not as good as the ones in the singapore zoo.

Overall, I felt it is quite a hyped attraction but may be good for someone who hasn't had a glimpse of the marine world before.

Next, we took the Sentosa bus for the next destination.........

May 01, 2010

The Singapore Zoo

Recently when we were trying to recollect some details of our itinerary etc from the past holiday trips....we could not recall as much as we would have liked to :-) So thought it might be a good idea to pen some thoughts on places visited so that we can refresh our memories later :-) But will keep it short and simple else will never be able to complete !

So starting with the Zoo !
Have never been too fond of zoos ! Somehow the word creates an image of sad looking lazy animals in confined and a little smelly spaces ! Having already visited the Delhi and Ahmadabad zoos (which we did enjoy to a certain extent but there was no deja vu feeling ! ) wasn't too keen on a trip to the Singapore zoo. But well, it is all so famous and then husband's company gave free passes and have a 4 year old so had no excuse for further delay !

So one fine Saturday (or was it sunday..see forgetting already :-) morning in Feb, we packed our lunch and camera and jumped into a cab and were inside the jungle in 20 minutes !

The stream of people there already created some excitement and Pranav wanted to sit on the cows statue at the entrance when we kept telling him there are some real animals inside.

To put it simply,I would have been a fool to miss this.We felt we were in a jungle. It was truly the zoological garden that all zoos should be. The animals seemed soooo near, you have to see it to believe it! it was as if they could jump out any time ! On a closer look there was enough security measures and planning like a transparent net and a deep valley separating the animals from us.

Though the spaces were confined, it was as if the animals were in their own habitat.The animals even seemed happy to pose for a photo :-)

We spent the whole day there and it is really difficult to pen what all I saw. Just mentioning few highlights.

Watching the Orangutans was amazing...the way they swing from one branch to other...Their hands are even longer than their body. Saw a happy family of three lovingly snuggling with each other. Would have liked to sit their and watch the activities for some time but had to move on!

Spent some time just sitting and watching the polar bears (mommy and son) swim graciously without resting. Reading the information and photos displayed since the baby polar bear was born in the zoo and how it's birthdays were celebrated and how it has grown and how the whole staff loves him took us into a different world.

The Giraffes looked huge and we were there at their feeding time. So fed some carrots to them. Love the photo of this lonely Giraffe.

We watched all three shows: Elephants at work, splash safari and the rainforest fights back. We were just strolling lazily for the first show when we were taken aback by the amount of people already gathered for the show and all seats taken :-) Pranav laughed and laughed when the sea lion splashed water on the audience ! All the shows were weaved very nicely and were quite interactive though only 15-20 minutes long.

Saw such big a tortoise for the first time...looked centuries old..and looked as if he was smiling while eating away the leaves !

The comodo dragon looked deadly and all the information written about it was quite scary !

There was also a big space for all sorts of vegetable and spices plants and we loved it.

By evening, we were dead tired. A lot of walking coupled with the humid weather doesn't make it too easy. I would like to go again and spend more time just sitting and looking at the activities of animals and read the whole bunch of very interesting information at display again.

Well, it was quite nice and all but don't know how much it could impress Pranav because when we ask him about his favourite animal, he still answers 'DONKEY' with full confidence as earlier to the visit and is not ready to budge even after some coaxing! On asking why.. he says 'because I like his 'Dhen chu Dhen Chu'. Had no option but to leave it there with a smile...after all kids will be kids and it's amazing to see them happy in their own world !