so after a sumptuous meal at apolo banana leaf restaurant with family friends, we had one last thing to do on our last night in singapore. go to the marina bay sands.
now the average tourist would probably visit marina bay sands in singapore right on the first day, says my cousin..but we’d been looking at it from car and bus windows for the past five days and never had the time to squeeze in a trip to the place….essentially the area has hotels, casinos with free access to non-singaporeans and well more malls and restaurants and of course, it had the MERLION PARK with the FAMOUS MERLION STATUE which has water coming out of it’s mouth or sth like that.
and so, we get out of apolo banana leaf and ask this guy on the street, “how do we go to merlion park?” and then he doesn’t get our question…and then my sanu ba and ama explain, you know the place where the lion has water coming out of it’s mouth…it’s to do with the origin of singhapura.
and then it clicks sth in this dude’s brain and he says loudly, like we are the fooled ones, “OHHHH, YOU WANT TO SEE THE MERLEON?” …lion pronounced as leon…like in kings of leon. hehehehe…
hmmm…so we just go on, yeah yeah we want to see the MERLEON, do you know which way is the best way to go see the MERLEON. believe me, this was the first person we met who said merleon. even growing up, i knew it was merlion because my ama and sanuama were born in singapore. but my sanuama can’t remember most of the places coz it’s changed so much…that’s a different story.
you won’t really get the answers you want from her..when you ask her questions..my sanuama, i mean. like when we went to the sultan’s museum, regalia, in bandar seri begawan..the capital of brunei, my cousin asked her (her ama, my sanuama), “so how did the gurkha camp start in brunei?”
she says, “i think they saved the king’s grandfather and then they started keeping them…(as national protectors).”
we ask,”from whom did they save the king?”
she answers, “THE ENEMY.”
we’re both like, “HYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”
and she casually adds, “aba k ni ta, it could have been a fire.”
you get it, now.
and soooo we decided to take the train to marina bay sands, since it would run till midnight or so and it wasn’t yet midnight…just very close to midnight. when we got out at the station, everyone was heading into the station to get home and we four: sanuama, sanuba, cousin and me..we the ones heading out of the station.
so by this point, we’d walked around the city so much already….last minute shopping is what i would term the day. we went to one of the art colleges and the exhibition was weird. and then we went to hunt for my shoes at vivo city and then i realized that the place i’d seen the shoes i wanted were at harbor front..and so we circled and circled the mall like three times. and believe, me it’s like freaking making a walk from sundhara to bishalbazaar, they’re malls are so freaking HUGE, it gets you dizzy after a bit.
so my leg was in no capacity to take a midnight stroll and this wasn’t even a stroll. it ended up being a hunt for the merleon…seems like we had landed on the station that was quite a bit away from the merleon.
and so we walked and walked and made a half donut around the bay. it was pretty but it was too much of a walk for me to enjoy and take in the sparkling water of the bay and the colorful lights. ahhh…i took off my shoes and began walking barefoot. i just didn’t care. and besides, i guess singapore is pretty clean right? hehehe.
anyways, in the middle of the ‘walk’ we passed this club and there was a huge line of people outside. all dressed up and waiting to enter. on the stairs there was a girl sitting and crying i think and there was tons of puke next to her. good thing, i had my shoes back on by then. ugh
it was past midnight when we reached the merleon park where the merleon statue was supposed to be. LO AND BEHOLD!!! the merleon statue was under construction and there was this TINY REPLICA instead of the big MERLEON statue!!! WHAT THE HECK???
oh myan, it was so frustrating to the point of being comic. we are such a crazy family. we were brisking about the concrete banks of marina bay in search of ‘the’ merleon…merlion, merleon…oh myan. oh myan. i won’t forget my first trip to singapore for many many reasons and this is probably the numero uno reason. THE MERLEON THAT WAS NOT THERE…and we got there at midnight, after five days in singapore.
btw, the merlion is a mermaid and lion mixed creature.