by Tanaira Cullens -- March 13th, 2012
Day two of our lovely sojourn here in Singapore began with many of us eating breakfast together bright and early. Although breakfast is from 7-10 a.m. many of us went early, I for one was awake and ready to eat at 2:37 a.m. this morning only to realize that it was entirely too early to expect anything to be open or for anyone to be cooking breakfast. After breakfast we were off to the bus stop for a day of learning. Today was a day filled with cultural immersion.
Our first stop was the National Museum of Singapore where we were given audio headsets filled with information on the exhibits. Each exhibit corresponded to a different number on the floor just before you entered a new part of the museum. Upon entering that number into the audio headset, the story of the object you happened to be looking at would be told through the eyes of a Singaporean, who are a conglomerate of different ethnicities, the main ones being Chinese, Malay, and Indian. After a few standard exhibits in the front of the museum, the remainder of the museum was in a “pick your own path” style. There were two options; 1. go through following the purple arrows to learn about the history of Singapore through its events or 2. Choose the other path following orange arrows learning about the history of Singapore through personal accounts. With the perfect mix of music, art, architecture, and short films the stories of the country really came to life and by the end of the visit we were still thinking about something that we heard or saw while inside.
We then stopped to get lunch in the dining hall of the Singapore Management University. There were a variety of different options from many different cultures, I myself chose to get a Korean hot stone filled with Bibimbap (rice, steamed veggies, grilled chicken, fried egg and spice….lots and lots of spice). After a delicious meal, we headed to the Marina Barrage, which is essentially a reservoir Singapore uses as another source of water supply, flood control, and what they call lifestyle attractions such as sailing and kayaking. After learning about how the barrage works we went back to the inn to retire until dinner.
A few of us went out for dinner, I had fried fish, vegetarian fried rice, and a potato cake all delicious, but a bit pricey. After a quick glance at the clock we all finished the remainder of our meal and paid so that we could make it back in time for a fitting for fins and to retrieve the remainder of our snorkeling gear for the adventures to come. All in all it was a productive day and a wonderful day two of our sojourn in Singapore.