Monday, March 30, 2015

Fish and rain

This year Easter is a bigger deal in Singapore than any year before. Almost like the Expat and local communities have suddenly got in stride at the same time for a little party. There are egg hunts and painting parties galore, exhibitions of painted eggs of all sizes in various spots. 

Spent the morning at the aquarium with Kid. A whisk through while it poured buckets outside. Surprisingly non-crowded for a Sunday morning.The aquarium is celebrating Easter in its own way. These large / giant eggs are sitting patiently in many tanks and Kid found this so amusing he asked to take a picture of each, on his own, with my phone. Here they are:

His favourite is the 4th one - 'the two sand sharks are trying to get under it and topple it over. That is so cute!'

LKY was laid to rest post some brilliant eulogies. I often feel like people should have a chance to hear their eulogies before their passing - it would be so cheering to leave life knowing how wonderful it had all been. It poured as his coffin was led through the streets. It didn't deter an adoring public from lining the streets to mark their respect. And the heavens clearly agreed it was a loss for why else would it rain torrentially. 

It was a day of many parts. It included a trip to the airport to collect friends off a long and tiring flight from London. Nothing like friends from old to cheer one up. Kid and his friend behaved like they had never been apart. The innocence of kids who have indeed forgotten each other but willed themselves to remember using pictures and stories from their parents arsenals of childhood tales. More later. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time escapes us all

There is nothing like the experience of a bad plane journey to get me grumbling again. And so here I am.

But before I get to that its the week that Singapore's founding father, it's Titan, lost his battle with age and ill health. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew died last weekend and even in this anticipated death (he had deteriorated rapidly over the past few weeks) and the wonderful precision with which this city state is marking its loss there would be no accounting for this outpouring of love and gratitude that has emerged. We were in India but I've followed closely by newspaper/ television reports and the social media feeds the show of respect for this wonderful man, who took a tiny swamp land, and in defiance to a stronger Malaysia made it a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. This country has been my home for over two years and every day I am thankful for its security, it's cleanliness and diverse people. The lines to visit his body lying in State in Istana run 8-10 hours long and despite warnings to not join them people continue to do so. And while people wait in these long snaking lines it is others that provide water, umbrellas and food, urging them to continue, to continue on for this one last time, the paying of respect a small token of appreciation of how much he has done for this Nation State.

I've spent this afternoon at the closest community centre to us looking at a beautifully curated exhibition in rememberance and signed the condolence book. I've seen lovely people both old and young crying and nodding in agreement over this loss, telling stories of their kampongs, the opportunities given them in their youth, the education afforded every citizen, the rousing speeches to work hard and honestly given by this man. I've read tributes and followed his sons speech as he held back his private emotions in grieving for his father vs. the Father of this nation. I am moved by this show of emotion, to say the least. No one shall ever be able to say this is a cold emotionless country without drawing ire. The funeral is tomorrow and we shall all wear black to show our respect. It's the very least we can do.