The Merlion

For the evening of our second day in Singapore, Snake, Lisa, Míša and I planned to meet on Sentosa Island.
On the internet I read about an amazing lightshow, that is supposed to take place on the shores of lil Disneyland, so after a day of sooo many detours, which we spent more in the underground system of Singapore than in the actual city, we arrive at harbor front.
From there we move along the long bridge to Sentosa over the bay waters.
People were advising us to take the Monorail that connects Singapore with Sentosa but we rather economise the 3 Singaporian Dollars and enjoy our walk over the bridge.
The Skyline of Singapore in the sunset is magnificently visible from here.
The lights start being lit in the windows of the skyscrapers and the evermoving waters of the bay serve as a big mirror.
All the enjoying aside, we are quite in a hurry as the lightshow is supposed to start soon.

Asking some locals sitting on the outside veranda of a bar, we almost immediately find the place to be. We even have some minutes to explore the direct surroundings, then the light show begins – and we are massively disappointed.

Two metal cranes (birds) are lifted out of a rectangular metal construction and some loud music and coloured lightbeems highlight the ongoings over the shore waters.
Both birds have respectively one monitor in their metal ‘chests’ and both are showing the animated inner parts of a machine at work – or something.
Water, pumped out in a wide fan, symbolizes the cranes’ wings – which leads to the only somewhat impressive part of the show, when the cranes flap their colorfoul wings as they move in a mating dance.
“Hm… I suppose that is art” I muse.
Míša giggles. From then on, we rather make fun of the whole event. Especially when the two cranes fly together, their two hearts – displayed on the monitors – become one and the colors turn into a bright rainbow.
“Maybe it’s a clandestine protest for gay rights”
(Singapore is one of the countries in which being gay is punishable by law)


Later we meet Snake and Lisa at the monorail station.
“Hey, one question: Why ‘Snake’, when your actual name is Zac?” I ask our host after the greetings.
Zac shruggs: “I like Splinter Cell and my friends started calling me Snake. But my actual name isn’t Zac either”
“Yeah, here in Singapore our parents give us names but most of the times they call us differently, with a name they like better. Or sometimes we chose our names ourselves, you know?”

The four of us explore the island of Sentosa now, namely the Universal picture park, fountains and after some time we see a huge lion statue with the tail of a fish, that rises over the woods of the island.
“We call this one the Merlion” Zac explains.
Legend has it that back when Singapore was only a small fishing village, a prince sailed along its shores and made out a white lion on the hills along the beaches. He declared, that henceforth the Island shall be called ‘Singa pora’ – Lions’ Fishing village.

“Only there are no lions on Singapore and never were.
So I wonder what that prince smoked”

We look at some ancient ships of different epoques and cultures swaying in the waters. An old chinese gondola, a european longship, two more whichs types I forgot.
“I wish I could sail with one of those”, zac says with dreamy eyes.
“Yeah! That’d be cool” I agree and add after some time: “I don’t know about my seasickness though”
The last time I had been on a propper sea ride, I felt pretty sick and my father was famous for his sea sicknes, too. But to be fair, I don’t know if I still have this particuar problem, the more I think about it, the more I would like to be on ships too. Maybe working aboard one for a temporary job, maybe some cruise for exploration – Maybe when striking it rich finally buying a huge old Pirate-Style Boat, several kegs of rum and two months of party on the open sea with my friends!

After a nice, relaxing and fun walk over the island, we try to find something to eat, but most of the restaurants are very expensive or closed.
Driven by our rumbling stomachs we even miss our last train home, so in the end we take a cab.
The driver of the cab is a funny, open fellow, talking all the time and being really interested into our travel story.
“I was in Germany! I love it. They play tonight, you know? At three”
“They play?” I ask a bit confused.
“Football. You don’t look?”
“Oh. Yeah. No.” I completely forgot it’s Euro cup, at the moment, eventhough not one week ago we have been watching the last game at a friend’s garden.

When we arrive at Zac’s and Lisa’s home, we have some Ramen and talk for a long time.
During this conversation, finally our first lessons of the Singaporean language take place.
Obviously we learn, what everyone learns first, when talking to locals in a different language:

After a good meal and a good laugh, we finally go to sleep.
You Pookie-Makaos 😉





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