Fabulous Singapore continued to amaze as we joined in the city's New Year's Eve celebrations. We started our evening low-key by going to a movie, 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'. Needless to say, Singapore has tons of movie theatres and, as far as we can tell, they're mostly showing the latest releases from the States and from China. We loved this movie; it's ultimately a romance but with the background aspect of an ordinary man leaving his comfort zone to do some extraordinary things. Since this involved spontaneous travel to distant and exotic places we could relate to the thrill he felt, though we'd definitely not consider doing some of the things he did once there!
After the movie we headed to Glutton's Corner, a well-known hawker stand for the most incredibly tasty food and variety of food choices. It's located on the esplanade and faces the water where the fireworks were going to be at midnight. The place was bustling with activity and bursting with the fragrant smells of cooking. Having learned from experience at other hawker stands we perused the various options and then found a place to sit, no easy feat. Dennis went to order what we wanted while I saved our seats and chatted with the other people seated around the table.
Our food choices were absolutely divine! We picked two Indian chicken dishes and shared them; Mee Goreng, a spicy noodle dish and Roti Prata Murtabak, a sort of stuffed pancake that came with a side of curry to dip it in. The two very full plates came to a total of S$17. We're still not sure which of the two we liked best - if only there weren't so many other choices, we'd order exactly the same thing again! For dessert I had a celery and green apple juice, freshly pressed in front of me, no ice or water added. Freshly pressed juice in any combination is available everywhere and is relatively inexpensive.
By the time we finished eating it was about 9pm. We meandered along the waterfront listening to the music from the concert in the stadium nearby, and the chatter of hundreds of voices in high spirits. Everyone was having a good time. We wanted to watch the fireworks from the other side of the bay, under the lotus flower building (The Art & Science Museum), pictured below. Notice the spheres on the water are now blue, they were yellow in the photo above. The colour changed every few minutes and sometimes even took on patterns.
We finally got to our desired location around 10pm, squeezing ourselves in between two families willing to make a little space for us. We were probably amongst the last few who were actually able to secure a sitting postion on the raised wall surrounding the lotus pond, under the lotus building. Two hours passes quickly when you're watching people trying to find themselves a patch of ground to sit on. Eventually the crowd swelled to such an extent that there was nowhere else to sit and even the walkway disappeared. The countdown began and fireworks lit up the sky!
Ten minutes later the show had ended and we all started to move out, much in the way penguins move when they're huddled together against the cold. Waddle, waddle, left - waddle, waddle, right. Move forward a few feet, then stop for an equal amount of time. We could have waited but didn't feel the need to, waddling was all part of the experience! Once inside the mall we made our way to the food 'opera' and sat down to a lovely cup of tea while we waited for the rush on the MRT station to slow down. We made the last train home just before they shut down at 2am. What a wonderful night!
Note on current exchange rate: SGD$1.00 is about US$0.80 is about ZAR8.00