Monday, April 20, 2015

Singapore

I just returned from Singapore. It was my second time for this year and fifth over-all. All of my visits were work-related though. And as per our company's information, I need to go back to Singapore for another technical meeting this May. That would make it three consecutive months of business trips in Singapore.

singapore

The longest stay I had was for three days thus I didn't have much time to explore the country except last month. I had at least 15 hours to go around the country’s top tourist attractions while waiting for my night flight back to Japan. One of the most interesting places was Gardens by the Bay. There was this giant baby sculpture by Marc Quinn in the heart of the garden. To some, it was creepy. 

singapore

Dream House 

I can make my own --- 
not the houses sketched 
by architects and arranged 
by interior designers. 

I do not need a thermal roof, 
a couple of rusty GI sheets 
with used rubber tires 
as weights would do. 

I care less about marble floors, 
French windows and sliding doors; 
I'll use smoked plywood 
and discarded hollow blocks. 

 This is the dream I have every night 
as I curl like a fetus, 
in the careless womb of the city 
wrapped in a blanket of newspapers. 

/totomai 

In the said garden, you can also see the Supertrees Grove. There is a restaurant at top. You can also see the city view. Hoping that next time I will have a chance to take a night shot of these amazing trees. Most of the brochures about Singapore had photos of trees at night. 

singapore
singaporesingapore

Of course, one should not miss the symbol of Singapore - the Merlion Park. The most crowded attraction in the country, be it in daytime or nighttime. 

merlionsingapore

I usually stay in Chinatown during my business trips since this is the most accessible area going to our clients. Few more visits and I will know it by heart. Chinatown is a very busy place - from souvenir shops to restaurants to temples. You can find everything here, almost.

contrastsingaporestatuessingapore

I know that Singapore has still lots to offer. Maybe next month I could have a spare time during my business trip. Or maybe I can visit it again as a tourist. For the meantime, here’s a short video I made from my last visit. Click here for the video

 /totomai 
2015/04/20


Photos taken with Nikon D7000, Nikon D80 and iphone5s 
lenses used : 
     Nikkor 18-200mm 3.5f 
     Nikkor 105mm 2.8f
     Nikkor 18-300mm 3.5f 
     Tamron 11-16 mm 2.8f

60 comments:

  1. This is fantastic...! :D
    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    1. your poem is heart wrenching!

      thank you for taking us on a visit to Singapore ~ those trees are awe inspiring!

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    2. My pleasure :) Thanks a lot

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  2. that's a beauty spot with lots of dreams hanging around...love the giant baby..and the lines...

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    1. To some, that sculpture is scary. But I liked it. Thanks Sumana

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  3. As always, my visit to your blog is like taking a wonderful trip, seeing new and unexpected sights. Singapore, in your video, looks amazing!!!!! I sent the link to my Filipino daughter (in law) as she went from the Pillipines to Singapore at seventeen, then came on to Canada. She will love it. Her sister is there now. Your photos here are wonderful - those trees are remarkable - and I LOVE your poem. Whose ending brings us from the modern fast paced glittering city, to the life of the homeless under all the glitter. Powerful stuff, totomai!

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    1. We tend to forget that homeless has dreams too. Thanks Sherry, hope your daughter in law will liked it. :)

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  4. Wonderful... I agree with Sherry...
    ZQ

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  5. I have been in Singapore once.. and what I enjoyed the most was actually the food.. so many delicious dishes to enjoy.. your poem is wonderful, and I particularly enjoy the last stanza, with the newspaper blanket coming as a surprise.

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    1. I liked the food there too Bjorn especially the chili crab. :)

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    2. Did you have satay with peanut sauce? That's my favorite :-)

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    3. i did. with beer of course haha

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  6. it's nice to dream of place you call your own.

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    1. Indeed, Natasca. It will be very fulfilling to have one

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  7. The closing line sheds a totally different light on the whole poem, totomai, and makes us pause and reflect. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

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    1. Thanks too Gabriella. We need to be sensitive to our homeless fellows :)

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  8. Your photos continue to take my breath away. I do think one can make one's own dream house...wherever one wants to. It doesn't have to be an elaborate one, just a place of one's own. DSnake1 ( http://dsnake1.blogspot.com/ ) lives in Singapore. Perhaps one day you can connect with one another?

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    1. I would love connect with fellow poets. Thanks for the info Mary which I have more time to enjoy Singapore

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  9. A beautiful poem and stunning photos as always...I am sure those trees are gorgeous at night.

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    1. I think so Donna. Maybe next time I will have the chance to take a photo at night.

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  10. Stunning photos and a wonderful poem. The closing stanza and the words" as I curl like a fetus,
    in the careless womb of the city wrapped in a blanket of newspapers" just blew me away. You are very talented.

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  11. If Singapore has homeless on its streets, it hides them well... I don't remember seeing any, but I was just on the tourist track. This is a lovely poem with an unexpected last stanza ...the dark face of reality, well captured.

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    1. The poem is not necessarily about Singapore but in big cities / countries in general. Japan has. Thanks Thot!

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  12. Love the strong voice here.The homeless makes do with little, a little more material is a dream if all they have is newspapers. Also aware of the stark contrast between the portrayal of a homeless man curled up in newspapers against the backdrop of those beautifully/fancily designed buildings hinted in the poem.

    And yes, you should see the supertrees at night, if you can, just a bit after sunset. They are beautiful with their lights on. :)

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    1. Thanks Raven,

      i am now looking forward to see the super trees at night :)

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  13. I enjoyed the photos and the video, and most of all your poem. I was particularly struck by the image, as I curl like a fetus,
    in the careless womb of the city

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  14. greetings from Singapore!

    great photography as usual, totomai!
    yes, you should see the Supertrees at night. Other places you can visit are the Botanical gardens (which we are applying for a UNESCO world heritage site), the Tiong Bahru area with its unique architecture, and if you like people watching, the Orchard road area.
    like any big city, there are homeless people, but we see them mainly camped out at the beach.
    btw, that's a great video!

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    1. thanks for the recommendations dsnake. will try to visit them as sook as i have spare time. see you around :)

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  15. totomai,

    Thank you for seeing the plight of a homeless soul through your poetry this week. It does not matter to them what materials are used in grandiose dwellings, as long as they can retain something of independence..Lovely photos..

    Eileen

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    1. indeed Eileen. a place they can call home

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  16. I love the whole post as usual - but what sang out to me was the request for home...it need not be fancy..just safe and part of us

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    1. you are correct Jae. They deserved to be embraced too :).

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  17. This is very generous sharing, Totomai. Thank you also for sharing your dream/poem. The baby in the garden statue reminded me another one in my home city Odessa/Ukraine by Ernst Neizvestny. I post the link for you: http://www.videoblocks.com/video/baby-sculpture-on-pier-in-odessa-ukraine/
    Thank you xx

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    1. Thanks for the link, humbird. I think there are lots of this type of sculptures all over the world

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  18. Gorgeous photos, Totomai, of a spectacular city!

    Your poem gets to the crux of what makes a house a home.

    Poppy

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    1. Thanks Poppy. a house is not always a home to some though

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  19. those trees are incredible, luv your write and really enjoyed all the photos

    have a good week

    much love...

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    1. yes Gillena - so incredible that i want to go up again lol

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  20. Your photos and poem bring Singapore close to those far away. Nicely done.

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  21. Your video was great - you are sure an artistic person. Glad you get some moments to express that creativity.
    The best part of business trips and return trips to see what you didn't see the first time - enjoy the next time!!!

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    1. true, Leslie. maybe i'll go skydiving there haha :)

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  22. very cool... love the poem and also the pics of the city... i have never been there but heard from others that it is a fascinating place... and that you're not allowed to import chewing gums...ha

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    1. it was very clean Claudia.. worth a visit

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  23. I think the the baby statue looks peculiar in the setting, but I don't think it's creepy. But it's all about perspective, right?

    Love that in your poem, the speaker is as enormous as the baby--a giant that needs the entire womb of a city to develop. But humble, too. For s/he doesn't want to take from the city, in order to find comfort. Instead, s/he uses what's already there... and the recycling makes the city even better.

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    1. Yeah - hope everyone will value recycling. Thanks Magaly

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  24. I am so graateful for your generosity. Your posts are always little gifts that I thoroughly enjoy. Loved your video, poem and pictures. Thank you so much!

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    1. Glad you like all of them Myrna :)

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  25. You have a great eye for photos. I love the social justice hinted at in your poem, yes our homeless need more.

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    1. perhaps we need to listen to homeless more

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  26. You should submit your poem to some contest or something. :)

    Have you encountered a homeless person while in SG?

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    1. Haha. I don't think so. Poetry contests are difficult to enter lol

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any thoughts to distill?

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