Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Singapore!

August 9 is Singapore's birthday, and we celebrated its 47th birthday this year.  It's officially called National Day, and the entire island celebrates.  Remember that we went to the National Day Parade Preview last weekend?  See details in this post (click here).
It's a festive atmosphere, and it's obvious that Singapore is proud of its history.

Since it was a holiday, AK and B3 were thrilled to have Dad stay home from work. The fact that he had been travelling for 3 days made it even better.  There were three major celebrations during the day.

First, we took delivery of our newest addition:  a small chest freezer.  WoO HOo!  Can you sense the excitement?  I haven't been this thrilled with an appliance since Christmas of 1995 when I unwrapped my Kitchen Aid Mixer. (That remains one of the best gifts of all time, even if I did know what it was before I opened it.  Thanks Mom and Dad!)   In Charlotte, our (much larger) freezer was filled with prizes won by savvy couponing, thanks to the great grocery wars around town.  Who can pass up free frozen veggies and waffles and buy 2 get three cartons of ice cream?  Not us!  Since there are no such deals in Singapore, we settled into a confining and restrictive routine of using our tiny freezer on our fridge.  Unfortunately, our favorite meat source requires a $200 purchase to qualify for delivery, and $200 nearly fills the freezer.  There's not much room for cooking extra and freezing leftovers or stockpiling anything. 

...Until now.  I saw an ad on a local Facebook group with a list of things for sale.  Around here, Expats are constantly coming and going, so someone is always selling something.  After I figured out that the seller would deliver the freezer to us (oh, the joys of having a car!), I immediately bought it.  So far, I've only rearranged things between the two freezers so that we can actually tell what we have . Now, I can order chicken from the Chicken Man and have other frozen stuff delivered, too.  Not to mention we finally have room for things like extra spaghetti sauce, making chicken stock instead of just tossing the bones, freezing cookie dough, and of course, Popsicles.  So, we're thrilled.  I don't think we'll fill it up, even though it's tiny, but we'll definitely enjoy the meal variety it affords.  Before, we had to eat whatever we had so we could empty the freezer enough to buy more.  I think this will work out much better (...even if it's temporarily plugged into a daisy chain of power strips and extension cords because our washer and dryer melt their electrical outlet.  But that's a story for another day).

After we got the freezer settled, we took a bus to the East Coast Park for some bike riding.  AK has just mastered riding 100% by her self - so we wanted to celebrate by renting bikes along the beach.  It seemed like a good idea when we were discussing it, but somewhere between bus stops I realized that this would be my first time on a bike in at least ten years.  Ten Years?  And I was going to have to figure out if I could still ride a bike on a rented bike on a very crowded path?  Suddenly, this great idea wasn't looking so great.  I considered feigning an illness or simply flat refusing, but I chose a bike and rode anyway. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't pretty, either.  Let's just say that AK left me in her dust.  Often.  Riding on the path was much like I-285 at about 9 am on a Thursday; Traffic was heavy, but it was moving with an occasional stop and go moment.  She did great!  The B3 was on the back of B2's bike, and he enjoyed being a passenger.  We rode to the East Coast Food Village for some fruit juice, satay, and fried rice. 

Then, back to the bikes!

After we got home, it was time to wait for the evening's festivities.  The National Day Parade area is just beyond the view from our condo window, but the aerial features look like they were intended for us. Our view was better than last week's when we went to the actual event location.  My favorite part is always the Singapore flag flown over by helicopters.  See?  Isn't it a cool view?

And then came the planes...

We watched the rest of the parade on TV.  It was fun to look out the window and see the big screens on the floating platform and then see those same screens on TV. Also, the event was broadcast onto huge screens at Marina Barrage, which we can also see out our window.  So, we could really see the show 3 times.  Sorta :). 

Anyway, then came the fireworks. If we lived here for ten years (Heaven forbid...!), we would never get tired of the front row seat for the fantastic fire works.  I turn out all of the lights and watch every single time. 

It's fun to watch the traffic slow down for the fireworks.  Every time, the cars anticipate that it's almost time for them, and traffic slows to a crawl. 

I always think about watching the fireworks from the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics as I was driving by the Olympic stadium that night.. Seeing those was a coincidence, but I think some of these people must just plan to watch from their cars.   I don't know if we'll be here next year to enjoy National Day celebrations, but if we are, we'll be right here - on the sofa, watching out the window!

1 comment:

kathryn patton said...

I would never get tired of that view from your windows. The air shows and fireworks would just make it even more exciting.