SentOhSa

 

So this happened like a year back. Some of us from our office were selected to attend a training in Singapore (psst here comes the “yeah, of course I’ve been to a foreign country” insinuation). We were to be there for a grand total of four days and since the entire group consisted of girls, we had a whale of a time planning where all to go and what all to see. Plans were made and cab fares were studiously calculated. Since we were to spend 4 nights there, the itinerary was drawn up as follows: Clark Qay/Boat Qay, Night Safari, Sentosa, Chinatown. I will not burden you with all the stuff we did the first two days (The item of importance here is the Sentosa Island.) We were bursting with excitement at all the pictorials on the official website. It looked like a wonderland. There was a cable car that you could take to reach the island. It cost about S$35 I think… Again frantic calculations were made, and we decided to go via cable car ride anyway. “It’ll be fun,” my colleague said excitedly. “It better be,” I prayed.

So we reached Sentosa via cable car. I remember being really excited that it was an Angry Birds Cable Car Ride. Note the point that I never ever played Angry Birds before in my life. But that didn’t stop me from falling in love with the winged creatures. Once we bought the tickets, we were handed a complimentary drink, a sipper with a suspicious looking red-colored liquid, and were told to wait. We did. I did not touch the drink, but kept bugging my colleagues to finish theirs so I could empty the contents of my drink and take the sipper as a souvenir back home (it was an Angry Birds sipper, in my defense).

The cable car ride was, well, frightening. It did not help that the cab driver who took us to Sentosa kept telling us of all the accidents that happened on Sentosa Island, in chronological order. He also helpfully supplied us with the very vital information that some people died when a cable car snapped and fell down. So you must understand how jittery we all were. The Carpenters’ “Close to You” was on repeat in the cable car that we travelled. Did not help much, I must add.

Soon we reached Sentosa, the “so-called” baap of all entertainment spots in Singapore. But I was quite underwhelmed because all we could see were just dragons and snakes; well it would’ve been interesting atleast if they were real. The Merlion was a bright spot, but then I lost hope when no one could take a picture of me with the head of the Merlion showing in the background. I’m still stuck with tens of photos of myself grinning like an idiot in the backdrop of a large curvy wall of concrete.

“We should get to the Sentosa beach!” someone suggested. We all nodded our heads in unison and proceeded in the general direction of the sea. We reached what looked like a timid lake, and took turns rolling our eyes. But the sand was clean, there were not a lot of tourists around for some reason, and we thankfully rested our tired feet. I decided to take a walk around the beach. But to my horror, there were about seven couples sitting behind us, all in various stages of, um, intense tongue action. I hurriedly traced back my steps and told our group not to look back. They all turned their heads back in unison (of course they did), and faces became red. “Is this some kind of a lover’s point?” one girl innocently suggested. We shot daggers at her, and she receded back to silence.

We remained still for an awkward 10 minutes, a group of girls with reddening faces, not able to turn back and retrace our steps. “Would it be uncivilized to walk between couples who are kissing? Is that, like against the law? Would we be fined? How do they hold their breath like that while kissing?” were some of the thoughts that were on my mind. That was the first (and until now, I think, the only time) the bunch of us saw non-TV/movie-type, real-couple kissing. We sat there, silent, for about an hour until sunset, watching so-called “waves” (they were actually ripples) and then made our way back to the cab stand, intently studied different constellations in the sky, avoiding the, em, “action” going on all around. “Not very fun eh?” one of the girls commented, during the ride back to the hotel. We nodded, tired and sleepy, none of us wanting to admit that, we indeed learned an important lesson that day: Never trust professional photography.

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