Skip to main content

Dinosaurs and diners


Dinosaurs evolved into chickens, so I guess that makes me a dinosaur. There I was, lost in the Lost World, wilting under the Singaporean heat and humidity, watching and waiting, not participating.

Cluck, cluck, cluck.

I wait for the next ring full of screaming people to slide down the slope and make a big splash while John Williams' music repeats. Here they come!

Snap, snap.

No, it's not them. Delete the photos.

Repeat.



If I'm not going to join them then I have to at least photograph them having the fun I wouldn't have.

We are at the Universal Studios theme park on Sentosa Island. This is the second Universal Studios we've visited, after Osaka. That one had Harry Potter world with its addictive (but non-alcoholic) Butter Beer.

No Butter Beer here.

The day started the usual way, with Alex awake too early and a walk down to the Marine Parade hawker stalls, for some popiah, chicken rice and nasi lemak. The food seems to have improved.



Whilst there is no MRT station in Katong, the bus services are quite convenient. We all hopped aboard a double decker bound for the Sentosa gateway. It was an interesting ride past many impressive high rise buildings, their design far more creative than the usual Sydney dross. Then down along the huge port area with row on row of cranes transferring the arrays of crates between the ships.


Sentosa Island, like most amusement areas, is expensive. So is Universal Studios. Let's not mention that further.

The Sentosa Express monorail carried us across to the island. There were no queues at the Universal Studios entrance, the big world slowly turning like the introduction to their movies.

Red lanterns were strung below the canopy over the Hollywood streets in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year. As in Osaka, we had a lunch of hamburgers and chips at Mel's Diner. A mistake, because local dishes were available later on at The Lost World food centre.



The first order was to watch the Waterworld show. That meant hurry beneath the scary Battlestar Galactica rollercoaster, one suspended, the other seated, both twisting and racing in a terrifying way.




I wonder how many in the crowd have actually seen Waterworld, the hugely costly and unsuccessful Kevin Costner Mad Max on water movie. Those in the front rows got squirted and splashed as boats and waterskies raced across the pool, pyrotechnics exploded and actors jumped and swung.


Alex and B caught every ride at The Lost World while I stood and watched. I can't even cope with an aircraft ride anymore. Neither of them took the faster rollercoasters elsewhere in the park, Alex having decided that he no longer likes them.

I like the fantasy landscapes of these amusement parks. The Ancient Egypt structures and statues were the most impressive, but ultimately there was not much you could do there. The park would have been attractive at night, but we were off to meet the others for dinner so had to cut short our stay.





Alex insisted we catch the cable car back to the main island. We caught the monorail to the Imbiah stop, but, when shocked by the cable car price, the attendant suggested we wait until 6pm when the price drops. So we wandered around the giant Merlion statue and Gaudiesque mosaiced water features, Alex fascinated by the twisting flow.



The cable car has two separate lines. We caught the Sentosa Line to Imbiah Lookout, then changed to the original Mount Faber Line. The views out ther window were incredible. On the right views of the city and ports, on the left the evening Sun shimmering across the strait. Below us a big cruise liner.




We didn't do the whole trip up to Mount Faber, instead alighting at Harbourfront, where we transferred to a bus toward our destination of Old Airport Road food centre.

Along the way we passed the abandoned Tanjong Pagar Station, once Singapore's terminus of the railway line that stretches up into Malaysia, Thailand and beyond. The station itself was actually owned by Malaysia, a source of irritation to Singapore. After a land swap Singapore closed the old station and moved the terminus closer to the border at Woodlands. And so a wonderful piece of history is left empty, the tracks mostly torn up, a faded sign advertising nasi lemak remaining on the Art Deco exterior.



I stopped here once, after returning from Butterworth (Penang) on my first overseas trip back in 1995/96.

Poh Poh and Keith had trouble convincing a taxi to take them from their Tanjong Pagar hotel to the Old Airport Road food centre, and when they finally found one it took them to the wrong one and they had to walk the rest of the way.


We finished off the day with satay and grilled seafood, then went our separate ways.


After we returned to the hotel we wandered down to the poolside cafe for our free drinks, sipped lime juice and lemonade under the full Moon and the constellation of Orion. I don't trust amusement park rides and I don't trust the skies. Yes, I am a chicken and chickens are bad flyers.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Insanity at 40,000 feet - Part 2

We could relax for a moment. The gate lounges at Kuala Lumpur's LCCT were crowded, but our gate was not yet open. Once it was we quickly made out way outside for the long walk to the aircraft. The terminal offered no air conditioned respite from the tropical weather outside and we were perspiring on both sides of the gate. It's a pity that taking photos on the tarmac is forbidden, because the tropical evening sun cast a beautiful orange-gold light. Our flight to Singapore was on an AirAsia A320, the workhorse of a low cost carrier. The legroom was shorter, but still adequate and the width felt greater than their longer cousin we had just flown. Alex sat at the window and was excited to see the world outside, chattering loudly. Captain Raj gave a detailed, but clear, explanation of the flight, listing runways and routes like an aircraft enthusiast. We launched into hazy grey skies that were soon dark for a very typical hour long flight to Singapore.

Tamsui to Taoyuan

Both B and I agree. Taiwan is a place that we want to return to. On our last day in this island country the list of places we could visit was far too extensive. We could traverse the island on a high speed train or take another slow ride along a scenic route. The gold mining town of Jiufen is somewhere I've long wanted to visit, but means another train ride to Ruifang. Then there are many places accessible by the MRT. After leaving our bags in the care of the CityInn II, a hotel which we would also be delighted to return to, we took a slightly different route to the station via the Museum of Contemporary Art (too early to enter) in search of breakfast. B thought she was getting fried noodles with a fried egg on top, but it turned out to be spaghetti with a tomato sauce. It still tasted great. My sandwich from the same place had a Taiwanese beef patty inside and was also good. Alex drank some "fruit salad" milk which tasted just like Fruit Loops. We almost chose

Parap it's time to go home

I wake in time to see the sun just risen over the horizon. The masted boat has moved, across from one side of the mud flat to the other. I both wish to return home and to stay right where we are. I'm enjoying the relaxing escape from normal life, but I do miss the comfy furniture and decent television of home. I'm much rather have my streaming than a zillion Foxtel channels with nothing to watch. We pack our bags, load them into the car and check out. Then, as if we are running the trip backwards we drive to the Parap markets. B orders some more of Yati's laksa and a baby coconut to drink, Alex some spring rolls and me, I just have some sliced papaya and lime. I am suffering anxiety over the flight and cannot stomach anything savoury. It's a pity, because there is so much food to try at the markets. There is still time to waste before our flight. We drive out to the Nightcliff Jetty and, while the others sit in the airconditioned car, I take a walk out on to the jetty,