It’s not often that I’m totally stuck for words to describe something but if I had the rest of my life to do it I’m still pretty sure that I could not fully explaine what I witnessed in Haw Par Villa.
It’s a mismash of Chinese folk legends and western oddities. I mostly shot it with my pinhole camera but my snap shots here should give a little flavour of the place.
As we entered the cave of “ten courts of hell” which features, amongst others, tax dodgers and and late rent payers being pounded with a stone mallet. But it’s ok because in the end they all drink magic tea and have the opertunity to have their memories wiped and be reincarnated.
So on day four we penetrated deeper and deeper into the park I thought that we had truly entered the heart of darkness.
These walks have a bit of tradition, some photography, lots of coffee and cake, fantastical conversation a harebrained plan of some sorts.
So in keeping with crazy the day involved lots of everything. I pretended to drive a train. We visited markets, rode in a cable car, stopped for coffee and cake 15 times, had four lunches and an amazing dinner.
Ming also arranged for Chinese New Year which was nice of him :D
Have you ever had one of them days that was so epic that you never wanted it to end? So much happened today that I have just made notes and will try and gather my thoughts in the morning when I’m less tired.
A personal highlight today was meeting up with an old friend that I had not seen in a few years. A photographic highlight was the Tekka wet market in Little India and the streets of China Town.
I took a lot of grab shots in both locations using the iPhone and F100. I also made a few Pinhole exposures that might be interesting.
Prepare to have an awesome time. Day two in Singapore saw us awake early and ready to see what we could find.
We had no specific plans at all just a general sense of a few sights that we wanted to see. We tagged along with Nivetha to the train station to see how this all worked and we followed her as far as her work stop. The rush hour was in full flow and she suggested that if we were just random wandering that it might be better to go the opposite direction to the majority of travelers.
Nivetha done a quick scan of the local railway map and said “ah” and told us that the Chinese gardens were easy to reach and in the right direction. So a “plan” was made.
We stayed on the train, made one change of line and found ourselves a few minutes later at the Chinese gardens stop. Provisions of ice pops and water were purchased for the 25meter hike to the gardens entrance.
What lay inside was a total surprise, there was a massive Botanic gardens, full size Pagodas, lakes, turtles and a whole host more. When we retuned to the apartment in the evening I was amazed to discover that this place did not appear in the guide books.
We managed to order two massive bowels of Yong tau Foo. Essentially this is a dish where you pick the bits you want and a man boils them in a broth with noodles.
It occurred to me as we were walking thought the airport that I am now the furthest south and east that I have ever been. Which at least to me feels like an accomplishment.
It’s hard to gauge the city so far because we are lucky enough to be staying with a local who expertly shepherded us from the baggage reclaim area all the way to her apartment where we will stay for the next few nights.
We drove out to Nivetha’s place through the suburbs. I’m utterly fascinated by just how big and seemly well put together the high rise buildings are and I finally fully understand why my friend always put an almost silent set of quotation marks around Dublin “city”
I was told its hot here but it’s odd that my only point of comparison is that feeling I get when I walk around inside the greenhouse in the botanic gardens. It’s not unpleasant just a relentless warm moistness.
I’m fighting jet lag and have lost track of what day it is already so I’m calling this day 1.5
In a couple of hours I’ll be boarding a plane and making my way to Dubai, Singapore and eventually on to Sri Lanka. I’m supposed to be relaxing before we leave for the airport but I am Hyper. Not only is this a trip to a new part of the world but it’s also a chance travel with friends from that part of the world that I miss and have not seen in too long.
I have now packed and unpacked my camera bag 10 times and remain uncertain what I really want to bring.
I regretted not bringing my pinhole camera to Indian last year so have decided it was essential for this trip and I will shoot colour film. Todds terrapin bijou sidewinder is f135 and will give me 6×4.5 negs.
The F100 is now once again in favour and will be used to shoot black and white. I packed a mountain of Tri-X and red and orange filters. The 50mm 1.8 will be the only lens I bring.
For a little bit of colour and for general snap shots I have packed the Mujii and will use this with Ektar.
iPhone will be for the visual diary and general note taking and other accessories are my cable release and mini tripod. I have no idea what I want to snap while I’m away so this lot both seems excessive and not enough.
As my travel diary goes this is Day 0