Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 3 - Kranji War Memorial and back to Little India

We took the train out to Kranji, then hopped on a bus for 2 stops away and walked up to the War Memorial.

The War Memorial represents the three branches of the military - the Air Force, Army and Navy. The columns represent the Army, which marches in columns, the cover over the columns is shaped after of the wings of a plane, representing the Air Force, and the shape at the top resembles the periscope of a submarine, representing the Navy.


The Memorial's walls inscribe over 24,000 names of allied servicemen whose bodies were never found, spread over both sides of 12 columns of the war memorial itself.


The War Cemetery is the final resting place for 4,458 allied servicemen in marked graves laid out in rows on maintained and manicured lawns. Over 850 of these graves are unidentified.

A wonderful dedication to our fallen heroes.

We then made our way back to the station and grabbed a couple of drinks; I got a mango smoothie made with soy milk and Dennis got a watermelon drink - very refreshing and we sat outside the station drinking them as you are not allowed food or drink in the stations here - that why they are so clean!!  A few drops of rain started to fall and we took cover as a good shower came down.  It dropped the temperature a few degrees and brought with it a nice cool breeze.  By the time we got to the city the sun was shining again.

We went back to Little India to go to the Mustafa Centre which is a place where you can buy anything and everything.  It is a huge centre and I mean HUGE!!  We walked from the clothing area to the jewellery centre which was wall to wall GOLD!!  Pieces of jewellery worth hundreds....thousands.....I have no idea who buys these products!!  The wages here are very low and the cost of living is very high.  Petrol is $2.04/L; the cheapest car costs $80K; all food is imported as there is no agriculture here - it is a concrete city.  While there are the ordinary market areas, there is a lot of opulence here and a lot of building going on. 
We left the Mustafa Centre after being dazzled by all of the jewellery and I saw some fresh bananas being put out at a store, so I bought a couple as I felt like a piece of fruit.  It was delicious after eating a bit of spicy food. 

We found our way to Arab Street which is well known for all of it textiles....fabrics, ribbon, laces, and rugs. As we passed each store, we were invited in by the shopowners to purchase a new rug or fabric - the fabrics were just beautiful - those which make the beautiful Indian dresses...sequins and jewels galore.  I was particularly looking for some different trims that I could use for scrapbooking but the prices weren't anything special.

We went to the local shopping centre to find a toilet where we had to pay 10 cents to use the toilet - very clean though.  As we left the shopping centre, we decided to find somewhere for lunch and I overheard a lady say that Sim Sam was a good place to eat which was just across the road. So off we went for another lunch adventure and got to the door where the vendor invited us in to dine.  We went upstairs to the air-conditioned rooms and we chose a table part of which was occupied by a couple of muslim ladies who were joined by one of the lady's husband and son.  They started chatting to us and the son told us that he was leaving for Tasmania in two weeks time for 4 years study.  So we talked about what his expectations would be and we asked about their lifestyle here in Singapore.  We were flabergasted at what they told us; cars are expensive to buy and they pay $95 per month to park their car at their unit carpark.  Electricity costs them $300/month; they paid $500k for a 3 bedroom home (unit) which they have to pay off in 25 years and if their home is still in the family after 90 years they have to hand it back to the government - after paying it off!!  The wages here are $6/hr - we have no idea how they afford anything.  They do work very long hours but we can't imagine how they manage.  They were very nice people.

We then decided to go to a few temples in the area to have look.  We found this sign along the way.....

We also found what I believe to be the Thieves Markets which is a flea market - anything and everything was for sale, most of it second hand.  It was interesting to see so many inspecting the goods for sale.

We came across this building that was having some renovations done - check out the acrow props on both sides in where the windows should be!!  All the while, trading is still continuing.

This was the only temple that we found open - we were a but disappointed as we were pretty much ignored while came and gave us some information about the temple at all...I was promptly told not to enter an area that I was making my way to but that was the only communication that we had.

Some renovations were being done; there was some beautiful artwork that was being painted over in pink paint...we didn't quite know what was going on there but it seemed such a shame to be doing that.  I guess we will never know what was happening....

The train station was only a short walk away and we stopped off at a couple of shops to see what they had.  Dennis walked out while waiting for me and noticed some men talking and looking at him, laughing and chatting away while turning around looking at him some more. He knew they were talking about him so next thing I know he is walking up to them and asking them what they were saying about him.  The ring-leader was a bit shocked that he was approached and promptly told Dennis that he wasn't talking about him so with we continued on to the station.  It was quite obvious what they were doing but I guess we won't know for sure.

We got back to the hotel about 8pm and decided to go upstairs to the restaurant for dinner which was very reasonably priced which surprised us a little.  So another day down and ready for a big day at the Zoo tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Looks lovely over there, and you look like you're having a great time. Damian couldnt go, the cost of his beers would send us broke!