Being Indonesian, most of the people I know talked about Singapore as a luxurious weekend getaway of shopping spree, and as a Jakartan, I thought I’ve had enough of skyscrapers and malls. So I’ve never made it to Singapore, except for one time ten years ago to get to Johor Bahru for a debating competition, until last weekend when I came to watch the Sound of Music’s Broadway show. I arrived in the evening, and by 8am the next morning, realized how much I have been missing out.
We started our first day in Singapore by visiting the Botanic Gardens and ended up spending the better part of our day there. It is precisely because I am Jakartan I could appreciate the lush greenery at the heart of the city, so well kept even without an entrance fee. Smaller themed gardens are nestled throughout the stretch of the Botanic Gardens, with ample space for families to spend their Saturday on a picnic, for the elderly to practice Tai Chi, for couples and small decorating businesses to do photo shoots, and for Twosocks to sit alone by a stream watching the water trickle by. I could easily see myself returning next time – armed with a picnic basket, a book, and a wide brimmed hat – for a lazy start to the morning, a long afternoon walk, and an evening of music under the stars. Right then, just like so many other Jakartans, I found Singapore to be incredibly luxurious.
July 2014, Gypsytoes