During a brief stopover in Singapore I had the opportunity to encounter some of the many gods in their temples of this muli-faith country. Celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence from Britain, Singapore occupies a tiny space of land at the end of the Malay peninsula. It has had no choice but to grow upwards and soar it has in the form of high rise condos, apartments, hotels and business buildings of all kinds. As you probably know by now, I’m directionally challenged and often find myself lost but I have no hesitation when my intuition tells me it’s right, in asking locals for directions and often learn more than just the best way to my destination.
In my visit to Chinatown I wanted to see an old Taoist temple which had been recently restored. I asked the helpful people at the Heritage Centre but halfway got lost. I asked a young man who offered to accompany me as he was going the same way. He was from Malaysia and now resident in Singapore working in the high Tech industry. He talked about the differences between his home country and Singapore; while Singapore is economically successful he felt there was a certain repression both emotionally and in other forms of expression. He felt his country was more chaotic but also more dynamic. We said goodbye at the new murals on the walls of the restored temple, each painting a depiction of aspects of the past, present and potential of the Singapore Lion.
After exploring the temple, the third after visiting a Hindu and Buddhist one, I found a nearby cafe where I reflected on the start of my journey earlier in the day. My intention had been to use local transport to visit Gardens by the Bay. However, Mother Nature took control and just as I was about to leave my hotel it poured with a ferocity of a North Queensland Cyclone! I took a cab to the Orchard st Malls in the hope remaining dry until the downpour passed. My cab driver was a willing tour guide and at the end of a 40 minute ride-which only cost $18 SG
D I felt that I had gained an appreciation of the physically small yet economically powerful Asian country.