Sorry it’s been a bit quiet here on Expat Bostonians. It’s more than a little difficult to write a blog about experiencing life in Singapore when, due to the break, you’re not leaving the house much. And while I haven’t been shoveling snow like my beleaguered Bostonian pals, my day to day life in the house isn’t all that interesting. Sure, I could share a cute E story here and there, but my days have basically amounted to “laid/sat in bed surfing the web and watching episode after episode of Nostalgia Critic and Nostalgia Chick, checking facebook and twitter endlessly and watching movies” or “laid/sat on the couch watching toddler tv with E, hanging out with E, having E point to my cast 80 jillion times a day and proudly informing me that it’s “Mommy’s Cast!” and then looking at my other leg/foot (the cast-less one) and dismissively calling it “Mommy’s other foot,” wheeling around the house–which means in the living room as the wheelchair can’t get into any of the other rooms, and occasionally leaving the house for something deathly exciting like a trip to McDonalds because I’m about to lose my fucking mind.
While I was desperate for blog material, at no time have I been desperate enough to turn on local tv. Just saying.
I go back to the orthopedist on Monday (Jan 31) and get x-rays and such. With luck, I’ll be able to upgrade to the fiberglass cast I can remove, making daily showers no longer just a fond memory.
We had a bright moment though, as my in-laws came to town for a week last week. Mostly they got poor Elanor out of the house, leaving me to sleep (to people who’ve broken bones–did you sleep a lot? I seem to be practically narcoleptic these days…and I can’t blame the painkillers because I’m down to a half dose at bedtime if at all) or use a few hours productively in the pursuit of a shower (not easy to do when you can’t stand up, you can’t get your cast wet, and you don’t want help), and playing bridge (which has always been a big thing when we get together). Ravi also took an extra day off, and suddenly, BOOM…we left the house several days in a row!
Something I’ve been wanting to do for ages is visit the Sky Park at Marina Bay Sands. Ravi and I first noticed it back on our first date here in Singapore, when we did the Singapore Flyer (which is only a few blocks away from MBS). We wondered what that strange three-towered building with what looked like half a cruise ship sitting across their roofs was, exactly. It was several months before I first heard the words “Marina Bay Sands” in connection with it. It was still under construction when we moved here, and only began to open some of its businesses, bars, and such over the fall. At some point in November or December, the SkyPark opened, and since then it has felt like all of my friends have been there (Flora, I thought you’d posted a visit, too, but couldn’t find one–did I hallucinate?).
The Sky Park is located on the 56/57th floor of the MBS hotel (not to be confused with the MBS Casino, the MBS Convention Center, the Shoppes at Marina Bay, the Marina Bay link Mall or any of the other squadrillion things with the words “Marina Bay” or “Marina Bay Sands” in the title).
In a very strange twist, you have to go down a level from the main floor of the hotel (tower 3, fyi) to get to the ticket seller. In a complex that is chock-a-block full of elevators and ramps, there is no accessible way down to the ticket seller; only an escalator. This seems like a purely stupid oversight, as I was not the only person I saw in a wheelchair in the hotel/shopping complex that day, or even at the sky park (which is mostly otherwise wholly accessible).
Ravi and Amit got the tickets while I took a few shots of the interior of the hotel. Then we were escorted to an elevator bank so that we could get my chair up to the sky park.
It was a lovely day to be there…not overly hot or humid (the benefit of our daily monsoon rains), but it was a bit hazy, so while I could make out what I think was Malaysia, I’m not 100% sure.
Singapore ran out of land (or at least out of land they felt like leveling and denuding of trees in favor of malls) so they started a massive landfill project. The MBS, Ravi’s new office building and everything you see under construction here is all build on landfill. The curlicue in the top/middle of the shot is Marina Barrage, where the pit stop for the Singapore leg of Amazing Race was (season 16, episode 9...aired in the US right around when we moved here, ironically). I have no idea what most of the other stuff is/will be.
Click on the photo to enlarge it. You can see in the lower right the two “durians” that make up the Esplanade Theater complex. At the bottom left is the Merlion fountain that is emblazoned on all the tourist stuff from Singapore. The building in the middle is the old Supreme Court (yes?), and if you follow the river in the left third of the picture you can see Boat Quay and then Clarke Quay. Our house would be just out frame (or maybe just in frame at the very top left).
After wandering the Sky Park, we wanted to go up to see the infinity pool and the bar (and get a few more views) one floor up. You could easily walk up a set of stairs from the Sky Deck if you are physically able, but in a wheelchair, I had to go down to the first floor, switch elevator banks and go up to 57. Again, in a hotel that is otherwise very conscientious of their disabled guests, this seems like a strange sour note. Why not have a simple lift to get from the viewing deck to the pool deck? It just seems like a strange oversight.
The pool deck made me want to spend a night at the hotel. While tourists can see some of the “guests only” features like the infinity pool, the view so spectacular that I desperately want to see it for myself, and not from the veiled off tourist area.
A family sits in one of the jacuzzis, looking through the glass (sorry for the glare) at the many container ships waiting to enter the port. There are three to five of these on the side of the tower overlooking the water.
On the other side of the tower is the infinity pool. Built with a glass side, you have a totally unobstructed view of the city of Singapore. It is a truly breathtaking view, and I was certainly envious of the guests who got to enjoy it. Most of the guests made a point of taking their camera into the water (it looked like it was no more than a meter deep…3 feet, maybe 4) and taking shots of the city, as well as getting someone to take their picture leaning back against the glass in what (cropped properly) would make for a spectacular shot…you floating in mid air among the skyscrapers.
After our viewing, we explored the Shoppes (I hate that spelling) at Marina Bay, but I’ll save that for another post.