Singapore: Dec 30: Jurong Bird Park, and more

On Wednesday, both Di Yin and our friend were occupied. (Di Yin was meeting a friend I didn't know.) Thus, I had most of the day to myself. I mainly spent it at the Jurong Bird Park, where I took a ton of pictures and videos. There was a long line (with lots of kids) for tickets, probably because school was out for the holidays. The park was impressively extensive; I can believe it's the world's largest bird park. The pictures document it well. After nearly four hours I'd had enough and seen pretty much everything, so I left.

Although I took a taxi to the bird park (because it was close to the place we were staying and public transit would simply be too complicated to be worthwhile given the distance), I took a bus when I left. The bus took me to the Boon Lay metro station, where I spent a while wandering around the large mall (or malls?) and the outside storefronts nearby (protected from the sun by covered pedestrian walkways). I found a few separate food areas and bought a number of things, as lunch didn't fill me up in the least, and, on top of that, I was rather thirsty because I didn't drink anything at lunch. I found the food court within the mall rather impressive, covering a range of cuisines (various chinese regions, including Shanghai, to korean, indonesian, thai, hot pot, wonton soups, claypot specialists, western, and more). Incidentally, I later learned the Boon Lay Bus Interchange reopened after renovation the previous Sunday; I'm not sure what part of what I saw was new.

With a bit more time to kill, I took the metro to my company's offices to hang out and also print some things. Then, I left to meet up with Di Yin and our friend, and we taxied across the island to East Coast Park to meet some of our friend's friends. Di Yin took a few pictures. The link goes to her first picture from this day after I met up with her (picture #179). When you hit a picture of people looking through plastic bins of fish (#184), you're done with the pictures for the day. I'll link to the rest in later posts.

In East Coast Park, we walked a bit along the shore, passing the twinkling lights of countless large cargo ships, a reservoir for waterskiing, and lots of restaurants whose names I recognized as being good, before finally reaching the East Coast Lagoon Food Village (hawker centre). There we found the friends we were seeking. Our host and her friend caught up. Listening to the conversation over our tasty dinner, I learned about Singapore military service in Australia (brush fires, racial violence), areas of prostitution in Singapore, Singaporean fickleness in terms of what clubs/hangouts are cool, and the government's social development program (getting people of similar backgrounds to meet and marry / social engineering / caste encouragement), among other things. Interestingly, I found all of our host's friends reflected a great desire to pursue success (often measured on financial terms), perhaps illuminating a feature of Singaporean culture.

Oh, and it's neat the hawker centre we ate at stays open until midnight. (This is uncommon.)

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