Arrived in Changi and the same hotel: I wanted to eat in the hotel's Canonese restaurant ibut it was jampacked with Chinese families--lots of children--wearing red and celebrating the New Year. Nice confirmation of the hotel's praise of their restaurant, since there were so many other Chinese restaurants inside the city.
The island of Sentosa has, in addition to resorts, several museums. "Images of Singapore" is one that traces the history of the city, stressing harmious multicultural relations. It begins with the four winds bringing Singapore family life, community, peace and harmony. Then it illustrates the history of the site, ithrough dioramas and objects. Raffles meets iwth local worthies, various European or American scientists etc. appear, the British Colongy thrives, the japanese conquort, and independence. That is followed by current multiculturalism manifested in weddings of many different groups. i photographed all except the first, which was possibly the most interesting, a hybrid culture. The whole culminated ina section on festivals, particularly joyful and relevant as we were closing in on the Chinese New Year.
I had a delightful driver. The hotel had arranged for someone to take me to Samosa and to the new gradens by the sea, but he didn't turn up. After a while we heard that he had had car trouble and was sending someone else, who was most resourceful. He met me at the exit of the museum--its a one way street through all of the dioramas, ending in a fine gift shop--and fot me down close to the Maritime museum. I got to that by going into a hotle, then down an elevator,a nd then across a bridge--where the cab driver negotiateda wheel chair for me because I was deifinitely fading. He argued strongly with people about where I could and couldn't go,a nd what to pay. I really wanted to sea the ship that the Sultan of Oman had given to Singapore. It was most impressive. It was based on wrecks, that showed that the wood came from west Africa. It was sewn togethe (as mentioned by Patrick O'Brianr in Nutmeg)--they had illustrations showing how that was done. then we went to the film on the Tyohoon: most effective> I was quite amazed by it. there were many children there, and I wouldh ave thought the presentation would have frightened them. It got pretty violent.
A Chinese ship was being sent by the Emperor to take a wedding gift to someone in the Wet--Oman?--The Captain and his son wanted to go, a navigator worried about the weather, the astrologer was doubtful but persauded to agree. The storm came up dramatically, alt spary fling in our faces. The ship pitched, masts broke, objects--including the chest with the emperoro's f=gift--fell free, and finally the whole dashed against rocks. The captain's son was seen clinging to a rock with waves crashing around him, clearly doomed.
Then the wreck settled through the waves, below the storm, past fish and into plants, settling finaly on a quiet sea bed amid waving fronds.
That all took quitea while, and then I went back to the hotel for lunch and a rest before starting out again. The cab draiver was extrmely resourceful,more or less stealing the wheel chair from the museum-well, telling them i absolutely could not climb up the hill,a nd saying he would bring the chair back, which he did nto do. after we went across the bridge on the museum level, he founda way back throught the hotle's levtors--accessible to guests only, but opened by a custodian he said not to tip--on the upper level he went to get the car and picked me up, leaving the chair to be picked up. I was very apprecaitive.