0128E: First Proper Singapore Day

Man are my feet sore! After what was practically 8 hours on our feet seeing the sights and walking up and down Orchard Road, we're finally settled back in at my sister's place to rest up for the day. And it probably didn't help much that we all lacked sleep from the night before, but hey, that's just what happens when you try to make the most of every single day of your out-of-town vacation, right?

Every Prince needs his crown, even a BK one =D
First, it was nice to start the day with a morning chat with our baby, Prince, who happens to be spending some time at the Sietch while we're away. Given his still not-so-ideal health, ensuring he had the Sietch as a place to rest and recover seemed like the best course of action at the time. He's doing much better now (although we all miss one another dearly) and best of all he really appreciated our campy surprise video diary that we started. It's just our small way of helping him experience our trip along with us and to make remind him of how important he is to us. As much as possible our future out-of-town trips will include him because it's hard to think of such adventures in quite the same way without him with us.

But I do like this whole bit about making videos. While I don't think we're going to win awards for our documentary efforts any time soon, it is a nice way to capture memories beyond just taking hundreds or even thousands of still images. I'm glad I got purchased this camera for both its still image and video capabilities. It's certainly paying off in so many ways.

My sister took us to breakfast at the nearby hawker's food court and we had the local version of a sinangag breakfast, which in this case was noodles topped with traditional breakfast fare. It certainly made for a fun first meal, even with the pounding drums of yet another dragon dance in order to honor the lunar new year. Seriously, why do the celebrations go on for so long?

After a quick rest and a few errands for my sister, we finally made our way out to Orchard Road to visit the National Museum of Singapore. We were hoping to catch the Dreams & Reality exhibit of paintings from the Musée d’Orsay, including Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhone. Plus given the holidays, the museum had declared an open house day of sorts, which made all exhibits free. Thus we saved a bit while getting to see some rather fantastic art.

The museum itself was beyond belief. I mean seriously, I was in awe to be within physical proximity to so many great Impressionist works that I had only admired in art books and via the internet. But to actually be there in order to better appreciate the scale of some of the pieces, the finer details of each painting and of course to be able to see the actual textures of many of the works was certainly a one-in-a-lifetime experience.

And now I can finally say that I've actually gone to see an actual painting by Vincent Van Gogh, an artist that I had long fallen in love with back in my younger years. And while I wish that my first Van Gogh had been Bedroom in Arles (my favorite piece), this did not in any way lessen the impact of this piece. I resisted the urge to have my photo taken with the beautiful painting. Instead I did my best to capture some of the finger details of the artwork despite all the other visitors doing their best to capture snapshots of the painting as well.

This is not to say that the rest of the exhibit wasn't equally spectacular. The collection included a most generous number of pieces by Monet, which were all beautiful in different ways. I'm pretty sure I managed to capture quick images of all of them as I jockeyed for position together with the other patrons. I wish my photos had not been over-the-shoulder shots and those taken somewhat to one side, but beggars cannot be choosers in this regard. Anyway, the photos are just there to stir the memories of the event itself, and those will always remain absolutely vivid in your mind.

From there it was off to the more shopping-centric section of Orchard Road to see if we couldn't find some items of interest. We did manage to get a few items of interest over at the geek haven Paradigm Infinitum, although it was a shame they barely had any good White Wolf RPG books available. I'm most proud of finally getting my hands on one of those Chessex Dice Boots that I had only read about online. We also tried to shop for clothes, but didn't find anything that we were comfortable paying for so instead we've promised to try to visit Greenhills for geek shirts some time after we go back to Manila.

However we did find a few things for Prince, at that's always important.

Other items acquired were a few hard-to-find DVDs given these were the multi-disc versons that included more features and a book that I had been looking all over the place for given it matches the particular edition I'm collecting. Add in a great lunch at Din Tai Fung and other side diversions, and that's pretty much where our day went.

And tomorrow we'll be over at Marina Bay Sands for most of the day, and that's going to be another adventure! It's a shame though that Tobie is starting to feel a bit under the weather. Perhaps he caught something from Prince just before we left or this is another lingering illness from the week prior that decided to fully manifest now that we're out of the country. Whatever it is, he's not at 100% this time around and I really hope that things change for the better so that we can really enjoy ourselves for the rest of the trip.
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