I love travelling alone. It gives me a soft adrenaline rush. You know, when you have to just take care of your own self? When there’s nobody complaining about the long walk? When you can sit somewhere and refuse to get up till you want? That! It was getting too much of academics with the quizzes and mid-semester exams and I decided to ditch the clingy friends and go on an exploration alone.
I was saving Marina Bay and the Merlion Park for later as it is supposed to be the highlight of Singapore. I decided to google some other awesome places and zeroed down on the Esplanade Rooftop near the City Hall. The description said it has an amazing view from the top of the building. I got out of the campus and took the MRT and after a connection in between, I reached the City Hall. Walking a bit from there, I saw the Esplanade Theatre building for the first time and boy, it’s pretty.
I entered the building and was immediately mesmerized to see an Indian classical music group performing in the hall. Listening to the enchanting melody of flute and the perfect beat of Tabla for some time, I began looking for an elevator or an escalator to take me to the roof top. A little further from the Indian classical group, I found a little girl playing a violin and surrounded by a crowd. Again, my mind got stuck on it and refused to move from there. The performance ended and I had just moved a few steps further when I came across a whole exhibition of cultural artifacts and historical stuff and that was when I realized that Esplanade is actually a culture and heritage center. I tried my best to reach to the roof top as mentioned by Google but I could only manage to reach the third floor after which it was restricted area. Hopelessly, I came out of the place clueless of what to do next. It was already 7 PM and too late to catch any type of sunset in Singapore. It was when I was trying to take a selfie with the Esplanade Theatre from a unique angle when I was awestruck by something at the corner of my phone’s screen. I couldn’t even hit the capture button and took the phone in my pocket and turned around. Taking a few steps right and actually realizing it to be what it was, I kept walking. I kept walking until I reached this spot:
The picture will never be able to do justice to the feeling when I saw this scene for the first time. Marina Bay Sands is so grand that I felt like it was carrying Titanic as its roof. I just sat down. Right there, on the floor. It started getting dark as the time passed by and soon, the lights were on all around me. There are a few moments in my life that I will never forget in a lifetime. The moments include looking at the Taj Mahal for the first time, walking on the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time and standing in front of the famous White House for the first time. The moment when all the lights around me were on, joined the list of unforgettable moments too. Marina Bay Sands got lit up, the skyline behind me greeted me with a full smile and the bridge that I stood on seemed like floating on water.
The clock hour struck 8 and I was still sitting there when I saw a flicker of lights at the Marina Bay Sands. That’s when I exclaimed, “Oh yes!” I absolutely had forgotten that there’s the world famous light show at the MBS every night at 8 PM. I was far away from it but I was sitting at the exact center point of the area all around and it was the best place to see the light show from. The light show started and I wanted to scream in excitement. I wanted to call home and let my family know that I was there. I wanted my friends to know what I was experiencing but I stayed still right there sitting and holding on to the railing in front of me with as strong a grip as I could till it got over.
Again, the camera will never be able to do justice. You just have to be there to see it for yourself. Pondering over what I just saw and how two years ago I was in India, a few months ago in the U.S. and now in Singapore, I got up to just take a walk on the shore. I did not even have a single thought of coming to Singapore a few months ago before I applied for the exchange program. The Study Abroad office gave me a scholarship for my time here and only that made it possible for me to afford coming to and living in Singapore and I will forever be thankful for it!
I walked along the shore completely unaware of time anymore with no tension of any pending homework, future plans or upcoming co-op applications. Recording short clips of some of the simplest but prettiest scenarios, I roamed around the streets of Singapore like they were my own. I took random turns and reached unexpectedly beautiful places. This is exploration for me. This is what I mean by travelling. Looking at the G.P.S. half the time and following some generic list of sight-seeing makes us forget to live the moment and sometimes keeps us from the real excitement which is in going off the script. Looking at every single building out there and just following the banks of the Singapore river, I didn’t even realize when I reached Clarke Quay. I walked past four MRT stations in between and didn’t even realize it. Have you had any of such feelings yet? No? Then, what are you waiting for? Choose your favorite location and just reach the study abroad office at Drexel! Until next time, take care!