Day Twenty-Four/ Singapore
Trip Start Dec 17, 2011
25Trip End Jan 14, 2012
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It wasn't far from our hotel; just a 10-15 minute walk. It was up in a park, and had been hidden away from the world until 1988 when it was uncovered. The tour started off with a video about Singapore’s lead up to the Second World War. I had no idea that it had so many battles occur on its shores. The video lead up to 15 February 1942, where Singapore were in a worse and worse position.
The Battle Box was a fort that was used by the Japanese for a short while, before the British took it over. It was made so that poisonous gas would not infiltrate it, and was secret
It was in this place that General Percival decided that he would have to surrender to Japan. The Japanese had put Singapore in a position where they had only 24 hours of water, little food, and only the petrol in the vehicle tanks. He felt that there was no choice, but to surrender. As he did surrender, he was not welcomed back to England by Winston Churchill on his return. He was, however, invited to watch the Japanese surrender the war, which happened in the Philippines.
The Battle Box was very interesting, as they had gone to great pains to recreate what it would have looked like back when it was in operation. They had made 24 extremely lifelike figures, put in positions, and they acted out the lead up to the surrender. The exhibit had cost 3 million to make, as everything had to be custom made, specially bought or borrowed. The figures are programmed to do slight movements to fit in with the audio. It was all quite clever.
We walked around the park some more, before heading to the local shopping centre for some lunch.
We then headed back to the hotel room to rest
After we had rested for awhile, we headed back out to the markets.
The markets are very much owned by the Chinese population of Singapore. However, unlike China, they do not shower you with attention when you show interest in their stock. A few times, we picked things up, looked over them, and received no looks from the stall owner. This is the polar opposite to China, where your attention is sought before you even consider walking into the stall. They also don't bargain here. I guess that they figure that they will have plenty of customers, so if you don't want to pay that price, somebody else will.
We walked all through the markets, up and down. We saw many elderly people stting oustide on tables, eating whilst a magician performed for them. We were told that the restaurant close by, once a year, pays for the elderly to eat there, at a cost of $50 per head.
We ended up at a local food court for dinner. I have visted many a food court in my day, but none that sold pig's liver soup and fried pig hoof. We had to do a few laps of the place to find some food that sounded appealing for us, but we managed.
We went to Starbucks for dessert, and went back to the rooms for sleep.