Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Merlion of Singapore


After leaving Hard Rock, I figured I'd better hurry up and get back to sight-seeing.  Have to fit in as much as possible in my two days!  So, I navigated back through the underground shopping mall (there seems to be as much shopping under Orchard Road and on it) to the subway and headed downtown.  I got out at Raffles Place, and again found myself in an underground shopping mall.  Goodness, if you like to shop, there are layers of it in Singapore.  I came up to air in the midst of towering skyscrapers with signs for corporations and bank headquarters, and the occasional ritzy hotel.  I was a bit disoriented at first but soon found a street sign that I could match on my map, and struck out for Merlion Park.  

Merlion Park is right on the edge of Marina Bay.  It's a rather nonsensical statue, with the head of a lion and the tail of a fish, hence the rather obvious and unimaginative name of Merlion.  Odd as it is, it's become popular as a symbol of the city, and it seems half the postcards from Singapore feature it. Apparently there are five around Singapore; two here in the bayside park. It's become a mascot for Singapore as, according to wikipedia, the fish tail represents the city's humble beginnings as the island home of a tribe of fishermen, and the lion as the Malay word Singapura from which Singapore is derived means "Lion City."  It's such a tourist fixture that they've built a viewing platform out over the water so everyone can get the obligatory photo of themselves in front of it (here's mine--oh, and there's my new Boston Terrier bag; isn't it cute?  Although actually not the wisest choice ever--pleather is rather hot to carry when it's humid, and it's just a bit too small and unstuffable, but I'll manage).  

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