Life in the City of Singapore

Jannine Q-Silver's picture
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Living in Singapore as an ex-pat wife following my husbands career gives me ample opportunity to travel and explore the places that I live.
After living in Incredible India Mumbai for a couple of years, where there was NEVER a dull moment and my neck hurt through not knowing where to look and my eyes and senses were on constant over load I imagined Singapore to be somewhat sterile and samey samey.
But how wrong was I. I love to walk with my camera, to find anything to snap pictures of that takes my interest. wildlife is exciting and fabulous although I know in this heat standing and waiting for too long can become unbearable I like to keep moving (maybe a little impatient too!)
my husband and I have come from a small country town in the South of England so decided to live our time here in Singapore in a high rise Condominium and experience city life. We live on the 30th floor with amazing views over the city and a great spot to sit and watch/photgraph the tropical storms that often blow our way.

The one observation that I made early on was that there seems to be NO wildlife and I came to the conclusion that they Fog so often to rid this country of mosquito's (malaria) they must have sadly obliterated small wildlife creatures too.

That said if you look deeper and deeper you can always find something even if it doesn't smack you in the face with obviousness, occasionally I get a tiny bird rest on my balcony but he's very shy and I have not managed to snap him yet.
Sitting down by the pool and studying the trees around our Condo I am fortunate enough to see the odd shy Lizard that plays hide and seek when I get my camera comes out.
I try to visit some where new on a weekly basis and two years into this assignment on an Island that is around 26 mile radius I am happy to report there is much much more to discover.
I read yesterday only that Singapore has over 60 small islands that belong to it and some of them can be accessed by bum boat or ferry.
I shall make it my mission to now step foot on as many of them as I can and see what the wildlife there has to offer a keen novice photographer.

Only last week a couple of friends and I had decided to explore Changi village which sits on the north east coast of Singapore, I had read that there is a Mangrove walk and hoped to see some birds and wildlife.
We didn't find the walk but stumbled upon the old ferry terminal which opened up a whole new experience for us.
there is a small Island off Singapore called Pulau Ubin which you access through Bum Boats, You sit and wait in an area and when a boat driver thinks there's enough people to make the trip he calls you onto his old and tired looking boat. He takes a minimal fee from us all of $2.50 for the ten minute ride to a little paradise that was like stepping back in time.

Singapore is world known for its order cleanliness and strict laws on most things and on the whole it generally works well, Pulau Ubin on the other hand was such a contrast. the jetty that greets us on our arrival was worn and weathered and had seen better days, local people were using the jetty to fish from and the initial buildings you see are slightly dilapidated and again very tired and in need of some T.L.C.

Initially it's bikes for hire that takes your attention but for our first trip we decided to walk and explore (better for me with a camera too).
There are little fresh seafood places siting nicely over the beach with the cool breeze acting as a natural A/C.

On the left was a beach clean for standards outside Singapore and just inside on the right it was more jungle like. Birds were everywhere small ones and large crane type birds, the flowers were wild and beautiful and after our lunch we were lucky enough to spot a pair of Oriental pied-hornbill-(Anthracoceros albirostris)this made my day :O) they sat on a very low tree together turning their heads in both directions slowly as if to pose for my camera, I got some Fabulous shots.
We walked through a Mangrove walk there being totally spoiled with Kingfishers and the most beautiful stunning views of waterways and it was just so peaceful. We had a truly amazing day and I couldn't wait to take my husband back over there with our cameras to explore some more.

After a little more research (google) I discovered that there is a board walk along that Stretch of beach where the Ferry Terminal sits so I took me myself and my camera to explore that a couple of days ago.

this walk although hot was magical the view from the boardwalk is of the sea gently lapping the shore there are some huge stones in the shore great for photo's and old men fishing along the way. I have found here like many places how universal a smile is, smiling gives the other person an opening to speak and say good morning/day or to open up a conversation. The first question on many peoples lips is "where you from ah?" and this can be a short or long interaction between you depends on what your plans are. I met a Thai fisherman last week sheltering from a heavy downpour of rain, he offered to share his lunch with me and really just wanted to talk, he was an interesting old chap full of stories about his family and life he reminded me how lovely is to to smile and allow people to chat if they want to, I laid down to read my book while the rain passed and he feel asleep on the bench next me.

I was lucky enough on this trip to see a weird looking little critter called a Gliding Lizard he was moving his way up a tree and had the most amazing yellow throat that he pushed out like a sword of sorts. I spent a while trying to capture his presence. There are huge Ants here that we don't get in the UK and wonderful coloured Insects that I find fascinating.

I will leave my tale of Singapore here tough I have many more posstives to share and have only really done this through my photographs in the past. I look forward to sharing more.

Great story. I hope you get

Great story. I hope you get to visit all the 60 islands.