Thursday, 21 March 2013

In the distance

We had a Dutch visitor, pale from winter. Sun was needed so we went to the beach. On the way, in the car, small drops splattered our windscreen. Staring at the sky we spied a touch of blue. We carried on.

To show our visitor, who only had one day, Singapore at a glance, we took the cable cars. The rain kept on dropping but in the distance blue kept gleaming so we parked the car, unloaded kids, towels, buckets and spades and divided ourselves under two big umbrella’s. Over Mount Faber’s ridge we walked to the cable car station. Tijm and Linde jumped in every muddy puddle. Only Jasmijn stayed dry under her buggy’s cover.

High and dry in the little eggs we admired the view. We saw the pointy skyline of Singapore’s Central Business District, with papa’s office on the sixtieth floor of the tallest tower. Deep below us the dark green of Mount Faber Park, with its scattering of black and white house where mama would love to live. Further on we count countless row of high-rise buildings. And more, as Singapore reaches for the sky. We saw the container port, with its cranes, where containers are stacked like flats in the HDB buildings.

In the distance, behind the clouds, the sea and resort Island Sentosa gleamed in the sun. Behind that, oil tankers, refineries, pretty or not, they provide Singapore’s as well as our own livelihood. And that of our visitor.

We sailed over a mall, a cruise ship, and a theme park, where we saw dolphins jumping, and kids floating trough slides in bright rubber bands, and then we arrived at our destination. Far away we could still see the blue. But on Sentosa it rained too.

We passed the Merlion, half lion, half fish, the Gaudi fountain, until we reached the beach. Tijm and Linde by now wetter than the sea. In the distance, above the sea, the sky was blue.

At the beach club COASTES, that looks like it’s on the coast of the cold North Sea, but with better food, where Dutch, French and British expats roam, it was busy. In the spitting rain children swam, their parents in the sand, under their umbrellas. The terrace, that is, the covered part, was full. We found a dry spot and Tijm and Linde and Jasmijn exchanged their wet clothes for their dry swimwear. Not long after, those were wet too.

We had a coffee, some lime juice, and looked at the sky. In the distance it remained blue. Every one stared with us, thinking it would clear, thinking we’ll endure. Tijm, Linde, Jasmijn and papa dived in the waves. They were wet already and the sea was warm.

Now and again the sky brightened, but the sun never came. One by one the families left. When the thunder roared, the sea, and not much later the terrace, emptied. We ate some fries and gave in.

With Tijm in a towel and Linde in my pareo we took the monorail to the cable car station. It dribbled. In the distance blue gleamed.

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