Thursday, September 4, 2008

Searching for the Distant Pagoda

Last Sunday, Barry and I decided to find the one last alluring, temple-like building that we see from our 18th storey balcony. We knew neither the name nor the location of the mysterious pagoda, but were guided by estimates and our sense of adventure. Sadly, these were not accurate, and we ended up walking from one incorrect landmark to another for three damp hours. Here are some of the things we saw.
First, this is the Sim Clan building beside our apartment building. Though I'm not clear on the details, they are some sort of association of the extended Sim family. Apparently similar to a Rotary club, they are involved in activities like drum banging and parades for festivals, funerals and events in between, using the floats shown below.
After visiting the Sims, we stopped in for a little acupuncture and cauterization so as to prepare us for our journey.The first temple we found made up for its lack of pagodas via its collection of confusing Buddhist/Taoist puppets.
This mosque also did not incorporate any pagoda styling into its lovely architecture.After a washroom break at a sketchy mall that included its own, um, "sauna", we found ourselves at the Crocodile farm. You know, for skinning them and making purses. In urban Singapore. You never know when to expect a crocodile farm!
The crocodile farm made our brains explode a little bit, but luckily help was just down the street.
Next temple: Thai, and completely pagodaless.By the time we reached this green temple, we were jaded and grumpy.And, to our surprise and wonder, we see a tall green roof through the treetops! It turns out that our mysterious building was filled with dead people! That is, the Pagoda is the central building in the Mount Vernon crematorium, and offers eight stories of ashes, faux flowers, fabulous views and a fabulous sense of accomplishment!