Monday, June 28, 1999
from the Peninsula: 16. War and other things

Itís late at night and Iím still up, waiting for my laundry get washed in the washing machine. After this Iíll have to hang my clothes to dry and then sleep because tomorrow I plan to walk much, visiting all those museums and bookstores Singapore is famous about.

Actually I planned to visit the museums today but I forgot something very important: most museums are closed on Monday! So I will visit the museums tomorrow. Today I went instead to some more Singaporean landmarks: temples, mosques, churches and a synagoge, the first synagoge I ever saw in my life, being an Indonesian living in a country with the biggest moslem poopulation in the world. Jewish and Israel are taboo words back home.

Then I went to the Kranji War Memorial, where they have the graves of the soldiers who died in WW II. This place is quite a way away near Changi airport. After asking for directions I took a train then walked. I had to walk quite far to reach it. The place was very quiet. It was big and imposing. But it has that sad atmosphere of a place which has witnessed many a young life cut short. I saw some old people there, but not many. It was very quiet.

It was very hot too. But I walked again and after asking around again for direction I found a bus to go to Changi Chapel and Museum. The prison is now used for drug addicts so it is closed, but we can still visit the chapel and museum. But even the chapel is only a replica, not the real one.

Actually inside the prison building they have murals made by one of the inmates during his captivity. But to get inside we have to have written permission. Nick said it's not difficult to arrange for a written permission. His father had the permission when he visited here. Nick's father also fought in the WW II so he's very interested with the war historical places around here.

The atmosphere inside the museum was depressing. Lots of photos of the Changi prisoners. Reminded me of that book King Rat by James Clavell, which were written based on Clavell's own experience here. Reminded me also of my grandfather's notes. My father's father was interned by the Japanese as well. Because he's Catholic and was close to the Dutch priests, he was thought a spy, so he was taken by the Japanese.

He left pieces of paper with notes and sketches of what he went through at that time. How he was kept in a very small quarter only big enough for him to sit hunched, among his own faeces and pee. How he was tortured with water. Thus my interests in the war history. My grandmother said when he came back after being released after the Japanese surrendered my grandfather was so thin, smelly and sickly, he went straight to hospital and died not long after. My father did not even remember his father.

Like in the POW museum in Kanchanaburi, there were sketches and memorabilia of those prisoners. Some of the sketches they show looked like grandfatherís sketches. I don't know why we don't have this kind of memorial in Indonesia. Our people died by the millions too during the Japanese occupation, and many Indonesians was sent to build the Death Railway and never came back. No mention about them at all in our country. At least as far as I know. I should find out more.

This evening Nick and his girlfriend Sophia took me out to the Botanic Garden to have a picnic while watching a music group performance. The music was OK, it was a group from France and the music was a little bit of Pink Floyd type. But what's wonderful is the place. Right in the heart of downtown Singapore, not far from Orchard Road, thereís this beautiful lush and green garden with big trees and forests, and a big grassy open space where we all can have picnic in front of the stage. It was full of people. Nick said that three years ago when they started to have this open air show, there were only very few people and mostly were expatriates. Now everybody in Singapore like this picnic-show as their favourite evening pastime.

It was very nice, we still had sun until about 7 oíclock and then it got darker and darker and at last we had dim lights from the lamps here and there. Oh it was so nice. They all brought food and drink. I had bread and cheese and wine. It was my first time of having wine outside formal dinner. Nickís friends were also nice and asked questions on what I thought of this country and what I saw on my trip.

I like Singapore. Here it's very nice to walk about. There are soooo many trees. It is very green, so we can walk without our heads getting dizzy from the scorching sun. The traffic is also very light compared to jakarta, and the cars are new cars so not too many pollution from dark diesel fume got into our lungs. The drivers are also very polite, probably because everybody cross the streets in the right place. When we're tired, many parks around and many places to sit. Under big trees or in a sidewalk we can easily find a stone chair to sit. And we can always refresh ourselves in the toilets, which are clean and gratuit! In many places we can find tanks with tap water to drink! Oh wonderful! So even if the bottled water are expensive in Singapore, we can always re-fill our bottles in those tanks.

Transportation in Singapore is also very nice. For us, the MRT is simply amazing. Everything is automatic and modern, and clean and cool. Even when we have to stand we didn't feel tired or hot because of the aircond. Compared that to a bus in Jakarta. Yes Jakarta public transportation is really terrible. Unlike here back home the buses were dirty and old, some of the new ones have aircond but after a year or two, most of the aircond have broken down. You can't ride a bus in Jakarta without getting sweaty and smelly. And don't talk about the pickpockets. Plus of course the traffic jam. Here the buses are also very nice and clean. And we can pay with cards or use the automatic machines for coins, which is rather amazing for us. So we like to go up and down buses and MRT to use the automatic machines! :)

Taxi is very expensive in Singapore, and so is keeping a car, according to Nick. In every car they have to install an electronic thing called Electronic Road Payment. Whenever a car is heading a toll road the driver simply produce the card and put it in his machine and he doesn't have to stop at any booth to pay! I can't stop being amazed :D

One thing that I noticed: in Singapore public phones are everywhere and most of them work! In Jakarta if you can find any, that's very good and if you can find one that works, oh! that's a miracle! :)

One other thing that me and my friends found interesting: petrol stations. We even stopped and took photos in petrol stations. Why? Because petrol stations in Indonesia are all the same. Companies like Mobil, Shell or BP cannot sell their petrol directly to public. It has to be the State Oil & Gas Company: The Pertamina who does that, they have the monopoly. As a consequence, all petrol stations all over Indonesia has the same look and colour. And they are mostly dark, dirty and don't have mini stores or pproper and clean toilets. In Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand the petrol stations are all lit up, colourful and very clean. Most have mini marts and proper and clean toilets. So for us it's just like in American movies. Gerry and Nick were amazed when we asked to stop and take photos in those beautiful petrol stations :D

Singapore, Monday 28 June 1999

Posted at 11:27 pm by koeniel


Leave a Comment:


Homepage (optional)


Previous Entry Home Next Entry

female, Indonesian
geologist, diver
photography hobbyist
lives in Singapore

Travel Photo Album

Book Collection

All About Diving

Movie Page

All About Dog

kotak sapaan:



Previous Entries

  • About Books and Films
  • From Diving Trips
  • Travel Notes

  • Sepakbola! Ole Ole Ole!
  • Gempa, Tsunami & Bencana Geologi

  • Tentang Jomblo, Jodoh & Perempuan
  • Tentang Bangsaku
  • Saat Merenung....

  • Keluarga, Teman & Hidup Sehari-hari
  • About Dogs and Puppies
  • Di Negeri Orang

  • Dunia Kerja
  • My Offshore Life

  • Kala hati bicara....

  • Written in English


    Bule Irish
    All About Chocolate
    Dongeng Geologi
    Ekonomi Migas
    Indonesia Today
    Bataviase Nouvelles
    Planet Singapura
    Mimbarnya Pak Mimbar
    A Little Bit of Everything
    Lamunan Sejenak
    Busy Brain
    Di Suatu Hari
    Warung Kopi MpokB
    Razar Media
    Irene's Journeys
    Carpe Dieblog
    Mi Familia
    Deedee's World
    Mia's Lounge
    Qeong Ungu

    'Lounges and Coffee Shops'

    Kapal Selam Underwater Photography
    Kapal Selam Dive Club
    Sahabat Museum
    Sahabat Museum @ Friendster

    Old Musings & Stories

    Dive Notes
    Balinese Underwater Monster
    Butterfly & Layang Layang
    Underwater Countdown
    My First Mola mola
    Mola mola
    Tergila-gila Pada Kehidupan Bawah Air
    Sanghyang, Where Underwater Deities Dwell
    Tentang Penyu
    Life Wins
    Bumi Berguncang Lagi
    Not Just A Shark Tale
    Dari Dasar Laut
    Dari Dasar Kolam

    Travel Notes
    Di Tanah Kering Bebatuan
    The Moon Over Alton
    The Way To Travel
    A Rainy Day in Ambon
    The Irish Experience
    Bukan Hantu
    Kota Bata Merah
    Tentang Penyu
    Kampungku Indah
    Persembahan Untuk Para Sahabat
    Lawang Sewu dan Fullerton, Semarang dan Malaka
    Plesiran Tempo Doeloe
    Mandi Ditemani Pelangi
    Kalau Ingin Menyepi...
    Coretan Musim Semi: 10. Akhir
    Coretan Musim Semi: 9. Menang
    Coretan Musim Semi: 8. Romansa
    Coretan Musim Semi: 7. Hantu
    Coretan Musim Semi: 6. Sacre Triduum
    Coretan Musim Semi: 5. Granit
    Coretan Musim Semi: 4. Pulau
    Coretan Musim Semi: 3. Matahari
    Coretan Musim Semi: 2. Hujan
    Coretan Musim Semi: 1. Semi
    Monument Valley
    Grand Canyon
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 11. Business Class
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 10. London
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 9. York
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 8. Salju
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 7. Aberdeen lagi
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 6. Edinburgh
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 5. Aberdeen
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 4. Ke Utara
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 3. The Field Trip
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 2. Derbyshire
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 1. London
    from the Peninsula: 17. An enlightening trip
    from the Peninsula: 16. War and other things
    from the Peninsula: 15. Back in Singapore
    from the Peninsula: 14. A night on the bus
    from the Peninsula: 13. Back to Malaysia
    from the Peninsula: 12. The City of Angels
    from the Peninsula: 11. Palaces & Dead Soldiers
    from the Peninsula: 10. the train journey
    from the Peninsula: 9. About Penang
    from the Peninsula: 8. The Drive around Penang
    from the Peninsula: 7. About KL
    from the Peninsula: 6. About Malaka
    from the Peninsula: 5. in old Malaka
    from the Peninsula: 4. Green Singapore
    from the Peninsula: 3. About Museums
    from the Peninsula: 2. the amazing Singapore
    from the Peninsula: 1. my 1st trip abroad
    White beaches, Coconut trees, Gorgeous sunset
    Wild Whirling Wet WhiteWater Adventure!
    Gunung Gede

    Book and Film Reviews
    What The [Bleep] Was That?
    Joining The Throng - The Book Baton
    Manusia Kesepian
    Mencari Tuhan
    The Last Samurai
    Coretan Musim Semi 7: Hantu

    Kisah-Kisah Bumi
    Negeri Bencana
    Dongeng Tukang Akik Tentang Gempa
    Bukan Supranatural
    Bumi Berguncang Lagi
    Sekilas Tentang Gempa dan Tsunami

    About Dogs and Puppies
    Home is Where the Heart is
    The Hunter
    The Little Dog and The Sea
    No Puppies for Chocolate
    All Dogs Go to Heaven
    Aku Jatuh Cinta

    16 Besar
    Bola Lagi
    The Underdog
    Euro 2004: Lebih baik menyerang
    Euro 2004: Non Partisan
    Euro 2004: Bukan Dongeng Yunani
    Euro 2004: Kursi Panas

    Tentang Perempuan
    Hari Perempuan
    Katakan Aku Cantik
    Dark Energy
    Oret-Oret Seputaran Valentine
    Masih Banyak Lagi
    Lagi-Lagi Tentang Diskriminasi
    Perempuan dan Lelaki
    Bahagia Menurut Para Ilmuwan
    Si Lajang
    The Last Samurai
    My Frist Shalwar Khameez

    Tentang Bangsaku
    Negeri Bencana
    Jakarta, The Next Atlantis
    Natal Di Kampungku
    Berebut Cepu
    Milik Siapa?
    Indo? Indon? Indonesa? Indonesia?
    Anak Yang Hilang
    A Dark Cloud Over Bali
    Manusia Kesepian
    Bukan Anak-Anak Yang Salah
    Masih tentang Sopan Santun
    Sopan Santun
    Lampu Hazard
    Kampungku Indah
    A Thirst for Knowledge
    Berita dari Aceh
    Bumi Berguncang Lagi
    Ini Bagian dari Kita Juga
    Persembahan untuk Para Sahabat
    Lawang Sewu dan Fullerton, Semarang dan Malaka
    Tanah dan Air
    Pemilu di Kampungku
    TKI vs TKF
    Pemilu yang Membingungkan
    Plesiran Tempo Doeloe
    Orang Indonesia belum layak punya kebun binatang!
    Kalau Ingin Menyepi....
    Sekali Lagi....
    Dunia Yang Marah

    Work Work Work
    Belajar Sabar
    Thank you, SQ
    The Way To Travel
    Topi Sombrero
    A Block in The Blog
    Anak Yang Hilang
    To Jump or Not To Jump
    Mencari Tantangan
    A Thirst For Knowledge
    A Prison In the Middle of The Sea
    Lagi-lagi Tentang Diskriminasi
    Tentang Kerja Fisik
    Graveyard Shift
    Tentang Ruang Pribadi
    Tanah dan Air
    Perempuan dan Lelaki
    My Frist Shalwar Khameez
    Mandi Ditemani Pelangi
    One Usual Grey Afternoon
    Yang Terbaik
    Comfortable With Uncertainty
    Sunsparc or Sunflower
    Sudah Tertawa Lagi
    Masih Tentang Kehidupan di Rig
    Serba-serbi hidup di rig...
    Bad Day
    Sebelum drilling dimulai
    Pride Pennsylvania
    Pasca Kebakaran

    Home Away From Home
    Hot Whiskey
    Balada Si Dengkul
    Rumah Hantu
    Indo? Indon? Indonesa? Indonesia?
    A Block in The Blog
    The Kuatir
    Tidak Sendiri
    Bukan Hantu
    My First Shalwar Khameez
    Masih tentang Pakistan
    Sekelumit Tentang Pakistan dan Islamabad
    Assalamualaikum & Shukriya
    One year Flew By...
    Setahun Berlalu Bagai Angin....
    Hari Ini Dunia Tiba-Tiba Berwarna
    Dingin Tapi Sehat
    Hartland-Kilve Field Trip
    Masih Miskin, dan lain-lain
    Mahasiswa Miskin
    Jadi Mahasiswa Lagi
    Dari Kampus

    Family and Friends....
    Untuk Pak Ton
    Home is Where the Heart is
    Hot Whiskey
    All Dogs Go To Heaven
    Cinta Jilid 1
    Natal Di Kampungku
    Aku Jatuh Cinta
    Balada si Dengkul
    Rumah Hantu
    Tidak Sendiri
    Melindas (Flu) Burung
    Tanpa Listrik
    Dengkulku Somplak
    Dark Energy
    Oret-Oret Seputaran Valentine
    Masih Banyak Lagi
    Si Lajang
    Pemilu di Kampungku
    The Last Samurai
    Mandi Ditemani Pelangi
    Bukan Kacang....
    Setahun Berlalu Bagai Angin......
    One Usual Grey Afternoon
    Dunia Itu Memang Kadang Sempit
    Pagi Setelah Wanarek

  • ©2000 Koeniel

    Contact Me

    If you want to be updated on this weblog Enter your email here:

    since 25 March 2006
    rss feed


    You can copy or forward these writings, but please mention the source and provide the link to this page

    Silakan mengkopi tulisan-tulisan ini tapi sertakan sumbernya dan link ke halaman ini

    Clip arts courtesy of Barb's Pic, Barry's Clipart and Microsoft Office Clipart Gallery

    My Favourite Films: