Until the very end of April, I’d never been outside North America, but I corrected that in a big way when I took a 14-hour flight from Dallas to Doha and then another flight — this one a mere seven hours — to Singapore.
The occasion was my 12-day stint as author-in-residence at the Singapore American School. I conducted two-day writing workshops for the second- through fifth-graders and got to read a book or two to the schools first-graders, kindergartners, and pre-K students.
The school days were full, but there was much I wanted to see in my downtime, so I got out and about a lot. Besides, I figured I could sleep on my long flight home. (This turned out not to be true.)
On my first Saturday there, I had lunch in Little India, visited the Sultan Mosque —
— took a break for Japanese ice cream and coffee, went to a festival at the Thai embassy, and ended the day with an IMAX screening of Captain America: Civil War with Chinese subtitles.
Singapore offers a marvelous mix of cultures, history, natural beauty, and adventurous architecture. Here are a few of my favorite sights:
What else? Let’s see — there was a wet market:
The MacRitchie Reservoir Park, with Kate Brundage…
The Singapore Botanic Garden, with an Evolution Garden that I especially liked:
Though this guy was also a highlight:
But my favorite place to photograph was, without a doubt, Haw Par Villa:
The centerpiece of Haw Par Villa is the Ten Courts of Hell, the representations of which are a bit extreme. There are serious punishments for more infractions than I knew existed. Trust me, you don’t want to suffer the consequences of misusing books.
But I can’t end there. I’ve got to go back to SAS and one of the campus cats. Because campus cats.