Tuesday, September 8, 2015

singapore's 50th birthday

This year Singapore celebrates its 50th birthday. And it's kind of a big deal. We got a four day weekend in honor of it, which you won't hear me complaining about. :) Because of the golden jubilee the National Day parade and celebration were bigger than ever. To make sure it all went off without a hitch they practiced nearly every Saturday for about a month before the big day. Thinking we would beat the crowds, we decided to head down for the last practice and miss the actual event. I'm assuming it is probably busier on the big day, but to be honest that is sort of difficult to imagine. It was pretty packed. 
We got there a few hours early and luckily found a pretty nice spot to sit. At least it was pretty nice until some guy weaseled his way right in front of us and made our leg space nonexistent. I was bugged. His kid then proceeded to get super irritated every time Declan touched him. I must admit I was not very apologetic. The best thing about our spot was that they gated it off when it was full so no one could come in and just keep filling in the back and squishing everyone. Thank goodness!

Just hanging out.
I even got into the patriotic spirit and wore red for the occasion. :)

What a stinker.
After quite a wait, the first thing we saw were the parachutists. They had some sort of jet packs on that were shooting out red smoke. It was fun to watch.

Then there was a long gap of nothing going on. There were a couple of helicopters flying around the bay with the Singapore flag but they never came into the bay. It was quite confusing and we began to wonder if we were in the wrong spot to see anything. If we were, we had a lot of company haha.

This picture doesn't really show our perspective very well. It was a HUGE plane that came right over the top of the buildings across the bay. It seriously felt SO close to us.

More waiting. :)
Finally those helicopters flew over us. I'm not sure why they flew back and forth for so long beforehand.

One of our favorites was this '50' formation. So neat!

The boat coming out for the gun salute.

Pardon my ridiculous face in this next picture. I just got such a kick out of Declan's reactions to the gunshots. Of course as soon as Brennan tried to catch it on video he completely stopped the awesome faces. It's a law of the universe, I think.

I loved this one. These six planes just looked like they were going to do a flyover and then they did this awesome crossover. I suppose I'm probably easily impressed when it comes to these things but it was amazing how close they got but didn't crash.

Don't mind Tatum's total rat's nest hair. She was kind of in this stage of wanting to wear her hair down a lot and I didn't always feel like fighting the battle, even though I should. She gets so hot and sweaty and her hair gets super crazy when it's down. But please admire the shorts on the man behind me. Please.

Some incredibly loud jets flew over, a few at a time. I had no idea Brennan was filming and he caught this lovely moment of me feeling like my eardrum was going to burst. I have a pretty messed up right ear. The eardrum has burst twice and I have lots of weird ear sensitivities from the damage. And apparently these jets were at the right volume and frequency to cause me a lot of pain.

Time to wait for the fireworks. The most expensive fireworks show Singapore has ever done for National Day.
Turns out some combination of our camera and its operators takes horrible pictures of fireworks but I wanted to share just to give an idea of just how close we were.

We were so close!

Again, horrible. But it was neat how they shot them off the roofs of buildings too.
The fireworks were really neat until they weren't. Turns out our seats weren't that good for the fireworks as all the smoke came right toward us and was thick enough that we couldn't really see any fireworks by the end. Kind of a bummer but still it was a really great night. Getting home was slightly nightmarish. There so many people! And they were directing people away from the two closest MRTs because of congestion so we had quite a walk. They also decided to turn off all the escalators to try to move things along I guess. But there was no way we were waiting for elevators so poor Brennan had to carry a sleeping Declan in the stroller down more than one dead escalator.
As I took in all the patriotism around me I kept thinking that Singapore's National Day is a much bigger deal than the fourth of July back home. But then I thought, 50 years! I mean there were plenty of people celebrating who could remember the first National Day. And it's amazing to see what has been accomplished in only 50 years! It really is something to celebrate, and for Singaporeans to be proud of.

On National Day (August 9th) they sounded a siren in the morning just before they were airing a reading of the Declaration of Independence read by Lee Kwan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore who just passed away earlier this year. We tuned into that, and that night went to a BBQ that some neighbors invited us to. And that pretty much sums up our participation in the Golden Jubilee. Happy Birthday Singapore!

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