:: The Merlion Finds a Temp Home ::
Realized that I have not blogged for quite a bit,
Especially after my overseas business trip.
It was just a few weeks ago, when a Japanese colleague
Came to Singapore for an important meeting.
I took some effort to host him, together with my team.
As he was not particularly fluent with his English language,
I tried my best to be the interpreter for the week.
We brought him to try the various Singaporean dishes,
From Hainanese Chicken Rice, to Assam Fish and then Nasi Padang.
Spending time with Ozaki-san became a full-time affair,
As we had to rotate between clearing our tasks for the week
While spending time with him. And because of the language
Barrier, I ended up being the person that was with him most of
The time. Notwithstanding, Ozaki-san, visiting our sunny isle for the
First time, must have had a good impression of our island state, as
We had never spent so much time in taking care of our Japanese colleagues;
Not even his bosses, who visited us on two separate occasions, last year.
Bringing Ozaki-san around the touristy spots became an educational experience
For ourselves - in fact, it was quite some time ago before I went to the
Civic side of the Singapore River. As dusk approached, and we walked towards
The Merlion, I was surprised to see it under construction. It then dusked upon me
That there was this Merlion Hotel concept, which was a special installation
As part of the Biennial. I was intrigued, and walked to the end of the jetty
To try to peer into the hotel room to see how it is like. Ozaki-san was
Not really keen in the Merlion, which was appropriately dwarfed by the
Gigantic Marina Bay Sands. "It's that ship structure!" Ozaki-san exclaimed
Excitedly as he posed with MBS for a snapshot, and then some more.
In any case, I didn't know how to explain what the Merlion was.
And it wasn't really easy to explain it in Japanese. I didn't know
Why and how Merlion became the Singapore Icon, but
For some strange reason, I felt closer to the Merlion than
The "Ship building". Perhaps I've grown up with the Merlion,
And like many other older parts of Singapore, it had
A resonance with me and what I identify as my
Singapore. I didn't know that the hotel room could be booked,
Or else I would have booked the room for a night,
Just for the fact that it may never happen.