Thursday, May 12, 2005

Singapore Swing Part X

In this post we will wrap up our visit to Sentosa Island. To do that I want to revisit Fort Siloso.

The barracks, bunkers, and gun emplacements are well maintained. One simply walks into a building and motion sensors start a tape playing that describes the purpose and use of the building. In the picture below, a British officer orients a newly transferred soldier.

They are mannequins, of course, but the use of the mannequins added a lot of realism to the experience. The officer instructed the man of lower rank in the best ways to handle the climate, foods available, and all manner of orientation to the local scene. It was very informative, and a perfect vehicle to educate tourists.

Did you notice the turkey standing in the doorway in the lower left hand corner of the photo? Look again.

Turkeys, peacocks, and many other types of wildlife run freely on Sentosa Island. I made a move to exit the building and nearly ran into that turkey. It scared the daylights out of me; not because it was aggressive or anything, I just did not expect to see this huge bird there.

Further excursion led me into one of the bunkers. They have some old ordnance piled up to give a sense of what sort of defense the Brits could mount in case of an attack. I assume the ordnance had been neutralized, but I still did not pick anything up. The interior of the bunkers are immaculately whitewashed.

Another must-see on the island is the museum. There are many life-sized dioramas in the museum to illustrate the island's history. Here is one from WWII which shows a Japanese soldier bayoneting a British soldier. This was the single creepiest thing I saw the whole trip.

Then finally, a picture of this old timer.

Yes, macaques are allowed to run wild on the island also. One of them made me jump when he grabbed an empty coffee can and flung it onto the blacktop behind me. I was at at bit of a loss around these (to me) exotic creatures. Being a sheltered Los Angeleno, the only thing I kept thinking is, "Keep your distance. Maybe they bite." And I got plenty of bites from insects in the rain forest area of Sentosa, hoping all the while I was not going to pick up something exotic and baffling to American doctors. So far, so good.

Next in the Series: Part XI

Photos Copyright 2005 by Impacted Wisdom Truth

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