Several LSIRC members brought some NUS Law exchange students on a river cruise last Friday evening on the 30/9/11 — the river cruise being a leisurely bumboat ride up and down the Singapore River, capturing the stunning view of the various local landmarks along the river lit up at night, and perhaps some little history lessons along the way courtesy of the recorded guide over the speakers.
But even such a touristy ride was enjoyable and different (especially since it was out of campus!). Viewing the nightscape of Singapore with the exchange students makes all the difference. When pointing out certain things along the river to them, such as its cleanliness compared to the filth of yesteryears, the sprouting of bars and pubs, and the new Supreme Court (as introduced by the tape-recorded tour guide in startling detail, with a touch of what some people may call humour: “Is it a bird?! Is it a plane?! Is it a UFO?! No, it’s the new Supreme Court.”), there will be some scenes you find unfamiliar, but that is just because of the many changes the area is constantly undergoing.
These changes become more real, viewing them from the bumboat, compared to reading off newspapers or looking at pictures (our photos are nonetheless fantastic!). Sitting at the bow of the boat, the whole skyline was just before our very eyes, and it was impossible to resist marveling at what Singapore has transformed into. Some of the exchange students told me that although they had visited the area a couple of times, it looked very different when viewed from the river cruise. Many of them were able to appreciate the urban modernity that we locals are so comfortable with.
After the cruise, we sat by the riverbank and enjoyed ice cream with the breeze and the nightlife around us. Though it was a simple outing, it did much to acquaint our overseas friends, as well as ourselves, with a different side of Singapore.
Article contributed by: Marc Teh (Law 1)
Photography by: Ryan Chan (Law 2) and Benjamin Foo (Law 1)