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Monday, May 23, 2005

Church family day at Labrador Park

Yesterday was Vesak Day, when Buddhists all around the world celebrate the Buddha's birth and day of enlightenment (if I got my religious knowledge correct). And because it fell on a Sunday, today is a public holiday. For us Christians, it was a time to have some good clean fun. And particularly those from my church, this fun was to be had at Labrador Park.

The event was supposed to start at 8:30am. That was the time I woke up. My family didn't make it to the park till 9:30am. The ironic thing is that we are just a 10-minute drive away. The other ironic thing is that this was only my second time there. The first time I was there, the park was still pretty much a mangrove swamp. Today, there are paved walkways, playground, public restrooms, paved nature trails, and descriptive signboards of the various military structures located there.

When we arrived, a treasure hunt was underway, so I just joined a group randomly. But I didn't really participate. I spent most of the half hour talking with a fellow church member. But I wasn't totally non-participative; I offered a suggestion about a clue that pointed the group in the right direction. It turned out that I was half-right: the object that we were supposed to find was in the playground, but not a see-saw.

The game ended at 10:30am and I hung out with a group of people who are around my age. We chatted over food comprising of sausages, sandwiches, bee hoon, homemade sushi, durian, and homemade cupcakes.

Later, I decided to take a walk around the park since it was my first time there in ages and it would be pointless if I left without seeing how much it has been developed. The walk around the park took about an hour. First, I walked along the coast, then made my way up the hill to see the war relics. I still knew my history from secondary school, so I understood the significance of the heavy guns that used to be placed there. (The guns are no longer there.) Unfortunately, the bunkers were locked up, so I could only peep inside the dark interior. There's also a tunnel walk, but I decided not to go for it. Maybe another time.

I returned to the group and was almost immediately fed by another church member. Earlier, she had been asking/pleading/pestering us to eat some of her bee hoon, but we had more than enough food. This time, I obliged her. She promptly piled a plate full of bee hoon, fish cakes, sausages and chicken nuggets. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish it all, mostly because it was dry and salty, and it was a hot day. I also chatted with her and got to know more about one of the church youths who joined the church while I was away.

The day officially came to an end at 2pm. Being Singaporeans, it took 10 minutes to yell at everyone to pack up, and another half hour to actually pack up. My parents and I then returned home.

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