I went to East coast park yesterday, with some friends, because I was in the nieghbourhood. I thought it might be a good idea to catch a breath of fresh air, and maybe cycle a little. I cycled for about an hour.. I really enjoy cycling..I’ve never owned my own vehicle…I have a driver’s license, but my dad doesnt let me drive. I can’t afford a car in Singapore. So I enjoy cycling -for the fact that I am in control of my speed. I used to have my own bicycle when I was in India..I used to borrow others’ when I was in univ…and cycle late at night, when there was no traffic… up and down the hilly slopes of my univ. I think when the wind hits you good, and you’re racing down the slopes its the kind of pure pleasure that is hard to come by in a materialistic world.
Back to east coast park–
I ended feeling a little lost at the end of whole evening…this place has a distinct suburban made-up feel, I felt like, it was a perfect place-this park and yet it was disturbing. ECP is so complete, so engineered with its nicely laid out cycling and roller blading tracks, designated bbq pits, bars, restaurants and bicycle rentals and what-have-you. Everything you need for that perfect picnic-at-the-beach experience. As I watched the sea from my little concrete chair, my soul-searching was disrupted by jarring karaoke music coming from one of the bbq huts. This huge family was having a bbq-karaoke fest, complete with microphones and speakers, lest the random stranger in search of his quiet moment miss the great singing talent in their interesting family. I wondered what was the need for such exhibitionism. Sure, I love singing with friends and family, I love bbqs too.. but i would never afflict innocent strangers with my jarring tunes by getting speakers and blaring the fuck out of the K-machine. Speaking of exhibitionism, I mentioned to a friend tht I simply couldnt understand how such a small country has such an alarmingly large roller-blading community.(Note that I have nothing against the sport, and I used to rollerblade since I was 14, long before I even came to Singapore)
I am not going to dwell on the obviously large number of toned-up women wearing bikinis and rollerblading to get attention.That is not the point of this post. Although, the sight of so many lovey dovey couples holding hands and roller-blading made me a little sick. As did the large number of wedge-tents. As did the utter absence of children building sand-castles. (Interestingly there were so many little fellas learning how to do stunts on their roller-blades)
For a “beach” ECP has very little SAND to begin with. Add to that the fact it is reclaimed land, which means that the water at the seashore is dangerously deep, and sea floor at the shore is extremely steep. Apparently, even the sand at the beach is imported…(although I am not sure how true this is) I miss the beaches at Mumbai… they may not be as clean, there may not a smooth asphalt rollerblading track…For that matter, I have seen a lot of other beautiful natural beaches, (I havent been to fifi or bahamas but..)
You don’t need that engineered beach experience to have a good time..All you need is some real sand, some sun, some sea… just watching that sun set, drenching your feet in the salty water, just lying there staring at the stars…thats the real thing.
Anyway, never before have I felt such anguish after visiting a beach, never have I felt so lost, so cheated. I wanted to sit on the sand, crosslegged and just watch the waves…but I couldnt find two square feet of sand that wasnt near some loud family singing, cooking,yelling at the kids. There wasnt one quiet spot on this long long strip of land.
Even the waves wouldnt really ebb and flow and just die at the shore like they would on a real beach. The beach was an imposter,trying to trick me into believing, trying to cheat me into its urban pleasures. I’ve always maintained that beaches are the most romantic of places that two lovers can go to for some quiet time. Of course, it is a sexy idea as well, but thats not the point.
I have not really ever been to a beach for a date… the idea’s always been in my head, so in a matter of speaking, its a pure idea, a fantasy….the thought of having that idea contaminated by a some suburban karoake-singing, barbequeing, tandem-roller-blading,tent-pitching freaks makes me want to log in and leave my fantasies in a blog where they will be safe.