Little India, Singapore
I have never been alone on a travel before prior to my Sagada trip. I have the faintest sense of direction and I always feel particularly stupid after flying, it’s as if my head is still caught up with the altitude change. It took me an hour to find our hostel from the MRT station when I could’ve been there 15-20 minutes after stepping out of the train. I was so scared to get lost that after settling in in our room, I took out my book and a bagful of pretzels, found a comfortable chair and read my way into a comatose. Maria, the housekeeper of the hotel, urged me to go on with my plans for the day. Being gullible, I decided to wake up from my trance and head to Little India.
Directions from Chinatown: Board the train from Chinatown MRT station and get off at Little India station. From there, walk along Race Course Road, turn right to Buffalo Road then turn left to get to Serangoon Road and let your feet and nose guide you around the place.
I walked along the famous Serangoon Road which is the main drag of the place. The reason I wanted to see the area was actually Sri Veeramakaliamman Templewhich is reputed to be the busiest temple in Little India. Dedicated to Kali, the goddess of power and ferocious incarnation of Lord Siva’s wife, the temple is at its busiest on Tuesdays and Fridays. I’ve always been a fan of religious art without regard to denominations. I was so proud of myself standing in front of the temple without getting lost. So that’s what happens when you really follow the map till the last turn… I was amazed at how the gopuram (statuary above the entrance) is so detailed. It made me recall my lessons on Indian literature back in college. I was even able to name a few figures in the temple.
Next, I walked a long stretch of a peaceful road, passing by the Angullia Mosque which is an Indian Muslim temple . Finally, I was standing yet again in front of another temple. Was it just me or did Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple just got teleported to the other side of the town? As it turns out it didn’t, but basically, the make-up of the Hindu temples in Singapore follow a pattern. I took off my shoes and meandered inside together with a few tourists and a couple of faithfuls worshiping. One thing I needed to learn was to take a picture of myself without feeling humiliated. Up until now, I haven’t learned the craft.
After my religious journey, I walked aimlessly around the town devouring the colors of buildings, fabrics and jewelry sold on the stores and the smell of curry and other spices. I set out to find the a good restaurant to eat in and then I suddenly remembered… I do not eat spicy food. What a bummer…
I went back to the hostel exhausted from all the walking but with a heart full of courage. I was tempted to go around some more, but I wanted to savor my achievement in the most natural way. I took out my book and a bagful of pretzels, found a comfortable chair and read my way into a comatose.