History Fieldtrips to WWII sites in Singapore

I had been planning a history field trip on WWII, so I needed to recce some places. The first place was Labrador Park. Labrador Park was one of the places where the British had built underground tunnels and put cannons to fight against the Japanese. We went there during the Chinese New Year holiday.

labrador park1

Unfortunately, the Japanese came from the north, so the artillery were not fully utilised. Contrary to popular belief, the cannons were not facing the wrong direction. Their purpose was to protect against seaward invasion, but they could be turned too.
labrador park2
The tunnels are currently sealed, and not opened to the public. One of the tunnels lead to Sentosa, under the sea.

Another location was Bukit Chandu, which was just in the vicinity. Fierce fighting had taken place here, and the bungalow where we visited was used by the Malay Regiment in their last days of fighting.
bukit chandu1
He had refused to let me take photos initially, until we reached Reflections at Bukit Chandu.

bukit chandu2

The Malay Regiment had fought bravely, in the last fights against the Japanese, but they were outnumbered. They had managed to spot the Japanese who had dressed up as Punjabi soldiers marching in the wrong formation. They had marched in fours instead of threes. The malay soldiers won the first battle, but the Japanese came back for revenge, and had nearly decimated the entire troops. A few days later, Singapore surrendered to the Japanese.
bukit chandu3
I had brought El along on both occasions, and he had learnt a little about history. He asked for books on WWII and had a lot of questions. I borrowed a book from the library about WWII, but the focus was on the European front. Another book was about the internment of the Japanese in USA after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was an interesting read, based on real life events.

After going to these two places, we decided to go to Labrador Park sand playground, and he had a lot of fun playing on sand. We had brought along sandcastle building equipment, but without water, the sand could not be hardened to build sand castles.

We Are Going To The Zoo

El and I went to the zoo on a field trip recently with his class. I went with him and on the way day, he was very excited by the posters of Jia Jia and Kai Kai hanging on the lamp posts, and it tickled his bone that when the posters switched to the right of the road and the order of the pandas was changed. It was the first time in a long time since I had gone out with him by myself. I enjoyed the little date we had.

His classmate, E, was there waiting, and El was happy. Then he spotted another classmate, D, who towered over him. I bought him pizza, and he ate some. After the longest time, one of the parents realised that the teachers and the other students had arrived and they were at the other side.

zoo alligator

sitting on an alligator

They had their snack time, and two ‘giraffes’ came out to play with them. The children were running all over the place and one wanted to hit the giraffe. Oh well. Then one boy ran to sit on an alligator statue, and El followed suit. He had lots of fun. I think we spent far too much time outside.

We finally went into the zoo, and my friend who was there earlier with her daughter and husband with the morning class finally left the zoo.

Our first stop was the cotton top tamarinds, which were at the entrance. They were on a low tree, and were pretty friendly. One parent went to pull the monkey’s tail. What kind of values was he imparting to his children? How awful! I was so angry, and immediately told El not to do that. I should have told him off, but I did not.

Then, we went to check out other animals. Some of the animals that caught my attention were the pygmy hippos, and the proboscis monkeys. The pygmy hippo could not swim, but they love to be in the water. Hence, they tip toe and push themselves forward! How interesting. The proboscis monkeys had big noses, and big bellies. They ate a lot of leaves.

It was pretty tiring. El’s teacher held his hand for a while and he talked to her in his tiny voice. I let him wander a little on his own, especially at the white tiger enclosure, and he had a lot of fun. His classmates were roaring at the tigers, one of them Omar, but the tigers simply ignored them as they lay there.
After the programme, we took a break by the proboscis monkey enclosure. He asked me a lot of questions, but most regarding the zoo map, which had two proboscis monkey enclosures, and he asked me to bring him to the other. I kept telling him that I was tired and they were the same.

Finally, we went to the exit, took some pictures with cardboard primates, which my mother thought was real and that El was really brave to sit beside a gorilla.

zoo animals

zoo animals

He went around touching all the animals in the gift shop, and saw some plastic animals and requested for them. Seeing it was his birthday soon, I bought the safari animals, primates and dinosaurs series. While I was paying at the glow in the dark counter, I left him alone, and a sales assistant started chasing him. It turned out that he had taken an elephant toy that was expensive and made of breakable material, and had run to me to show me. The assistant must have freaked out. I had to pry the toy out of his hands and apologise to the guy.

I had run out of water and went to KFC to buy a drink. Ridiculous price. Then El wanted some fries, so I bought him that. Then he wanted water, but it was too cold, and then I went to get some hot water, which he promptly dip his fingers in and recoil in pain. While I was paying at the counter earlier, I had left him on his own and he dropped his water bottle and complained. Anyway, it turned out ok eventually, and we finally left the place. Within minutes, he fell asleep in the car.

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