Normally a trip to the mall doesn't deserve it's very own blog post, but VivoCity turned out to be more than I bargained for. Bryan and I headed over there to get some basic camping gear, which, rather unsurprisingly, has been hard to find around here. But word on the street was that the Giant at VivoCity had a small camping department, so we decided to check it out.
VivoCity is a huge mall located at Harbourfront in southern S'pore. From the mall, you can see over-developed Sentosa Island, covered with resorts and miscellaneous tourist attractions, including Singapore's only casino, which just opened this week. Bryan and I ate paella at a Spanish restaurant called Serenity (I think Bryan only wanted to eat there because of the name- we both love Serenity the movie) while I gawked at Sentosa. Bryan's visited Sentosa already for a team-building day for work, but I still haven't been there, and am not convinced that I ever want to go. Near the restaurant was this monstrous and very incongruous snowman. The palm trees flanking him are a nice touch. After lunch, we roamed the mall for awhile. The mall has an awesome National Geographic store, which is more like a museum than anything else. There are stunning wildlife and travel photos all over the walls and displayed in the middle of the store. We spent a lot of time in there, oohing and aahing over tiger photos. It reminded me of how much fun I used to have at the Natural Wonders store in Belden Village- any Canton people remember that place? The far less inspiring Hot Topic has long since taken over that spot in the mall.
After the Nat Geo store, we strolled the mall some more, and were pleased to see that there were artisans all over- people selling handcrafted tea sets, jewelery, chopsticks, lovely Chinese-style paintings of pandas and koi fish, and all sorts of beautiful things. Eventually we spotted this creepy window display. Intimidating, isn't it?Then we heard drumming. Bryan said it sounded like a lion dance and I got really excited. I've been waiting to see one of these dances forever, and have missed out. Bryan saw one at work so he was a little less enthused, but he obliged me by helping me track down the drumming. Sure enough, there were two lions dancing in front of a store. Hooray!!! Finally, my quest has ended. I snapped photos and video like a stereotypical tourist, but I was OK with it, because it was really fun to watch! The lions' movements reminded me a lot of the way dogs move, right down to the stubby little tail wagging in the back. You can see a video of it here.I have been erroneously referring to the lion dance as the dragon dance for months, but apparently there's a difference. The lion dance is performed by two people who are concealed within the costume, whereas the dragon dance involves more than two people and the dancers operate the dragon with poles, so their heads are typically visible. We didn't see the dragon dance performed, but we did see the dragon costume, which is pictured below. The lion dance is performed frequently for special occasions such as Chinese New Year, and it is said to be very auspicious for the lions to dance in your place of business.So I've finally fulfilled my quest to see the lion dance!! I have several other ongoing searches- one for the world's largest flower, the Rafflesia, one for good pizza in S'pore, and another for a slow loris, the world's only poisonous primate. I'm thinking all three of my quests are for things that are equally elusive- the Rafflesia grows deep in the forest and blooms only briefly before beginning to die; the slow loris is nocturnal and shy; and I'm pretty sure that good pizza in S'pore might not exist at all. I'll keep you posted with my progress!