1965It's Saturday evening and the show has started.
At this time of year, for 6 weeks, I get a free aerial show every Saturday. It starts with the choppers: 3 chinooks fly over the basin about 400 meters from my flat. One is dragging a huge Singapore flag. About 2 minutes later, 5 fighter jets fly over the National Stadium, right by my condo. The whole building buzzes to the roar of engines. It's thrilling. I love that sound. I don't love it when it's not expected. Then it scares the shit out of me. But when it arrives at 7:03pm on a Saturday evening, it's great.
The next part of the show is rather annoying. They start cannon shots from across the basin. There's 19 of them. The crack of the cannon fire is deafening. I don't know what the significance of 19 is but I'm sure that's the number because they've been doing these practices almost every "summer" (it's always summer) since I moved into this condo 6 years ago.
The whole thing is for the National Day "Parade" on Aug 9th. It's not so much of a parade as a show because the whole thing takes place in the stadium.
The upside is that I have a prime seat for the fireworks display on that night plus the two dress rehearsals in the weeks before (actually because of limited seating capacity at the stadium, they do two full runs of the show before the actual day so more people can see it).
The downside is that everyone on the island tries to park on my street every August 9th and it can take up to 2 hours to travel the 2 kilometres from the beginning of Tanjong Rhu to my flat. So on National Day I have to choose to either camp in or camp out.
This year it will be out as a friend of mine, who just got her citizenship, will be throwing a BBQ party on the other side of town.
Well the canons have stopped and I'm left with the noise of one lone helicopter hovering over the basin. It will be there for the next hour or so. I arrives at 5pm, disturbes the late afternoon until the flag and jets show when it disappears for a bit then returns. I suspect it's just watching the national stadium from above to ensure that all the formations are done correctly... but who knows. I like to think I'm an NDP expert but that part is a mystery.
It just so happens, Singapore was born the same year I was. This fortuitous event means I tend to get all sorts of discounts this time of year.