I should be in San Francisco right now, getting ready to witness one of my best friends getting married to the love of her life. I should be hanging my dress in the wardrobe of my room at an ‘Amazing Apartment by the Seaside’ (according to my Airbnb description), rehearsing what I’m going to say during the wedding dinner tomorrow as part of the bridal party, and generally looking forward to an extraordinary day in a beautiful city with my beautiful friend.
But life has to deny me all that, because I have no means to travel. I shall not go into detail because it would simply upset me even more, but let’s just say this time, I have to begrudgingly bow down to limitations of rules and not travel.
Which I have to say is very unlike me. I don’t let rules tie me down from doing what I want, especially if I have set my mind to it. I mean I wouldn’t necessarily break the rules, but I would push pretty darn near the edge of doing so to get what I want (as long as the possibility of going to jail or getting deported is nowhere in sight).
Like that one time when my family was in NYC for New Year’s Eve and we were planning to watch the ball drop at Times Square. My mom, having a true blue tropical blood, can’t stand the cold, so we were not able to simply stand at Times Square from 7pm in 0 degrees waiting for midnight. So we decided to take our chance, and rushed to Times Square from our hotel 15 minutes into midnight and understandably, all the roads to Times Square have already been closed and guarded by burly NYPD officers. We tried street after street to no avail, and I was on the verge of giving up
Until I saw a group of girls being let in because they danced to the officer.
Fuming mad, I did the only thing I could think of. I went up to the police officer and showed our hotel key and said that our hotel is located along the street and he should let us in. And he did. I got in to Times Square by LYING TO AN NYPD OFFICER. We got in just in time when the song ‘What a Wonderful World’ was playing, and the tune had never sounded more welcome.
So anyway, ahem, back to the titular event of this blog post, the SEA Games Opening Ceremony. Similar thing happened to me: I had every right to enter the Opening Ceremony since I have a press pass, but apparently only selected media from selected publication was allowed in. And you have to receive an invite and the invite list was selected without you having a fair chance to fight for it.
Obviously, after not being able to travel to San Francisco because of bureaucracy, I was ready to fight for at least this. So together with my sister, we walked confidently into the stadium, flashing our press pass and looking as if we belonged there… and got in without anyone questioning us! And I know that I’m not even competing in the Games, but it felt like a victory on its own!
I knew it was worth it right away when I was greeted by this sight.
It got even more impressive with time.
Then came the delegates from each country.
And that was when I got extremely bored. Afterwards, it felt like Singapore was testing every single feature of its National Stadium, like the railing where you can apparently hang the Singapore flag…
Or an LED blue dragon (and pretty much the whole animal kingdom).
The more exciting parts came right at the end, during the torch lighting when Fandi Ahmad, Singapore’s football legend, showed up to be the last torch bearer with his son.
And of course, my favourite fireworks.
So even though this would be nowhere near the awesomeness of being in San Francisco right now, it is at least a consolation.