Saturday, August 12, 2006

NDP Preview 2006 and Tante Mela's Farewell

On Saturday, 29th of July 2006, Inka, together with her parents, went to the preview of the National Day Parade for this year. For this year, the event is being held back at the National Stadium, after being held at the Padang last year. This year will be the last year the NDP to be hosted at the National Stadium, since the stadium will be demolished this year, to make way for a new sports centre to be built at the existing site.

This is actually a "preview" of the NDP event which was held yesterday, during the National Day itself. However, this preview actually shows almost the same performances as the actual event itself. Except the president and the prime minister, which are being passed for by someone else, all the other performances are real, such as the marching band, the choir, the paratroopers, the jet fighter planes, and of course, the fireworks.

We actually have four tickets, and Irza was supposed to go as well. However, after I told him that there'll be jet fighter planes and fireworks display, he refused to go since he doesn't like very loud noises. So, only the three of us going, while Irza chose to stay at home. We parked our car at the Gateway on Beach Road, since we were not allowed to park within the National Stadium complex itself. From there, we continue our journey to the stadium using the bus services provided. After alighting from the bus, we still need to walk to the north entrance of the stadium.

The queue is quite long while entering the stadium, because although they didn't check our bags, however they are giving fun pack bags which is quite big, containing all the goodie bags for the event, including some snacks, drinks (including the Newater), a torch which looks like a Nokia handphone, a Singapore flag, a hat which is being decorated with an illuminated Singapore flag, and some baloon sticks which we can use to give applause.

The event started at around 5pm, and finished at around 8pm. Some of the performances include some trapeze artists who are being lifted by balloons, Gurmit Singh and other hosts who were sliding to the field using a rope, paratroopers, jet fighter planes flying above the stadium, and other performances in the field itself, such as marching band and soldiers performing ceremonial gun salute.

On top of that, of course, the fireworks display is the main attraction all the spectators were expecting. Inka were really enjoying her time there, especially when all the spectators were making some noise and even creating some waves around the stadium. More pictures can be found here.

To avoid the crowd while leaving the stadium, we decided to get out of the stadium prior to the end of the event. So, we watched the final fireworks display from outside the stadium, on our way back to the bus stop. It's because on the same night, we would also need to go to Tante Hany's house at Braddell, to attend the firewell party of Tante Mela and family, who are leaving for Batam the next day.

The bus took us back to the Gateway carpark, and then we proceeded to Braddell. We reached Braddell at around 9pm, and fortunately, there were still some friends hung out there and there's still some food left ;) including some of the famous Braddell satay, which were grilled at the last minute for us. :)

Inka then joined their friends there and play. Some of them, who were still around that night, are Kakak Fira and Adam, who are leaving for Batam the next day, Abang Dzaky, Athaya and Alita, Aily and Algo, Dandy, and of course, the host, Hanan and Haifa. Surprisingly, all the children could still stay put and hang out until late night, and we only left Braddell at around 10:30pm. More pictures can be found here.

The next day, I and my wife went to Harbourfront Centre, to say goodbye to Om Ambar and Tante Mela and family, who are leaving Singapore for Batam. Unfortunately, Inka and Irza chose to stay at home and didn't want to go along, although there were quite a lot of their friends also coming to Harbourfront and saying goodbye to Kakak Fira and Adam. More pictures of the children at Harbourfront (without Inka and Irza, unfortunately) can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

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