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Sea monsters at Singapore Navy Museum

“Daddy, must I serve the army when I grow up?” Pangzi asked inevitably.

“Not necessarily, if you can help it,” I said.

“You mean I can skip national service?” he said.

“I didn’t say that. There’s the air force. There’s the navy. Not just the army,” I explained.

That’s my cue to take him to the Singapore Navy Museum in Changi to learn more. It’s just been opened for a few months, with three levels of exhibits showcasing the philosophy and technology behind coastal defence.

Located next to the airport, this place is almost inaccessible, beyond the Tanah Merah ferry terminal. If you go there by taxi, good luck finding one back.

“There’s a Singapore Navy Museum?” he wondered.

“Yes. It completes the picture. We’ve been to the army museum in the west, the air force museum in the north, and now you’re following me to the Singapore Navy Museum in the east,” I declared.

“Thought we’ve gone to see ships in the south before?”

“That’s the maritime museum. It’s more about commercial ships.”

“What’s the difference?” he quizzed.

“Commercial ships carry civilians and sea freight. Navy ships carry killers and weapons,” I added, proud of my comparison.

“Really? Who are the weapons meant to kill?”

“Sea monsters. You know, Loch Ness, those you with tentacles see at Pirates of the Caribbeans, and such. You’ll find out more if you join the navy next time.”

“Cool, is this one of the killer weapons?”

“Nah, this can’t kill any monster. Probably it’s only used to scare fishes off.”

“Daddy, how about this?”

“Looks more like it, but I think there’re more powerful cannons outside the building that can blow heads off.”

“The navy goes around blowing heads off?”

“Yes, why not. If they find any terrible sea monsters.”

“Then what happens to them?”

“The sea monsters? They die of course. Their headless remains become food for the fishes.”

“I’m not joining the navy then, That’s not my idea of national service,” Pangzi said.

“Oh, wait till you hear about the land and sky monsters,” I warned.

Not sure how much he believed me, but I got my wish in visiting the Singapore Navy Museum anyway.

He didn’t touch the turtle soup that I ordered for dinner that evening.


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