Our (Gerards and mine) holiday to New Zealand began with a long stop in Singapore. Because there are many folders in Singapore, I contacted them via the origami mailinglist.
Luck was with us. On this particular Sunday there would be an origami meeting in Sentosa Park, to prepare for the Giant Paperland 2, to be held at Sentosa from 9 to 17 March.
Meeting Cheng Chit and Anne
When we arrived at the airport, we met Leong Cheng Chit. I recognised him from the picture on his website. We were brought home in his airconditioned car (the humidity was very high) and were welcomed in his house by his wife Anne. We could freshen up and they had prepared a breakfast for us. Because it was still in the period of 15 days after the beginning of the Chinese year, the year of the Horse, there were decorations in the house and in the hall there was a big horse. Also the breakfast was still in new-year style. There were bak-pao's, Chinese goodluck-cookies, meat wrapped in pastry, Chinese tea, and many other things I don't know the name of. But it was delicious.
Anne makes and sells presents for weddings, Cheng Chit only started folding after he retired a couple of years ago. In their house there are many cupboards with all the things they create.
After breakfast we looked at the cupboard full of origami things from all over the world. Cheng Chit keeps the things that are property of the Origami Singapore Group.
There were among others, beautiful butterflies, the Yoda, some dragons, a turtle, a rhinoceros by David Brill, a stegosaurus, WXYZ by Tung Ken Lam, yin and yang, 2 dinosaurus skeletons, object by Paul Jackson, Panda, Magic Rose Spheres, Flower Top by Chris Palmer, Hour glass, many modulars, and more.
And by Cheng Chit there were: the 3 frogs (see my guestroom), the face, a goblet, a shark, a bird of prey, a duck, a seal, and more.
It was delicious to look at and I had trouble to tear myself away from this small exhibition, but Sentosa was waiting.
On the way to Sentosa, Cheng Chit went to pick up another folder, who would go to a meeting for the first time. His name is Wil Chua. He could fold extremely well, like many Singaporean folders.
At Sentosa we went to a kind of chalet. It was a small house with one room. There were rolls of TetraPak material and Jerrica Yap, working for Sentosa, was busy getting tools from her car to the chalet. To fold the thick material they used rubber hammers and rollers.
Everybody who came in, had something with him for the exhibition. Not every origami-piece would be "giant". Some of the folders started to fold pieces of the backbone of the Giant T-Rex, designed by Issei Yoshino.
Gerard and I were too tired. I was sitting there and my eyes almost closed by itself. We hadn't have much sleep on the plane, and Jerrica was so kind to bring us to her office, where we could sleep on the floor or on the chairs. We where so tired, that we slept immediately. After one and a half hours Jerrica woke us, as planned, and we went back to the chalet. Then we went to a place where we could get some lunch. Gerard had some sort of Chinese noodle soup with fish, I had chicken with rice. As typical tourists we wanted to drink a coconut. It tasted just like I remembered from 7 years ago, the first and previous time we were in Singapore.
Folding in the afternoon
Meanwhile Francis Ow joined the group. When we were back in the chalet, Gerard went to explore the island and I started folding knotology with Francis Ow, Jean Wu and Chan Yew Meng. I taught Francis my sprinkler module and he taught me a beautiful star from 8 pajarita's.
Francis surprised me with a photo-booklet full of folds, mainly the beautiful stars I have seen in York made by him. And I've got also a very big pile of diagrams with lots of heart-models and other enjoyable stuff.
Ronald Koh brought me a very beautiful Veiltail-goldfish (picture in my guestroom), in a box. Luckily it survived our holiday and the trip back to Holland, it's swimming proudly in my living room now.
I brought some Dutch stuff for the guys, some "envelopeners" (papercutters which can cut a fold neatly in two), a book about teabag-folding (something many Dutch folders like - I don't - ), some calendars with tulips and windmills, some holographic paper.
Chan Yew Meng taught me his bowl, a very simple fold he uses in daily life when he doesn't have a bowl handy and needs one.
Unfortunately Albert Sng couldn't be with us. He had other engagements for today.
We said goodbye to the origami-friends we've made that day and went to Cheng Chit's place to freshen up again, drink and talk somewhat and pack our stuff.
Cheng Chit brought us to the airport where our plane to Christchurch was waiting to take us to New Zealand.
I would like to thank Leong Cheng Chit, Anne Leong, Ronald Koh, Francis Ow, Chan Yew Meng, Jean Wu, Wil Chua, Aw Kum Seng, Michael Goh, Peter Chai, Tay Wee Beng, Ben Tan and Jerrica Yap for their great hospitality, their friendliness and for an unforgettable day.
And I like to thank the internet and the origami mailinglist for making these kind of contacts possible.