Archive for the 'singapore' Category

Singapore

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I flew to Singapore on the 18th, returning on the 23rd. I stayed in Little India, across from Mustafa Center, near Nelson’s new apartment. I was really happy to be able to eat my lunches at the vegetarian restaurants after so much meat in DongBei.

I got to see Nelson and his family. His place has a great pool, a bowling alley and an in-house karaoke room. I tried out the first two.

The trip was well-timed, since Cathal and Tibor were in Singapore for work. I saw a bunch of other former colleagues, including a group of six or seven who walked in while we were sitting in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel. Running into people you know is a feature of Singapore, I hear.

We went to Clark and Boat Quay, to the Stamford Hotel for the view, had chili crab at a place called No Signboard, and went to the aviary, where we heard a parrot count to ten in Chinese, and then in English with a Chinese accent.

Singapore is a sweaty place, but there’s plenty of air conditioning to make it tolerable. The thing that most impressed me is how much faith the government has in the power of economic incentives. The complicated taxi pricing, tolls for busy roads, and threats of fines seem heavy-handed, but the result is a cleaner, more civilized city than Shanghai.

When we arrived home, we had to sit in the airplane while a crew went through pointing a gun at everyone’s head to take their temperature.

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We were glad when the Quarantion Authomites finally cleared us to disembark.

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