Singapore Once More

We fly from Kochi back to Delhi to take care of some business. Our Air India flight has a female pilot. (For why this seems unusual, see below.) Our landing in Delhi is the smoothest we’ve ever experienced in hundreds of touchdowns. Just sayin’.

We need a break from India. So we fly to Singapore for a week.

We love Singapore. We’ve been here before on this trip. Twice. We could live here in a heartbeat.

It’s like Toronto, except with tropical weather, a superb metro system, and a nearby ocean. And no drug addicts, panhandlers, or homeless people. Come to think of it, it’s not like Toronto at all.


(People are often impressed by Hong Kong as a cosmopolitan, dynamic city-state. When we were there, we often found ourselves looking at each other and stating ‘Meh. It’s no Singapore’. Especially now that it’s obvious how vulnerable HK is to being crushed under the Chinese jackboot.)

We make another attempt at having a Singapore Sling in Raffles Hotel. (Last time we were here, it was closed for renovations.)

Raffles, renovated

No luck: when we get to the Long Bar, there is a lengthy queue of tourists with the same plan. We abandon the idea.

Among the many pleasant aspects of being in Singapore is that there are a lot of women around everywhere you go.

Women Hold Up Half The Sky‘ – Mao Zedong

Strange for a non-Muslim-majority country, there seems to be a huge preponderance of men around in India compared to women. An extremely non-objective, anecdotal observation: whenever I look up from my usual oblivious reverie in India, about 80 to 85 per cent of the people around are males. This makes for a too-many-dicks-on-the-dance-floor scenario. It’s kind of depressing.

We visit the excellent Asian Civilisations Museum. One of the finest exhibits is an entire room devoted to the artifacts from a Tang-era shipwreck.

Creative display of hundreds of recovered bowls

We make a visit to the Jurong Bird Park, one of the world’s best.

Pretty Flamingo

I make another feathered friend.

Up close and personal

Like the Singapore Zoo, you can interact with many of the creatures.

Golden weaver

We take advantage of our time here to go to the beach a couple of times on Sentosa Island.

No noise. No garbage. No stray dogs.

Through the palms, you can see some of the hundreds of ships that sit in Singapore’s harbour.

Sail On, Sailor

Then it’s back to Delhi.

Sight or Insight of the Day

Today is my birthday.

Don’t be fooled by ‘Singapore’ in the title – we are in fact in Khajuraho in north-central India at the moment.

Maria gifts me three days in a five-star hotel here. We are treated to a sumptuous al fresco birthday dinner.

An aged man is but a paltry thing‘ – W.B. Yeats

Where does the time go? I feel like I just got here. In the world, that is.

When we were in Melbourne, my friend Philip produced an old photo from his archives. It’s 1980. In Pemberton, West Australia, a group of young fellow travelers rent bicycles on a sunny afternoon and visit a waterfall in the forest. The world is a good place. A Zen moment is captured on film.

Portrait of the Bloggist as a Young Man

(And yes, they had colour film ‘in those days’. It’s black & white for artistic reasons.)