Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The air is as thick as paint.

And it's raining, too. It's not the cool, reluctant, gentle rain we get in California. The downpour was loud enough to wake me through the double-paned windows of my hotel room and is so intense that I can't see across the street. It's warm. The drains can't take the water away fast enough so I'm toe deep in it as I walk. It's windy and the water comes at me from all angles. I'm drenched but again, not cold. The experience is like taking a tepid shower.

I'm glad to be in Singapore.

Hillary's happy face greeted me at the airport and off we went into the heavy air. We dropped my bags at the hotel and exchanged goodies. She received six American magazines, Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, Kraft Mac & Cheese, earrings and books for her first grader. I received a sun umbrella, hand sanitizer, three types of bottled water, almonds and the local paper. We giggled like school girls and went back out into the moist air.

Exactly where do these go on an Apple device?
Lunch was in the food court at the Ion Orchard Mall. There were more than 50 food stalls on the lower floor and, while my lunch was deliberately forgettable in deference to my stomach that didn't know what time zone it was on (food is food after 20 hours in the air), I was fascinated with the decor: eclectic chandeliers, sculpture, food presentation, bright colors. And people eating ambidextrously while simultaneously talking.

The economy on this island is built around shipping; Singapore's position between Malaysia and Indonesia make it one of the world's busiest ports. There are few natural resources here so nearly all goods are imported. Spending money seems to be the main form of entertainment. The part of the city I've seen thus far is store after store after store. Ion Orchard is Eldest Daughter's every fantasy, 300 retailers spanning all price points: Forever 21, Abercrombie, an all Havianas store, a store with just smart phone earphones, stores devoted to just iPhone cases, Converse, Kate Spade, Dunkin Donuts.

Singapore is an easy place to visit, perhaps because English is spoken here. Perhaps because Hillary is my tour guide. Perhaps because I've traveled in Asia before.

1 comment:

Postcards From The Hedge said...

40 hours on a plane (and in airports) sounds like torture...wasn't there a movie about that?