Singapore is a good choice for putting up your feet on the way home from anywhere in the world, and provides a window to the variety offered by Asia. It may be too orderly and clean in this city-state, a let-down for some who expect something more exotic and thus label Singapore antiseptic; however, the English language is widely used here, although it is but one of four official languages and the city’s verdant greenery reminds one of Australian capital cities. In an island in which you can ride its suburban commuting line (the Mass Rapid Transit or MRT) in under two hours, Singapore packs a lot in sightseeing, choice of food, shopping, architecture, sampling of different cultures and modern convenience. However, the attractive prices of a shopping haven past from the seventies are long gone. And be prepared for the humidity outdoors, although I miss the short evening thunderstorms that break out to provide a sense – and aroma – of relief.
I hope that you, the reader, shall be inspired to go forward feeling positively inspired and be encouraged to take positive steps to further realise your own personal dreams and ideals. It may be a gradual step as to stop procrastination and deal with a problem in small but effective steps to resolution; or you may decide to visit a place that you have always hoped for; or it may instinctively point you to view matters from a different but helpful perspective.
I believe every human being we interact with – either as a person or as a group – affects us in various ways, but I believe in learning the best from every encounter. Sometimes negativity can overwhelm us, but if we snap out of it and realise the good that comes from the bad, the hope from the disappointment, and the calm after the storm, then every experience is offered to us to help us clarify our thoughts, sharpen our attitudes and move our hearts and minds to more liberating dimensions.
What did I do, what did I not
The scenery that envelopes me is beautiful
But some things do not turn out as I hoped and thought
from relying on surface impressions given by a surprising few
What I should let go, what I cannot
Even in the face of the obvious renewed
You can put your hand and heart to share the lot
It still does not mean there are no more stitches to sew
Where can I go, where I do not want to
When faced with passing ships, day or night
I am torn between wanting to come and go
But I know it's best to detach, to be able to see the light
Where can I float,where can I cling to hope
I look into my inner self, I look into my true friends
It then dawns on me these have always given me a rope
To scramble upon, to realise dreams and to say I can
Numbers were conceptualised to help mankind grasp more effectively with time, distance and the relationships inherent in Nature. This year we have 777 to fascinate us - and for business, philosophers, numerologists and the media to speculate and rave about. The series of sevens refer to the 7th of July, when my dear friend Eu Hock from school days reaches a landmark birthday as well. The new Modern Seven Wonders of the World are, as this is posted, due to be announced.
Next year the magical number eight grabs its hold on East Asian populations, with their obsession with that specific digit, that rhymes with the pronunciation for the word for prosperity. The Beijing Summer Olympics shall be launched at 8pm eastern China time on the eighth night of August of 2008. The most recent time when 8 figured fascinatingly in the calender was in 1988, which coincided with the Oriental Year of the Dragon, and when the last Olympics were also held in Asia.
Grapefruit,they must be that, all of them fat, with rounded plum bottoms and the unmistakable green colour that should then yellow, if left uneaten for too long. We had momentarily disembarked at a convenience stop along the highway, and other coaches also disgorged their passengers to use toilets and visit fruit stalls. The majority of the vendors were brown-skinned, but the sellers of the supposedly grapefruit outlet were fairer, and elderly, older than the others.
Passing rain showers broke the monotony of the ride from a capital city to this tropical island enclave that we were heading to. The experience was not unpleasant, starting right after lunch hour and we expected to have a seafood dinner under palm trees with our toes massaging into warm sand. It was humid outside, but not in the cocooned comfort of air-conditioning inside.
The only irritating thing was a loud woman mouthing a variety of languages on to her hand phone, English included. From what was forced for the others …
The vongole had dark blue-black shells, that opened up like gaping mouths. as they cooked in the braised concoction. I rarely have had crispy potato cubes mixed with marinara portions of such mussels, flavourful limbs of crab, tomato gravy and garlic marination, but there they were - reminding me of the penchant for small potatoes cooked in South Indian chicken curry.
Here I was on a mid-week night, along Victoria Road in Drummoyne, a convenient fifteen minutes drive away from Sydney CBD's George Street, dining with good friends on a rather balmy night in a so-called August winter. The question was then raised: do I plan to come back to commercial life in the Big Smoke?
Yes, Sydney is getting crowded, more expensive and impersonal. Young families are relocating away to other parts of Australia; established families are finding the cost of living going up while the paper value of their assets are doing likewise; the changing ethnic character of whole neighbourhoods is transforming…