Singapore quickly

November 19, 2006 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

Never forget that the time difference between LAX and Singapore is well over a day as I did and hence missed my Dad who left LAX the 11th U.S. time but arrived in Singapore the 13th while I arrived the 11th Taipei time and left the 12th Singapore time. Ahhh the earth so fickle is your rotation. Anyway, Singapore is obviously more diverse than Hong Kong or Japan, while perhaps traces of localism have dissapeared from Japan and other former confucianists, Singapore is one of those countries that seems to have actively grabbed immigrations by the reins and is taking it in for profit. That said, it’s also the only country I’ve been too that specifically asked if you’d been to Africa or South America in the last 6 days implying that the party is reserved for north of the equator countries only and does further reinforce the disneyland with a death penalty concept used to disparage it. The city itself I spent 12 hours in mostly wondering around malls near city hall with a brief stop in the marina. Surprisingly they have light rail running all the way from the airport making them one of the few Asian metropolises to have actually decide their cabbies and bus lines don’t need the added value of thousands of tourists pouring in per day. Singapore is also notable for having tons of archectual value in a small space that’s both spacious, clean, and surprisingly tastifully decrorated. While Shanghai has a slightly naive feeling to it’s design with a well designed and clean inner city, it still seems to have been made to impress while Singapore seems to have been made to be functional and it’s design more elegant compared to China’s bling it’s more macintosh than ice cream shop chains in other words. Picked up Royston Tan’s Shorts and also walked through a huge pile of garbage in a tunnel proving that things have changed since William Gibson walked through what was probably his own oppression (and I might added Shonen Knife is nothing compared to the subversive humor and creativity of Tan’s films.) a few years back. Singapore did feel like some type of camp for the wealthy though, sitting in a coffee shop I watched a young woman diligently hash out equations from an economics text book which is, next to the bioinformatics babes of Taipei, perhaps is as sexy as nerdism can get in Asia, and on my way out I ended up caught behind a group of Indian entrepenuers who were talking with a British expat who was complaing about having to much work in Dubai and not being able to make it in time (a problem we probably all wish we had). All in all, Singapore is perhaps a flat world oasis, but it also has a remarkably different feel from the rest of Asia, While Seoul for instance stocks English language text books in prodigious numbers and Taipei has anything and everything design related or Shibuya-kui Singapore felt more worldly, it’s populos seems to understand that there’s more to like than just engineering or economics etc. It seems to be a genuine creative economy in which film buffs are just as likely to be bank rolling their obsessions through intellectual means as through I.T. or other well known fields. It’s a consultants type of town in which folks are figuring out the holes in industries rather than trying to compete with them. Regardless, I wanna go back and I also picked up Osamu Tezuka‘s Buddha comics in English which is amazing. p.s. Flickr’s Singapore tag for city hall is nice.

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Trading taxation and programs links for 2006-11-20

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