Call me paranoid, but when I started filling in a customs declaration that mentions the death penalty for drug traffickers, I suddenly got worried about the cold cures and vitamin C pills in my bag.
When I walked out of the airport in Singapore I couldn’t believe how humid it was. Dubai is hot, and Washington was very humid this year, but Singapore was something else.
I got to the hotel pretty late and I was teaching the next day, so I went straight to bed. The Oracle University office was about 1 km from the hotel so I walked to it. By the time I got there I felt like I needed a shower. Even at 08:00 in the morning it felt like hard work. After a couple of hundred yards I could feel myself panting like a dog.
The class was pretty small, with nine paying attendees and one Oracle University instructor who came along for the ride. Big classes can be exciting, but small classes feel more informal, so either way it’s pretty cool. We went out as a group at lunch time on both days, so there was plenty of time for gossiping, as well as the teaching stuff.
Singapore is full of restaurants. It feels like every building has a food court in it, and most of the places are busy. Speaking to a couple of people on the course, it seems many of the people never cook. Eating out is so cheap that unless you are cooking for about 6 people, it’s cheaper to eat out that cook at home. Sounds good to me.
On the first evening I went for a walk around the bay area. It was dark by the time I got out, so all the photos are night shots. I’m not great with a camera at the best of times, but add in darkness and you know it’s going to go wrong. I took a lot of shots, but I’ve deleted most of them because they were just too blurry. The best of them made it here. The “altitude” shots, where you can see my reflection in the glass, were taken from the Singapore Flyer. My photos don’t do it justice.
The skyline would make you believe the place is like a scene out of Blade Runner, but when you are walking around the central business district it actually feels quite open. There is a lot of space between the buildings, so it never feels claustrophobic. Another nice thing is the streets are very clean. No litter, no chewing gum stuck everywhere and no dog crap on the pavements. If only the residents of Birmingham could act like this.
The bay area is obviously where all the money is. There is a crazy casino built to look like a boat is sitting on three towers. Next to that there is an absolutely giant shopping mall, half of which is still under construction. They were prepping for a Christian Dior show when I was walking round. The other side of the bay seems to be where the young and rich go out to pose in the evening. Lots of very expensive cars and people trying hard to be noticed. I’m surprised I wasn’t escorted away by the authorities.
On the second day of the course we had a couple of delays, so I ended up running over by an hour. No big surprise there.
I was going to go to the Night Safari on the second evening, but I foolishly turned on my laptop when I got back to the hotel and the next thing I knew it was 22:00, so I went to bed.
This morning it was a 06:00 start to get to the airport. I waited for a few minutes for a taxi and started to break a sweat standing still. Even at silly o’clock in the morning it was boiling.
The journey from Singapore to Sydney was pretty standard seven hour flight, so nothing major to report, but a few little incidents will be added to a general travel rant (about passengers) I am in the process of writing.