Singapore, Sunday 16 March 2014

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Here’s a sight you don’t see much any more:  film!  It’s good to see it’s still available, but the advantages of digital on SD cards are far too great for me to go back to film.  The very fact that I can publish this photo, shot only half an hour ago, is proof of that.

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Rain!  Steady, soaking rain.  I set out to walk to the MRT station but it was too wet and the pavements are too slippery.  I actually set out to go to the Bugis St station, but due to a building site blocking off the footpaths, I ended up almost back at the hotel where I started, having walked around the block.  Oh well, it’s good exercise.

Brunch at the Sim Lim Square food hall again.  Lemon chicken rice for $3.50. Nice.  Then, plain buttered pancakes and iced coffee at the coffee shop while I read the paper and watched the rain. S$12.20!  That’s a bit steep and reinforces the view that Singapore has become very expensive.

I also read an article in today’s paper about the lack of empathy and consideration from Singaporeans and I’d have to agree.  When I get onto the trains, I’m feeling fairly tired and would really like to sit in the Seniors seats.  But in every case so far the seat has been occupied by a young woman (usually) who pays no attention and carries on her texting. When I walk along, people walk across my path regardless of me, or walk straight at me, forcing me to diverge. Repeatedly. All the time.  No manners, no politeness. Although I must say that when I’m dealing face to face with people, they are very courteous and polite.  But maybe that has to do with me paying them some money.

The theory in the paper, and I agree, as I’ve long thought this, is that Chinese people in all Asian countries are almost entirely focused on money and wealth and the security of their own family and position.  They have little regard for anyone else unless you are of use to them in boosting their wealth and position.  Why is this?  Because China has always been so densely populated and competitive that survival depends on elbowing your way above the ruck, pushing away all distractions from the need to gain the wealth to rise to the top of the seething crowds.  C’est la vie, literally.

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Phones and tablets!  They are virtually ubiquitous.  Everyone is holding a conversation on their phone. A bike rider is seemingly talking to himself as he rides in the rain. All the young people are madly texting on the trains. People walk along the street playing a game on their tablet or phone as they walk, oblivious to their surroundings.  So many people of all ages have their ears stuffed with ear buds, deaf to outside sounds.  This is madness.  They walk without seeing or hearing or interacting with others.  It’s a revolution.  But where will it lead?

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I return to my room and once again the cleaner has dropped the air con temperature from my 24C – 26C down to 18C today.  Are they too hot while they work?  It’s too cold for me.

The rain is still falling at 3pm leading me to stay in my room to read and write and listen to music.  I brought five good DVDs with me, Gravity; Argo; The Battle of Neretva; The Ghost Writer and Hoffman, with Peter Sellers, but I’ve only watched the latter two.

The Ghost Writer is so obviously based on Tony Blair and his part in putting the UK into the Iraq war that I wonder he didn’t try to suppress it.  I’m sure the producers must have worked closely with lawyers on that one.  Coincidentally, it turned out that I’ve read the novel before I bought the DVD, without realising they are the same story.  I recommend both.

Prattle, prattle, prattle.

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