Two Singapore slings
Two last W&D thoughts on Singapore.
Firstly, W&D was astounded in his somewhat upmarket hotel/ resort (a choice in deference to Mrs W&D, whose idea of sleeping under the stars is of sleeping under a 5-star hotel roof) at the number of mainland Chinese guests.
This compares with virtually none some 30 months previously and earlier visits. The astoundedness was not only at their number but their want of manners and the girth of their children.
W&D hastens to add that this was so different to what he experienced in earlier visits to Shanghai and Beijing. What is going on in China?
Secondly, Singapore media remains as arid as the Atacama desert*. The headline in last Saturday's Straits Times (Singapore's leading newspaper, a sort of Melbourne Age in format, but just a little further to the right) was "BCA drive to modernise all lifts."
The article then went on to comment that all Singaporean lift owners were being encouraged by the Building and Construction Authority to modernise their lifts for greater reliability.
The new requirement for elevators in Singapore
Wow! That rivetting story reminds W&D of Pravda**, when the headlines celebrated record tractor production in Chelyabinsk. In those days, rather than read Pravda the average Russian turned to vodka.
To what does the average Singaporean today turn?
*A plateau in South America, covering a 1,000-kilometre strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains. It is the driest non-polar desert in the world.
**Pravda, (ironically, meaning "truth") still exists. It was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union between 1912 and 1991.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Pravda was sold off by Russian President Boris Yeltsin to a Greek business family, and the paper came under the control of their private company Pravda International.
In 1996 there was an internal dispute between the owners of Pravda International and some of the Pravda journalists which led to Pravda splitting into different entities. The Pravda paper is today run by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, whereas the online Pravda.ru is privately owned.