I finally made it to Singapore.
Both metaphorically and literally.
My itinerary went like this: Austin to Dallas (1 hour); Dallas to Tokyo Narita (13 hours, 2 hour layover); Tokyo to Singapore (7+ hours).
All told, my travel time was right at 30 hours.
Normally, I would try to get a lot of sleep on the Dallas to Tokyo leg, but it was the middle of the day, and I was in economy class, so instead of sleeping I caught up on email, watched a couple of movies (“The Messenger” and “The Lovely Bones”), and read over half of John Perkins’ Hoodwinked (same guy who wrote Confessions of An Economic Hit Man.)
If you’re a student of the recent financial crisis or globalization in general, put it on your list.
As to Singapore, my colleague Laurie and I arrived at Changi International just after midnight Sunday AM and grabbed a handful hours of sleep (when you’ve gone mostly without sleep for 30+ hours, you don’t require much to catch up) before setting out to see the city-state.
The Republic of Singapore is located just off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, and is situated only 85 miles north of the equator.
So, I was a little overdressed in my sport coat, as my colleagues pointed out, but I’m from Austin, and by God if I want to wear a sport coat in the vast humidity of Singapore I will!
We took the requisite Singapore River tour boat ride, which was most pleasant, and learned a little history of the island.
My first impressions are most favorable. I only wish I were going to be here longer than 42 hours!
Some other noteworthy factoids about Singapore from Wikipedia: The island is 274.2 square miles, and is a microstate, the smallest in Southeast Asia, but substantially larger than the other present-day sovereign city-states, Monaco and Vatican City.
I can now truthfully say I have personally now seen every present-day city state there is to see! W00T!
I can also report that I had a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar at Raffles. It’s a most delicioso cocktail that is hard to describe (bitter, but sweet and yet tart), and apparently even harder to make.
Here’s the recipe, in case your mixologist self gets bored making Mojitos next Saturday night:
15ml Heering Cherry Liquer
120ml Pineapple Juice
15ml Lime Juice
7.5ml Dom Benedictine
A Dash of Angostura Bitters
Garnish with a slice of Pineapple and Cherry
That’s it. The old colonial fans you’ll find hanging in the Long Bar are, unfortunately, extra.
As for me, I’m up way too early on a Monday morning (like, 5:00 AM local time, 4 PM CST Sunday) preparing for meetings with my ASEAN colleagues. This PM, we’ll be back to Changi International for an overnight flight to Sydney, Australia. (“G’day, we were just in the neighborhood and thought we’d drop by!”)
Oh, and if you’re monitoring the Turbo Global Seismology Situation, there’s nothing to report…yet.