Two in one day - I think I am spoiling you.
Don't get used to it. We have a bus to catch early tomorrow morning, so I thought I better sign off from Singapore whilst I still can.
So - the rain. it did not dampen our spirits as much as it could have done. In fact it barely even dampened our clothes. It was not real rain. It was tropical rain. The sort of rain that is trying so hard to soak you through, but the air won't let it. It thumps down steadily on your head, but the atmosphere wa such that it had no effect - it could not achieve its goal.
We headed out to do two things that seem incredibly popular in this part of the world: shopping and playing loud, obtrusive games in a dark arcade. Our experience in the malls was not unlike any other shopping experience we could have had at home - neither of us wanted anything, and were disinclined to even look through the windows, and could only manage to grunt the occasional "looks good" or "mmm". But our lack of enthusiasm aside, the buildings themselves were pretty awesome. Inside they are so bright and so huge, that I swear the only time we have been lost is today in one of the shopping centres, blinded by the lights unable to find a way out. No wonder the food courts offer such a multicultural array of cuisines; the things must spread half way around the world so they don't have to go that far to get it!
One the top floor of one of these malls though, the bright illuminations went, and were replaced with flashing lights, explosions and giggling locals. The arcade was like stepping into an epileptic fit. People were shooting zombies, banging drums and flying helicopters all around you. If you're not playing, you are watching someone else compete to destroy the most terrorists. It is an event - it is an experience - and for a few minutes we were involved, provoking laughter from the observing 12 year olds as Dan and I were defeated by the first boss level on "House of the Dead 4."
So, I think they that in the past few days we have managed to sample a big chunk of the Singapore pie - and it tastes good. In a way it is very unique, but that is down to it's lack of originality. There are so many different cultures co-existing in one place that strolling around you can feel as if you are traveling between two or three countries in the same amount of hours. That is not to say that it has no identity - the aforementioned malls, the huge magnificently constructed buildings, and the local people and cuisine ensure that it does. But it has more - it combines the best elements of many places to produce a super city that Professor Frankenstein himself would be proud of.
It is so clean everywhere, the streets are so wide, the weather is (normally) so good, it is close to a perfect place as I think you can come. I love it. By night it becomes an even better place, the lights of the offices in the towers intermittently lighting up the black sky like commercial fireflies, the beauty made slightly tragic only when you begin to realise that in order to create this scene for us, people must still be working late into the night.
But it's because of them these views are created.
I think that it is safe to say Singapore has been one of my favourite places so far this trip. It has not been the most adventorous week - but it has defnitely been one of the most impressive.