Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Singapore Vacation - Day 3

Some scenes from day 3 in Singapore. I spent a good portiion of the morning doing a walking tour of the Arab quarter of town.

Within a few square blocks, most of the world's major religions had sites. Seen below: a Hindu temple, Chinese temple and Mosque. Not shown, churches, and yes, a few blocks from where I was, a shul.

It was actually a big treat to stand outside the Chinese and Hindu temples and watch people scurry in and out, these are definitely actively working buildings. The air was thick with incense, which added to the effect.

A spooky, mostly abandoned, Malay cemetery located in the middle of town. The grave markers lack names, but not character.

I came to Singapore pretty much assuming that its reputation for law and order would be the overriding sensation. I was thinking police state. And of course, I was wrong. Yes, it's illegal to jay walk, litter, spit and spray paint graffiti - but I've seen people doing all those activities (well, I saw evidence of the graffiti, not the person doing it). And the police presence is actually pretty light (thanks, most likely to the power of CCTV).

If I had to choose one trait to describe Singapore, it wouldn't be the laws, it would be the people - everyone I've met here has been incredibly nice. I mean, stop and ask me if I need help finding anything nice. Or chat with me about American politics nice. Just really, really nice.

Speaking of religious institutions... I stumbled into this mall type structure with dozens of electronics, computers and cell phone stores. I mean, that's all it had - no Gap or Shoe stores to get in the way. Just geek stuff. And as I walked around, I realized that there wasn't just one floor of this - but 4 more floors. Try as I might, I wasn't able to capture the size of this collection of geek related stores. I settled on a photo showing the escalators on the way up to the stores.

I didn't actually end up buying anything, but I felt I had a responsibility to check out all the levels, just so I could retain my geek status.

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