Lara's Singapore Blog

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Archive for March, 2009

Singapore business culture

I’m involved in a research project at a university, for which there are three bosses in three separate departments and about 24 research assistants, all told.  Although the three bosses meet regularly, the three departments normally have nothing to do with each other, so it’s important to foster a system of collaboration.  Hah! you exclaim […]

Singaporean concert-going behavior

OK, so this wasn’t a full-fledged orchestral orgy, but it was a Suzuki graduation concert in the Jubilee Hall, a concert venue in the Raffles Hotel, so very upscale.  All audience members had paid $15 to get in the door, which is kind of a lot to pay to see a bunch of kids playing […]


Hey, guess what we found outside the squash courts this morning!  A rhinoceros beetle napping on its back!  We brought it back in our sports equipment, and found that it likes to hold on to the strings of a racquet with its tiny, but incredibly strong claws.  We put it in a tupperware container with […]

Singapore Water

Why, you ask, would an island with two monsoon seasons and two pre-monsoon rainy seasons per year need to recycle its water? Because of a drought in 1967, or thereabouts, and the threat that it could always happen again. Singapore uses a lot of water for both chip manufacturing (silicon chips, not potato) and general […]

Black-and-White Bulbul

This picture doesn’t do it justice, but there’s at least one of these very elegant birds living quite happily nearby, in the trees and bushes between the hotel and the restaurant.  It’s an elongated jet-black bird, mostly starling-shaped but with a longer beak and very slender black legs, and the only white on its body […]

Black Hornbill

 There are some of these living near us, and there’s nothing quite like seeing this big bird’s silhouette during an early morning walk.  They tend to sit quite still for a while, which keeps you from noticing them.  When they do move, you can’t avoid seeing them; they’re so big that the branches bounce if […]

Pied Imperial Pigeons

  Is this a handsome bird, or what?    There’s a pair of them living in some coconut trees in some housing nearby.  They lurk high up, where the regular pigeons live, but when they fly around there’s a “fwoop-fwoop” sound from their wings, and a big, bright black-edged shape zipping through the air. I haven’t […]



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