Lara's Singapore Blog

Life really close to the Equator

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Archive for April, 2009

Swine flu in Singapore

Swine flu hasn’t been spotted here yet, but Singapore lost 11 people in the SARS epidemic of 2006 (I think), and they learned to take public health seriously.  So now people getting off planes in Singapore get their temperatures taken (aurally, which is fast) as they disembark.  Every school child has his or her temperature […]

Ridiculous laundry posting: The Perils of Fabric Softener

It came to pass that Ellen, daughter of Emma, bade her child, “Employ the fabric softener when that thou dost laundry, for lo! thou air-driest thy wet loads, and the absence thereof will cause grievous stiffness even in the limbs of thy shirts.”  And lo, the daughter did purchase the recommended unguent, and used it […]

Smoking caution

Well, there’s no popular demand for this, but I found a new (to me) smoking warning today.  Just thought you might like to see what the Singapore gov’t uses to scare away smokers.  I don’t think they’re impressed, even by pictures of gangrenous feet.  The pack that I found on the ground, needless to say, […]

Oriental Honey Buzzard

A good thing about early morning walks is the bird life you can see around campus.  There’s a surprising amount, considering the amount of early-morning gunfire from the adjacent military firing range, which you’d think would scare them off.  This morning I saw a nice Oriental (crested) Honey Buzzard overhead – very big and impressive. […]

Singapore sex blog update

As I scroll through the list of Google search terms that have led readers to my blog, I see that leading  “Green Java Peacock”  by quite a few hits is “Singapore Sex Blog.”  I am getting a lot of hits for the posting I did a few weeks ago, which makes my blog ever so […]

Monks in Malls

Have I mentioned that Singapore has a bunch of Buddhist temples, as well as mosques, synagogues, churches and so forth?  Well, it does, and they look great – lots of gold-plated Buddha statues and reliquaries, especially at the spanking new Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown, which just opened in 2007 and is an amazing […]

Hiking the MacRitchie Reservoir Trail

Hah.  Heat no longer holds any terrors for me.  I like to go hiking or exercising early in the morning, before it heats up (anything over 82 degrees Fahrenheit, the nightly low lately, is heating up), but couldn’t get my spouse going until 9:30.  So we hiked for 3.5 hours between 10 a.m. and 1:30 […]

Singapore Woodpecker (subspeciae examinensis)

It’s examination time at the university, and the students are extremely quiet.  But today on our morning walk around the campus, we were passing a dormitory when we heard a peculiar, rhythmic knocking sound.  Clearly it was not a machine – could it be a really big woodpecker?  Well, sort of. As we went by […]

Singapore rule change – another example

This is more hearsay-based.  In the 1960s, and ever since, the Singapore government made its first priority to build housing for the teeming millions living in slum conditions in the city – you know, five or six in a room, no running water, a communal tap in the street and two toilets for a building […]

Singapore Business Culture II: Rules

Before we came here, a friend told us, “Singapore is a country of rules.  But the rules can change.”  Here’s an example of how it can work, admittedly from a government-run university, but I think it’s applicable to the wider business world, since the Singapore government has its finger in most pies: A non-Singaporean professor […]

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