From about 2009 until 2011, I spent a lot of time flying the friendly skies. There were two long haul flights then I did a lot. One went from SFO to Inchon and then to Singapore. The other went from SFO to Hong Kong and then on Singapore. Both were on Singapore Airlines. The last trip in 2011 was for pleasure only but the trips through 2010 were business visits as we had an office there I worked out of and I would also travel on to India after two days in Singapore. Those were great times for me but unfortunately I did not capture a lot of photographs from those days until the personal trip in 2011. I stayed a few days that time and wandered around the city-state finding things I thought were kinda cool.
I still have friends in Singapore. A few left India and settled there after our India office closed down. Others were always there and worked out of the Singapore office in a variety of roles.
As I was sitting here today thinking about the place, it dawned on me that it has so many good things. Things to miss that cannot seem to be found here at least for me. One thing is that its simply beautiful there and its a great mix of cultures that one can walk through in a day’s wandering. Food is another thing there. I’ve only eaten in a relative few places where there was so much variety for food. Hawker stands and great restaurants. Grand old hotels like the Raffles and my favorite The Royal Plaza on Scots. Then there are the places to have a cold beer and the fact that most people there enjoy sitting out on a night with a beer and food and watching the evening set in. I enjoyed this so often in Singapore that I think its a unwritten thing that everyone should sit down on the outside deck of the restaurant and enjoy a beverage and food and chat.
Wandering during the daytime in Singapore is a lot of fun too. There are IT malls to go see and museums and wondrous shopping centres that I never bought things in. There are hidden little restaurants that my friend Wari knew about and would whisk me off to when my time was limited there. There was the sudden rain as I sat on the rooftop of the hotel by the pool and ended up diving in and feeling the combination of cool water in the pool and the warm rain. That was a rather stupendous and unique feeling.
Finally there is Changi Airport. What a place. I could live in that airport. I watched movies, had a room in a hotel there, ate and drank and during one trip where the connecting flights got messed up lived for a day and a night and never left. Being drained from the jet lag of the flights from SFO and Hong Kong, Changi provided the food and beverages and a hotel at the airport I camped at waiting for the next day to fly to Chennai. Customs getting into Singapore at Changi was a delight. Each agent had a little bowl of candy and welcomed me profusely. One counted my exit and entry Visas to the place and smiled his statement that I must truly enjoy his little homeland.
Yes. Yes I did and still do. Now its from a slight distance. Singapore was a gateway for me to the places there but also to India. India the place where my spirit self wants to be. The place I seem to miss more with each year. Singapore takes me there in my dreams.
I’ll return to spend time. I know it. Its in the cards. Then it will welcome me again to its mix of old and new. Coming back your way soon Singapore. Hold on!