Saturday, 20 January 2007

On Being Green

It's a Saturday and this particular day of the week in particular is a rather special one for two reasons.

Firstly I am back at work. Not an unusual occurrence in Singapore but a first for me for many years. We are about to stage the university's first public Open Day and the official opening of the institution in Singapore. Most of the official formalities are being held in the library and so our team are supporting wherever necessary.

The officiating dignitary is the Minister of Education, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam. He also happens to be the second Minister of Finance so is important on two counts.

Some of today's highlights will include a traditional Lion Dance and an "Ozzie Barbeque" for lunch. Questioning reveals that this will not be the traditional "Ozzie BBQ" as most of us know it, as there is to be no beer and no cricket blaring from a television.

Staff are resplendent in their bright green sweat shirts (see photo left) and visitors will receive a "goody bag" of similar hue. One is reminded of an invasion of 'Kermits' as they scurry around in preparation.

The second reason that this is an important day is that we are currently in transition between our current rented apartment and our new condominium. The renovations are and the first lot of new furnishing and appliance arrive tomorrow. It is needless to say a very tiring time, neither living in one place or another and it will be good to have this shift out of the way by Wednesday evening.

One final note on 'being green'. The price of greens and other vegetables has risen sharply in recent weeks as a direct result of the severe flooding in Malaysia. Singapore sources most of its vegetable from its immediate neighbour and has now been forced to buy from China and other countries.

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