Saturday, 7 June 2008

Just Passing Through

It was the hairy-backed monk that I remember most.

Crouching low in his saffron robes as he rummaged around the convenience store's lower shelves looking vainly for a small bottle of shampoo.

His Esau-rian attributes seemed strangely at variance with his religious persuasion.

We had been visiting friends passing through Singapore and staying in the Peninsula Excelsior Hotel off Coleman Street - one of the less salubrious districts of Singapore but handy enough to the main shopping thoroughfare of Orchard Road.

By all accounts the Excelsior is not to be recommended and numerous online reviews are less than flattering.

Dr Des and his wife arrived after a 12 hour trip from Rome using a Singapore Airlines stop-over package. The hotel however did not have there room ready at 6:30 am when they arrived and they had to wait until 10:30 to finally get to their billet.

Given that it was an SQ package and a Singapore Hotel you would thing that the airline and accommodation would have been better coordinated with the guest in mind.

It must be the season for people passing through Singapore, enroute to somewhere else. Possibly this is a reflection of the change of seasons as the Antipodean hordes emulate the swallow and fly north for the winter.

What ever the reason it is good to catch up with old colleagues, professional acquaintances and close friends when they are in these parts. Not that one is missing anything of the latest news as the Internet has changed all that.

Long gone are the days when the steam packet from 'The Motherland' delivered month-old handwritten letters into the eager hands of expectant expatriates.

Nowadays such news are just a click away, as is sport if one chooses to follow it. Here in Singapore football is soccer and there is very little coverage of rugby and none of league. Not a problem though, as I listened to the All Blacks vs. Ireland commentary online.

Somehow the tight five of the All Blacks forward pack remind me of that monk.

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