Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Photo: Eustaquio Santimano
When I think of Christmas I think of the lights of Orchard Road as they used to be ten or twenty years ago.  In recent years the lighting has been a 'shadow' of what it used to be.

The impact of satellite malls has made themselves felt.  This year will be the first time in five years that I will not be experiencing a Singapore Xmas.  Even a watered down version of Orchard Road lighting is better than the limp affair in New Zealand cities.

This wasn't always the case but as the spirit of the festive season has been steadily eroded by commercial greed and avarice, the little personal touches have been lost.

At least in Singapore the shops stay open on Christmas Day. In Auckland as happens elsewhere in New Zealand, everything comes to a grinding halt.  This enforced break used to last for up to three days but thankfully now the supermarkets reopen on Boxing Day and the Boxing Day sales in the Antipodes remain a feature.

If we are into commercialism at Xmas let's go the whole way!

We have had two weeks of steady rain which has broken the back of the drought we were experiencing earlier in the month.  While in Singapore the weather is cooler and wetter, here the weather is warmer and should be drier from December to February.

Our news is full of Kiwis stranded at Heathrow airport in the UK who will not be making it back to Godzone for the Xmas reunion with family. 

According to a BBC report, Heathrow can only afford one runway sweeping machine to clear the snow and ice, so departure delays are expected to continue for some time.

Having experienced the diabolical atmosphere and attitude of Heathrow on more than one occasion I am not surprised by this news.  Such unpreparedness would simply not be tolerated at Changi.

Perhaps the Brits could try amusing passengers stranded in the terminals by adopting the Bangladeshi approach to entertainment?

Dhaka's Shahjalal International inadvertently screened a pornographic film for a full five minutes before anyone realised what was happening. The presentation replaced their usual recorded documentaries about the culture and geography.

Things like Heathrow's service levels may never change but other things can change a lot.

Take the recent activity in my Singapore 'home town' district of Queenstown, an older estate in the Republic.  Apparently the locals have taken to divesting themselves of their garments if this report is to be believed.

The heat at the bus stops used to get to me, but I was never tempted to strip.  Apparently the gentleman concerned couldn't understand why he was not getting "fries with everything" when he divested himself of his gear at McDonalds.

Try doing that in the UK at the moment!
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