Sunday, April 22, 2007

Singapore Swing (With Contact Info)

After two weeks of highs and lows in Indonesia, I've crossed back into the northern hemisphere. I'm in Singapore: island, state, nation. I landed this afternoon, checked into a hostel (in Little India) and then hit the town. It's great to be back in the first world. I now know I have an affinity for orderly traffic patterns and consumer goods.

My first stop in Singapore? The cinema. That may seem an odd choice, but I wanted comfort food, and for me that means two hours in the dark. And during those two hours I discovered that while Singapore imposes heavy fines for smoking in public or eating on the subway, not to mention the death penalty for drug offenses, people still talk incessantly and check their cell phones in movie theaters. I'm still waiting for global legislation to block cell phones in movie theaters and public stoning for talkers.

The movie was Danny Boyle's sci-fi spectacular "Sunshine." I thought the film was visually splendid (Kubrick would be proud), but a plot twist in the third act made me wince and the film never really recaptured my attention. "Sunshine" opens in September in America so I'll hold all comments until then.

By sheer coincidence, the Singapore film festival is happening this week. I want to see Hal Hartley's sequel to "Henry Fool," but it's sold out. Hopefully, I can get into a screening or three.

I also dropped S$8 for a SIM card and have a local number for as long as I'm here. It will be helpful for the food tour I plan to take, the date I have tomorrow night with a friend of a friend and for business I need to conduct here (nothing comes to mind, really).

To call me from the U.S., dial 011 65 90371092. 011 is the prefix to dial outside the U.S. 65 is Singapore's country code. And 9037 1092 is my number.

I plan to spend the next few days eating my way around Singapore. As I understand it, there are really only two things to do here: eat and shop. I have a pretty short shopping list (new shorts, swimming trunks, backpack) and a ravenous appetite. I'll keep you posted.

Until then, I spent the morning yesterday taking photos of Yogyakarta. I think I got some good shots. I know I got a lot of stares from locals. You just don't see a lot of westerners on the streets of Yogya, especially ones carrying cameras.

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