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Just Another Day in Paradise


This morning the dawn sky was clear, a foreboding of evil heat to come. Yesterday’s rain, and its relative cool, were long gone. But I’m getting tougher after being here in Singapore for so long. I can even go outside for a walk these days and not immediately melt down into my shoes. (And if you believe that, I have some prime real estate we need to discuss your iminent purchase of.)

As I waited for my taxi I noted that all the water from the 15 cm of rain the evening before has dissapeared. That drainage system must work really well!

I caught the train back into town after work. I decided to ride all the way in to Outram Park and walk through the Chinatown Complex Market, to see if there might be any worthwhile pictures to snap. The end of the market closest to the station has eateries of many types, with open-air tables all around. At the entrance I noticed there is a small shrine, complete with coin collection box and incense sticks. People coming and going would stop, donate, light a stick and meditate for a moment. I wondered: Were those going in praying for good luck at the food stalls? And what of those going out? What’s their reason for stopping?

Just wondering.

Unfortunately, the market is mostly done for the day by 6 PM. Lots of cleaning, lots of closed stalls. A few optimists with their stands still open and partially stocked, the owners chatting between themselves for want of customers. They were all too polite to actually mob me, but they certainly marketed their wares aggressively.

I left the market and crossed under Chin Swee Road. I noticed some young ladies ahead of me, much like Thursday last. One was dressed in an electric blue miniskirt, at least four sizes too tight. She had this doe-eyed expression, her dark eyes peering out from under ultra-long eyelashes. I know why her eyes looked that way; that skirt was so tight it was bound to be constricting something important, making her eyes bulge. She walked like she was almost falling off her high-heeled sandals and not quite succeeding. One of the most amazing displays of balanced dynamic forces I’ve seen, outside of the physics classroom.

I don’t know what she has stored under that skirt, but it must be jelly, because jam doesn’t wiggle that way. Once I got closer I noticed these were indeed the same girls I saw before. I smiled, then immediately began to look around for the killer drain that had attacked me when I last saw them. By the time I decided I was safe, the ladies had turned a corner and were gone.

I dropped my stuff in room, then went to the neighborhood Ansan Convenience Store to visit the cookie lady and get some soft drinks, and my fix of spicy noodle soup. Time to relax, regroup and reload…

Enjoy the Heat!

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