Thursday, September 07, 2006

Singapore slung

I seem to have nae luck when it comes to taxi drivers in Singapore. I could have sworn today's had Tourette's; either that or he was so pleased to see me he kept on inadvertently trying to turn his head 180 degrees to look backwards.

With a consequent free disregard for the lane demarcations, we coasted along the main road to the airport, which is dead straight (any dead straight road when I was a kid was "a Roman road") and lined in the centre with flower boxes containing attractive pink flowers.
The sight fair gladdens the heart on first arrival in Singapore, but takes on a more sinister connotation when you hear the rumour that the plants can be removed at a moment's notice, presumably withdrawing Dr Evil-style into a massive underground bunker, in order for fighter planes to take off in the event of war.

Singapore's biggest problem is its lack of natural resources: like Hong Kong, it's theoretically at the mercy of its largest neighbour any time they choose to turn off the tap. Considering they used to be the same country (Malaya), Singapore's bitter rivalry with Malaysia is surprising, but, on reflection, it's understandable given the Singapore government's effective inculcation of super-strength loyalty in its citizens.

I'd fear I was being cruel about the taxi drivers, who are perfectly innocent in all this, of course, if it weren't for the obvious point that I've had two near-death experiences on my last two trips to the airport.

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