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Radiation at Singapore Changi Airport

Posted by on Aug 11, 2012 in All posts, Radiation levels around the world, Singapore | 0 comments

During our short stay in Singapore we did a lot of sight seeing but there was no time to attend to our Gamma Scout. However, during our flight from Thailand to Norway, we got a second chance to make up. While waiting for our connecting flight to Oslo, we had enough time to check on radiation at Singapore Airport.   11th August 2012. Singapore Changi Airport. Average background radiation.   11th August 2012. Singapore Changi Airport. Background radiation is below average at the check-in counter. Probably because the counter is sort of in the way, blocking the Geiger tube. The other display on the violet check-in counter gives ‘kg’ instead of ‘micro sievert’. 22.3 kg is my bag. We carry two big bags, each weighing around 20-25 kg. Perpetual travel requires judicious preparation and skillful packing. We have got...

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Singapore – on shopping for clothes and cars

Posted by on Jun 2, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 0 comments

I was a bit disappointed with the shopping variety in Singapore’s fashion stores. Singapore, the rising country, that created wealth out of nothing, with no natural resources and limited space, lacks shopping individuality.       Even though it was the countries super sales weeks, walking through Singapore’s malls was not the slightest bit impressive. Many ageing big malls with store chains I knew from home or England. Some of those buildings were just undergoing major reconstruction. But even the newer ones were ghostly abandoned looking with strange interiors and misplaced passages that made me feel uncomfortable and conveyed coldness in design.     I walked down the acclaimed Orchard shopping strip and returned without a find after my habitual shopping treasure hunt. I missed originality in interior design and clothing. With limited alternative to the haute couture and...

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Singapore – on arts and festivals

Posted by on Jun 1, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 0 comments

During our stay we were lucky to see the city transform into the Singapore Flipside Arts Festival 2012 with many free performances scattered along Singapore’s most prominent spots. With a variety of events we decided to enjoy the show of Roda Mon at Marina Bay, the ultra modern waterfront promenade. Two inventive and talented guys from Spain presented lively and hilarious acrobatics, comedy, musical violin & drum acts without words. It reminded me a bit of the pantomiming Australian ‘Umbilical Brothers’ with slightly more show accessories and slightly less imagination needed on the audience’s part, presenting an equally attractive show. I was laughing my pants off and was thankfully not picked for interaction on stage like at the NANTA show in Bangkok, this time picking my seat wisely at the very end of the open air amphi theatre. Predictably...

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Singapore – on communities and contrasts

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 0 comments

Singapore was a British settlement for over a century and there are loads of British influences in infrastructure – driving is obviously on the left – and the British based legal and security system, such as the omnipresent camera surveillance, which is very UK inspired. There are fire doors and safety procedures in public buildings which reminded me strongly of my student times in Manchester. Like the fact that we weren’t encouraged to open our (locked anyway) hotel windows. In my hall in Manchester the windows would only open 15cm and then block due to strict safety measures. Singapore is a mixture of old British historical buildings and modernity. The country-city boasts a Manhattan skyscraper skyline and loads of modern office buildings making sweet and ornate 19th century shop houses even more of a special sight. Surrounded by massive...

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Singapore – on history and heritage

Posted by on May 29, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 0 comments

Singapore is very eager and does a great job to reflect on its short history since it was founded in 1819 by a British man. Because Singapore’s past is time-limited, it does focus on a broad spectrum of Asian culture and various influences from its Asian immigrants, who have shaped the country and are Singaporian citizens today. The Asian Civilisations Museum is a fine example reflecting on Singapore’s identity and heritage and mirrors the melting pot society. It also recounts on the people and history before Singapore became a state. It tells about the countries fate, when Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore arrived on its shores and met the Muslim Malay king living in his kingdom. The land that was formed into British colony and shaped to be Britain’s main naval base in Asia. Singapore has gained...

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Singapore – on art deco and attractions

Posted by on May 29, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 0 comments

Singapore tries very hard not to be  Singabore  by investing a lot in new age entertainment sights. If you have brought plenty of cash left overs then Singapore will spoil you with expensive fun. Such as Sentosa island with adventure park schemed entertainment. After having read many average to not so happy reviews from local people about food,  service and entrance fee we took their word for it and stayed in the city. Singapore offers some alternative sights to invest money without going to another island. Did you know that Singapore is a country of islands? Apparently as many as 63 islands make up the country. Let me start with what was my personal highlight of the trip and my absolute favorite place of all I have visited in Singapore: an architectural masterpiece for which it was worth to...

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Singapore – on restaurants and food

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 2 comments

Food isn’t the best of the fantastic cuisine Asia offers and what I expected given the prices and my idea of Singapore as a country with exceptional service. After our stay that image demystified. Restaurants  were generally overpriced and unfortunately in those nice touristy areas not particularly good – service and quality were obviously prepared for the one time never seen again tourist visit and a concluding why-bother-mentality. At a Chinese restaurant we were presented with a bill that had skyrocketed. First the owner wanted to charge us extra for napkins! To make this rip off case scenario worse –  we had not used his precious napkins (nor ordered any, given we would have had a choice)! Additionally their menu said nothing about a further 10% service charge and another 7% for tax which was added nevertheless (we always...

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Singapore – on safety and security

Posted by on May 27, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 0 comments

Safety is a big thing in Singapore. I was impressed by the amount of security cameras and massive conglomerations of hanging city surveillance, the most I have counted were eleven in one place. I was reminded of my student times in England, where almost every inch of the university city of Manchester is watched through video cameras. Walking in Singapore means that you will have to circuit around a lot.  Residential areas are fenced in, display warning signs and seek protection through high tech bollards to keep unwanted persona out. With a top literacy rate, almost no unemployment and a small proportion of low income earners – who is to be kept out? Immigrants? Surely not the business immigrant bringing foreign investment into the country since Singapore’s economy relies on capital inflow and skyscraper office renting. The average income...

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Singapore – on hotels and taxis

Posted by on May 26, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 2 comments

There are two sides to how Singapore presents itself. The super expensive side with (probably) excellent service for the rich and the highly overpriced sector with medium to appallingly bad service for average pockets. This is how accommodation for the tourist can be classified. Since we knew that Singapore was going to be expensive we were prepared to pay a lot more than what we usually intend to spend on hotels. We were even a bit frantic to enjoy a bit of Singapore’s luxuries and splash out on a superb room. However, having found a cheaper place with excellent descriptions and nice photos while browsing through the net we thought ourselves lucky, booked online and ended up in a hostel that featured a room for 75S$ without en suite facilities. For that price and with more people using it...

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Singapore – on chewing gum and caning

Posted by on May 25, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 1 comment

All I knew about Singapore before stepping on its grounds was that Singapore is a very small country with the capital of the same name, that you are not allowed chewing gum and that it was an exceptional clean country. What I didn’t know was that Singapore is actually an island, that it is a one city country of immigrants and that the clean image is sort of a myth. Being welcomed by budget airport (that is its official name) which is an old, dirty,  small and ugly building that could have been a fine example of third world budget shortness, wasn’t very inviting. But the tuna sandwiches at the exit were great and cheap – for 2 S$ it was less than half of what we had to pay at our hostel (not hotel!) for breakfast. Singapore does...

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