Monday, January 17, 2011

07. My Visit to Singapore - Get in Touch with Good Things in Life

October 15 - 18, 1989 - 4 days in Singapore

Oct 14, 1989 leaving Los Angeles via Singapore Airlines to India en route Singapore.

Singapore: A Republic lying off the southern tip of Malay Peninsula, only 85 miles north of the equator. In addition to the mainland of Singapore it includes 60 smaller islands. A major commercial center with large shipping and ship building industry. Tourism is also important. Three quarters of the population are Chinese. It is a good looking city with many parks, trees and open green spaces. The skyscrapers are new and well designed. The airport and telecommunications are as good as America's best. You can dial from the airport to any local number at free of cost. Flogging is the cruelest punishment enforced even for the smallest offences. The death penalty for trafficking is loudly and swiftly. The streets are safe and clean. Beggars are rare and vagrants nonexistent. It has one of the highest standards of living in South East Asia. Virtually every citizen of the city is trying to scale Singapore of unequivocal prosperity. The local term for it is KIASUISM, roughly translated as "Me First".

October 15, 1989: Landed in Changai Airport, Singapore. My friend Janab H.M.Haniffa, a business man in Singapore, extended his cordial welcome at the airport and took me to his house. My whole stay was in his house. He is also an exporter and Importer in meat business. In the afternoon, I went with him to his office, "Haniffa Frozen Food Private Ltd.", in Jalanpasar Baru, Geylang, Singapore., There with one of his staff I explored the factory. The person explained me the cutting process of the meat and showed the cooler storage, retail shop and the auction place. Then we went around the localities to view the city.

October 16, 1989: Today, Janab Haniffa spared his car for a sight seeing excursion. The driver was more or less a tour guide. He showed me so many places and explained everything. First he took me to Mt. Faber. I viewed the panoramic view of the metropolis and the port. Visited Jurong Bird Parks' Swan Lake and Crocodile Park - impeccably landscaped 50 acre of aviary, with some 8000 birds, representing 600 species -- admired the Macaws, Penguins and Flamingos. We walked to the Chinese and the Japanese gardens there. The Chinese Garden features herb, bonsai and fragrant gardens and lotus pond. After crossing the 200 foot bridge reached the Japanes Garden. Next to the Singapore Science Center, accalaimed for its creative, hands-on introduction to all types of scientific phenomena. the exhibits demystify common sense puzzles. Visited the reservoir which provides the island inhabitants with a good supply of fresh water. Singapore however is still importing water from other countries for its use. Went through the Grand Central Boulevard, Orchard Road, famouse fo its pricey boutiques, crowded with high style shopping districts. Explored the Stamford Hotel, the very famous hotel in Singapore, with more than 1250 rooms crammed with very techno-convenience, the world's tallest hotel and crowned by the panoramic Compass Rose Restaurant.

October 17, 1989: After taking breakfast in one of his three hotels owned by Janab Haniffa, the tour started with the same driver. Visited Little India, known locally as Serangoon. There is no mistaking the sights, sounds and scents characterize this urban neighbourhood as Indian. In Little India I encountered more spice shops, saree purveyours and Indian Gold Jewelry stores. A very busy ethnic shopping district. Vistedthe holy Mariamman and Srinivasa Perumal temples in the south Indian styles.

Visited the China Town. China Town's old buildings marry the city's past to its present. Most are two and three storeyed shop houses built in a crazy quilt of styles over 150 years span, now restored and renovated in cheerful pastel shades. Much of this area, now home to everything from herbal tea-shops to fortune tellers.

At night Janab Haniffa took me to the famous Andhra Curry Restaurant located in Little India, which had 12 dishes on the menu, all served on the banana leaves and I relished the delicious food and ate a full stomach.

October 18, 1989: The day of departure arrived. Janab Haniffa himself took me to the airport and bid a bon-voyage to me. He left to hus homa and I flew to Anna Internation Airport, Madras. Reached home safely from Madras to Thillai Nagar, Trichy.

Though the Singapore tour was swift and hectic, yet without spending a single cent from my pocket, I enjoyed the trip very splendidly and lavishly. Thanks to my friends who made my trip fun and enjoying.

Work Hard, Play Hard in Singapore !!!!

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