September 29, 2004

For Selkie...



Lord Elrond, Eowyn, and Faramir traversed the Taipei airport looking for a lingering Elven stronghold but found only a single tree. Though yet at the outset of their adventures, they are staunchly determined that nothing shall prevent them from seeing their beloved Middle-Earth once more. Elrond was heard to say, as the three boarded the flight to Kuala Lumpur, "The accursed lack of leg room on this plane will be our DOOM" to which Faramir merely replied, "Now in this last flight is the chance for the son of Denethor to prove his worth." Elrond tossed him an indecipherable look and muttered something under his breath that sounded like, "Men are WEAK" but would not repeat it when pressed. The further adventures of Lord Elrond on his journey back to Middle-Earth and to Aman, the Blessed Realm, will continue...

September 26, 2004

We return from Singapore to Melaka which, for all the time we've spent wandering the Streets of Death, has started to feel like home. *swats at a mosquito that will insist on playing vampire in a most annoying fashion* Don't play at my own game with me, you irritant. *squashes the mosquito* Back to me. Singapore was a lovely diversion from the sidewalk-less chaos of Melaka and the general laissez-faire atmosphere of Malaysia in general. Singapore is more or less everything Malaysia is not. For one thing, they use toilet paper there. (It's always the little things you notice first.) For another, it's gleamingly modern and freakishly clean. Malaysia - not clean. Singapore - clean. Here's why: punishment. Punishment is a great deterrent. Nobody likes a fine but you'll risk it if, say, it's only $50 and you feel like littering. You'll think twice if the fine is $1000. And enforced with regularity. I kid you not, the fine for eating and drinking on the MRT (like LRT only I forget what the hell the "M" stands for) in Singapore is $500. Just like that. $1000 for transporting gas onboard. That one sort of baffles me but to be sure, I'll never do it. And death for drug traffiking. Just like that. You're caught with drugs, you get the death penalty. Though it's sort of like a very wealthy Asian-run police state in a lot of ways, there's still something to be said for having rules and enforcing them. Singapore, if you recall, is the place where those two idiotic American teens (isn't that like an oxymoron - "idiotic American") got caned for being caugh perpetrating graffitti. Crime is serious in Singapore. As in you'd have to be seriously mad to contemplate engaging in it. Which makes Singapore really clean and safe-feeling for wandering tourists. So it's not all bad.

All told, I really enjoyed Singapore. From the air-conditioned hostel to the luscious drag queens of The Boom Boom Room to the prowling tigers of the Night Safari tour, Singapore is one big gorgeous vat of entertainment. There is something for everyone there as long as you can afford to pay for it.